Who doesn’t love a buffet? Whether it be a wedding buffet or as a weekend treat, I’m certain that we can all recall stuffing ourselves to the brink of
regrettably exceeding our limits. If I remember correctly the first buffet I attended as buffet, minus all the party spreads or ‘feasts’ was a local Chinese (Cantonese style) buffet with friends who I had met through education: since then whenever some asks ‘buffet?’ (- no grammatically correct question necessary) my eyes immediately become larger than my belly.
Throughout this post I would like to compare two buffets in Incheon, South Korea: ‘Sushi Line’ – mainly a Japanese and ‘Ashley Buffet’ – a European/Asian cuisine buffet franchise.
What’s better than unlimited Sushi with a set price of approximately £12 per person? Among basic favourites Sushi Line provides unique flavour combinations of sushi hand prepared by highly skilled chef: who you can see preparing the dishes as you select components for creating the mountain/s on your plate/s. Aside from Sushi and rolls there are plenty of European and Asian fusion salad starters to chose from including the usual lettuce based salads. My personal favourite was the imitation crab salad covered in plenty of a mayonnaise based dressing. Additionally there are a select few Japanese and Korean hot dishes provided; also self-served e.g. Okonomiyaki, Tempura, seasonal stir-fried vegetables, miso soup, Udon and Tteokbokki. The names of each dish are provided in both English and Korean making it a suitable, affordable dinner out for tourists: infact buffets are the best way to simultaneously try multiple dishes of a particular country or continent. For dessert there is soft serve ice-cream and fresh fruits, including Lychees.
Tip: try to consume as much of the meaty or extravagant sushi as opposed to the simple ‘regular’ variations of sushi; this way you can ensure that you get your money’s worth. Aim to eat ‘heavy’ rich foods last of all to avoid prematurely getting ‘full’ or bloated.
Honestly it’s the savoury version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. Even the attention to detail of the interior’s furniture seems fancier than the set price you pay. Costing around £15 pounds each it could be considered as an expensive family friendly buffet, however with the diversity of the dishes I’d regard the price to be rather acceptable. Ashley Buffet more or less advertise themselves as a Western cuisine buffet: enticing Korean’s to indulge in foods which they generally consider to be associated with ‘high life’ or at least engaging with other cultures. Alike Sushi buffet there is an Island displaying an array of premade salads and fresh vegetables to form your own starters. Most special of all, in my opinion, we’re the pasta and rice dishes: “moreish”! Rose spaghetti, prawn cream pasta and other authentic plus modern Italian dishes. Various fried rices of Mexican and Hong Kong styles are at hand with the addition of the ingredients to make Korean Bibimbap (a rice, chilli paste and vegetables bowl). If pizza and French fries are more of your thing (or perhaps a fussy eater is attending the buffet with you), Ashley buffet has that too. I’d say the desserts are a tad more pleasing at Ashley Buffet than that compared to Sushi Line; more fruits, an espresso and Americano coffee machine, and a chocolate fountain with pieces of waffles and doughnuts for dipping. Of course they also have a soft serve ice-cream machine too.
Tip: The pastas and pizza are quite filling so to try to restrain from drinking too much if you want to enjoy more than a couple of plate refills.
Evaluation: Both buffets exceeded my expectations so much so that is difficult to choose a preference. As much a thoroughly appreciated all the pasta dishes the Ashley Buffet has to offer, I found that the flavours of food at Sushi line were more interesting and less repetitive in taste. If I had to recommend just one buffet I would suggest Sushi Line. The quality of the sushi is of course much better than most of us are familiar with from our local Japanese restaurant or supermarket, types you may not have tasted anywhere else.
In conclusion both buffets are worth the price and have all the taste points, with Ashley buffet being a 7/10 and Sushi line with a well deserved 8/10 rating.