5.10.2011

I Cook Buffet

04.30.11 

What? I Cook Buffet for AYCE hot pot
Where? 7030 Warden Ave (Markham, same plaza as the T&T supermarket)
Price? $16.99 (for adult, Weekend +$1.99)
The skinny: I’ve never heard about this place before. But individual hot pots + seeing some awesome friends? I’m so up for that! I’ve gone on a handful of food adventures with two friends, Mike and Phoenix. But now one of them, Phoenix is leaving for Australia (for a year!! Lucky her :D) so she organized a goodbye dinner, at I Cook Buffet. 




There were 7 of us (2 came later) in total and with differing tastes, it’s so clever that the restaurant offers individual hot pots so you can get both the soup base and food you want!








My attempt at a panoramic shot of the restaurant. It filled up a little more over the course of our meal.


Different soup bases: (mine on the left) Satay, $0.99.   (on the right) Chicken, free!


There’s a pretty wide selection of foods you can cook. All you have to do is bring over your melamine plate, grab a pair of tongs and fill it up to your heart’s content! 
 Traditional to hot pot there are thinly sliced lamb, beef, and chicken and about a handful of balls (squid, pork, fish…). 



SALMON!

But there is much more! Such as baby octopus, salmon, shiitake mushrooms, tripe. There are about 40+ items to choose from so there’s definitely something for everyone. 








So that’s step two. (Step one – choose soup base). Now step three is to concoct your perfect dipping sauce. Also huge variety here. 
Lots of little extras to go into your sauce


I was sort of overwhelmed so I went the traditional route with chopped green onions, soy sauce, and a raw egg. I think I also added a little bit of the “i-cook special sauce”. 


Last station, or step four. Fountain drink. You can also get rice but I’m trying to cut down on carbs, although that proves to be a constant challenge. Anyways, Sprite’s my go-to pop. Too bad it was kinda warm, or rather room temperature. Not the refreshing blast that I was looking for. 
Remember you're dealing w raw meat so if your soup ain't boiling, don't cook in it!
  

Our mini hot pots, so cute! They're about 8-inches in diameter.

 
My first plate.


Cooking your own food is always fun! Think about it, you pay to cook. What a great business plan HAHA It’s enjoyable and super easy so I won’t complain. You simply drop in whatever you want to cook and swish it around. When it’s finished cooking, you pick it out, give it a quick dunk into your dipping sauce and EAT. 

And since it’s a buffet, you can eat as much as you want! :D WELCOME BACK FOOD BABY! It’s been too long (and by that I mean only 24 hours. Not attractive). I think I only got 2½ plates of food. The dessert selection is highly limited. 









Only 3 items were available that night: strawberry/mango pudding (aka jell-o), tofu dessert, and a salty savoury rice cake dessert. I tried the first two. Mediocre, what I’d expect from any regular buffet. The rice cakes, I left that be just because I like my desserts sweet or at least contrastive to my meal rather then an extension of it.  
The tofu dessert. Smooth but lacks the freshness that should be hitting you every spoonful.

 
packed parking lot.


 By the end of the meal, everyone was pretty stuffed. We had hit the stages of hot pot itis and nostalgia. The total per person came up to about $23 which isn't bad but isn't cheap either.









Verdict: Best parts about this place are the individual hot pots and the freedom of getting whatever foods you want to eat. I might be willing to come back on a weekday because it’ll be cheaper, it’ll all depend on the company. 

Check ‘em out! Chowhound
                             urbanspoon

  

3 out of 5 NOMs
nomnomnom



8 comments: