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Eat big at the Village Buffet

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The trick in going to a buffet restaurant is to put all expectations on hold. I knew this was a popular restaurant but was not prepared for just how busy they were at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. The large hall-like space was packed. Long tables seating rows of families and large groups alongside smaller table settings. It was noisy and packed but there seemed to be a definite air of organised chaos amidst it all.

I had called ahead about 45 minutes before to check if they were wheelchair friendly and they were able to accommodate us with a removable ramp for my mum. Also, because I had phoned ahead they kept us a table, which I think we would have had to wait for had we just pitched up. We were seated at a table near the door which was very roughly set with a few random plates on the table. Not a very inviting setting as if it had just been vacated and was in the process of being set. We were also seated with the speaker right behind us and while it wasn’t very loud it did make conversation difficult. I was on the verge or re-thinking our choice of venue but decided that I needed to lighten up and just go with the experience.

The Village buffet Hungry for Halaal

The restaurant is Indian owned who also owns the Food Inn restaurants in Cape Town and Rondebosch. The streetstyle food served there has been a successful formula and this venture into the buffet scene seems to be doing equally well. This is a casual, unassuming space. You go here because you are serious about having not only a good meal but also of a large meal. The variety of food is larger than many other buffets and you should probably skip a meal in order to do this visit justice.

We were seated without any ceremony and after waiting for some direction from a waiter and getting none, decided to just head over to the buffet and see what’s what. I started with some sushi, paapar (poppadums) and a potato kofta. There was much more to sample in the starter section in the way of salad and vegetables, but I wanted space to try everything. The sushi was quite acceptable but very basic rainbow rolls and fashion sandwiches. Mostly vegetarian and crabstick types.

 

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I then went for a round of mains which included some savoury rice, Chicken Jalfrezi, Jeera Aloo (Cumin Potato fry), some sausage and onions more suited to a breakfast buffet, some prawns and calamari. I had little bits of everything so I could get a taste of the whole menu. The Chicken Jalfrezi was the star of this plate. A warm, rich and spicy flavour with tender cubes of chicken. The sausage is of the few that I have tasted that I have actually liked, also a bit on the spicy side. The calamari and prawns were both a little plain but the calamari was perfectly cooked and tender. A little tartare sauce would have gone a long way but I don’t recall seeing it on the buffet. I tasted a bit of the chicken biryani from my sons plate which was delicious and the seafood paella from hubby’s plate was spicy and tasty but the calamari in it had gotten chewy and the only other seafood in it was prawns.

The Village buffet Hungry for Halaal

My second plate had some grilled bbq chicken which was good, dhal, butter chicken and lamb curry. The dhal was delicious, spicy and hot with fresh chillies. The butter chicken I found too sweet and the lamb curry was dissapointingly bland. I did not have any more room to taste the ribs which I believe is popular.

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Dessert options included waffles and ice cream, Malva pudding cubes and custard, some marshmallows on a stick and a chocolate fountain. While there were several flavours of ice cream they had all gone soft, so dessert was not the finest experience. The malva pudding cubes while tasty, had gotten chewy and hard, being in the bain marie for some time, and could not really be enjoyed. I thought they could have made a lot more effort with dessert.

The Village buffet Hungry for Halaal

The Village buffet Hungry for Halaal

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Waiters cleared plates from the table between trips to the buffet and refilled the bottomless sodas included but it was random and I think they could have used a few more waiters. All this came at a cost of R170 which is their weekend price. The price in the week is R150. Children 3 and under eat free and under 10 pay R99. A 10% service charge was also automatically added to our bill which I was not happy with as we were only 3 adults and a child.

They have a 2 hour rotation which means you’re expected to eat and be done in 2 hours to make space for the next sitting. It’s good value only if you are planning to eat big.

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