Saturday was date-night… combo dinner and glow-in-the-dark bowling. However, downtown Toronto bowling rates are atrocious ($65/hour, exsqueeze-mean??!?!?!) so we opted to find food near the World Bowl in Richmond Hill. Off of Hwy 7 and Woodbine avenue, we found Dragon Legend, an AYCE- buffet restaurant.
Upon our arrival, we got off to a rocky start. We made reservations on Thursday, but they questioned whether we had made them at all. They could not “find” said reservations– so we were made to wait with a buzzer… not cool. Despite this snafu, we were seated without having to wait too long — perhaps they sensed our HANGRY & mild disdain for their inability to take down a simple reservation request.
With that behind us, we turned our attention to the eats and the space. The restaurant is large and a tad over-the-top, containing loads of Chinese paraphernalia and trinkets from the dynasty days. Nonetheless, we embraced the spirit of the environment and the Game of Thrones- like seats.
A word of caution: the space gets severely crowded. The buffet is actually the middle ground & traffic comes from EVERYWHERE– think of it like this: all traffic lanes converging to enter the Don Valley Parkway during rush hour— yes, it is like that. Chaos. Patrons entering the restaurant, patrons leaving the restaurant, current diners zipping from one area to another, staff replenishing dishes… you get the idea. I was concerned about sanitation in light of this– but there are food guards held in place and staff members at nearly every station keeping a watchful eye.
The food: taking into consideration that this is a buffet–on the whole, all items were executed/ prepared properly and seasoned well.
My stomach game plan for you:
The star was definitely the Peking duck. I’d make a beeline for that section before the lineups begin (and boy did they ever snake across the room by the time 8/8:30pm rolled around)
Sashimi/sushi: go for the sweet raw shrimp, salmon and red tuna sashimi. The rolls were decent too. Not overloaded with rice and an ample amount of filling (i.e. tempura shrimp, creamy avocado)
– also try the raw mussels and crab legs (I only had the latter; the meat was soft and sweet).
Hand-pulled noodles: Made in a ginormous cooking vat, noodles of various make-up (regular and spinach) are pulled into the hot liquid– then you choose your broth and toppings (green onions, etc., choice of protein– chicken, duck)
Deep fried goodies: crispy honey-glazed sesame chicken strips (a guilty pleasure), juicy chicken wings, deep fried oysters: perfect crispy exterior and plump interior, chili wok-fried tofu pieces (like popcorn.. once you pop… you really cannot stop).
Meaty-Meats: beef ribs.. juicy and a nice marbling of fat– but unfortunately, lacking in the requisite beef-y flavour… in fact it was rather bland (I would give it another chance though because they cooked the short ribs well). However, the prime rib was cooked a perfect medium rare and served with all the traditional fixings ( jus, popovers, mashed potatoes, etc). Tender and succulent.
Unique booze: my friend order a rose cocktail. Nice sweet floral notes (she said it reminded her of a rose Turkish delight). I’d try it next time.
With bellies full, it was time to bowl!
I came last in the first set (HA), and second place in the second set. Not too shabby.