river rock reviewFood is very much a part of my life as it is my occupation and also an interest in mine, so reviewing a restaurant is pretty much second nature.  I haven’t formally reviewed a restaurant on a blog so this will be my first food post :).  Growing up in Vancouver, River Rock was a family event.  I think it was my dad who was really into buffets, even till now.  For father’s day (well it was more of an early father’s day celebration), my sister and I planned to take our parents out to eat since we both had to work on father’s day.  River Rock was the perfect choice as it was in Richmond and it was seafood night.  Now seafood to me is whatever since I eat it so much at work, I don’t care for it.  However, you say seafood to my dad (especially king crab), it’s a done deal. He’s a happy camper.  You should have seen the smile on his face when he found out we were taking him to eat the buffet on a seafood night!  He was hurrying me to get on the car to get there earlier so he could have first dibs on the seafood HAHA.

IMG_7102Questions that were running in my head, have they improved their food quality since the last time I went seven years ago?

River Rock Casino, Richmond BC (Canada)
8811 River Road    V6X 3P8
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They sure renovated nicely from the staircase they had before to a cool curved escalator.

IMG_7110I’m definitely not a casino person because I got super bad luck.  One time my boyfriend’s family and I went down to the states to eat at a buffet and they gave us a free $5 for gambling.  I put it through a slot machine and thought I pressed the button to bet one time to get my $5 worth of gambling fun. NO!  I pressed the wrong damn button and bet it all and lost my free five bucks.  My boyfriend’s sister put her $5 in and won $15.  So no, I’m not going to gamble away my hard earned money(;¬_¬).

IMG_7104After going up the cool escalator, we are greeted with this sign.  You can not reserve ahead of time since it is a first come first basis unless you have a party of eight or more which I find a pain in the ass. We got there and there was already  butt load of people.  The estimated wait time was an hour and there was no guarantee if we could get in or not.  I asked my dad if we want to relocate to sushi or something but he already got his eyes on the prize. So… no LOL.

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IMG_7116After about 45 mins of waiting, we finally got in!

IMG_7117The restaurant was quite packed and the only seats available was beside the window.  Now you might think I’m crazy, but in my mind I was thinking “DAMN IT, I forgot to wear sunscreen. I’m screwed.”  I have fair skin, so I have to really take care of it (; ̄Д ̄).   The sun was in our eye and definitely was not very pleasant but the view was nice and calming while I ate at a hectic buffet.

IMG_7118We were greeted by our waitress, asking us what we would like to drink.  I was going to order me a coke but I remembered a few rules to get the most of your buffet experience:

1) Don’t drink any carbonated drinks.
Drinking carbonated drinks fill you up faster, so stick with tea, coffee, juice or water.

2) Don’t eat your breads and potatoes right away
I used to love eating tons of potato and bread when I start my meal but again, it quickly fills you up so try to eat that later on in the meal or just eat less of it.

3) Eat in small portions, taste don’t eat.
Many people would attack a buffet by getting tons of their favourite food.  Try and just “taste test”, get a little but of everything onto your plate, taste everything and then get more of what tasted best to you.

IMG_7122Darn it! Why not!

IMG_7119The patio connected to the buffet overlooks the dock.  I actually have never walked this dock even though I grew up in Richmond haha.

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IMG_7124Onto the actual buffet itself.  I was getting super hungry from waiting since I didn’t eat for a couple hours that day, so FOOD GET INTO MA TUMMY!

Had to censor people’s faces just in case I get sued haha.

IMG_7125For seafood Friday, they have….
Lobster (which was definitely previously frozen, I can taste it… blah)

IMG_7126Tomato Mussels (sorry I don’t know their full name or what they used to marinate it with)

IMG_7127Prawns…which come to think of it now, i didn’t eat any of it! WHAT!( ゚Д゚)<!!

IMG_7132“Would you like to smile for the camera?”
“Sure!”
Still the same facial expression LOL.  Moustache is to hid his mysterious identity.

They also had prime rib and pork loin.  I’m kinda meh about prime rib since I can eat it at work, but working everyday with the same food for four years makes me not want to eat it.

IMG_7133The prime rib was okay, although it lacked any flavour.  It was like… prime rib.  I actually think the prime rib we serve at my work is a lot better.

IMG_7134Pork loin was sadly, kinda of dry and sad.  They had some apple sauce to go with it but still, the meat was dry.

IMG_7136I was kind of in a hurry to take pictures so I didn’t take a picture of what was in all three of these,  They were baked russet potatoes and some toppings on the side (sour cream, green onion, corn, bacon, cheese, etc), yorkshire puddings and something else that has slipped from my mind.  I stayed away from the potatoes and yorkshire pudding, just ain’t my thing.

IMG_7137The salad station was quite nice.  There was romain, iceberg, mixed greens, about four to five types of dressings to choose from (Caesar, thousand island, ranch, all the standard ones) and tons of toppings such as hard boiled eggs, bacon, carrot salad, etc.

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IMG_7138Sushi!  I actually snuck into the buffet before we even got in to see what they have to offer.  I remembered there were a lot more varieties at the sushi section but I guess they ran out and only have California rolls left.

IMG_7139Ze bread selection, baguette, crossiants, focaccia I think?

IMG_7145There were two types of soups too but I forgot to take a picture of the other one.  This was a seafood chowder which had an overpowering taste of bell peppers.  I didn’t like it at all.  They were also offering minestrone but I didn’t get to taste, I kind of just forgot about it.

IMG_7140Drink station!  I love getting my own drinks, unlimited refills baby!

IMG_7141Onto the food~
There was corn on the cob (way way overcooked and had no corn sweetness to it), mixed vegetables, mash potato, pasta and pork stew.  I think the pork stew was fantastic, super tender and flavourful but I think the cream curdled :S.  Still I ate all of it, I would just order that on the menu and eat a whole bowl of it.  Hmmmmm yummmmmy.

IMG_7142To the top right was fries, chicken tenders, halibut or cod (don’t remember) and some spiced chicken.  The halibut, seriously, is the saddest piece of fish I have ever ate.  I took at piece of it back to my feeding cave and boy oh boy was I sad to put it in my mouth.  It was the driest, rubbery, freezer burnt fish I hate ever ate in my life.  It was like chewing on a sad eraser.  I had to spit it out, it was that bad.

IMG_7143Onto the asian section of the buffet, I think this was the highlight of the buffet funny enough.  Of course there is fried rice, noodles, bean sprout and pork stew, and tofu stew.  Oh my god, the bean sprout and pork stew was BOMB.  The pork is tender, melt in my mouth, flavour was just right.  Perfection!  The friend rice was kind of meh, and I didn’t get to try the noodles because I got too full.  Damn it I’m getting hungry writing this post…

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Here is some coconut curried vegetable, jasmine rice (i’m guessing), deep fried octopus and another type of fish with a sweet and sour sauce.  The coconut curried vegetable was quite nice, although it could use a bit more spices, the octopus I stayed away since I’m not a big fan of it, and the fish was 2 million times better then the sad eraser I had to put in my mouth earlier.  It was at least edible but I found the fish had a but of a fishy after taste.

IMG_7128Best part of a buffet? DESSERT OF COURSE!  They had a very wide selection of desserts, from gluten free, sugar free to the regular stuff, you name it! Oh yea, this is where the fun begins, dessert time ( •̀ω•́ )σ.

IMG_7130Deconstructed tiramisu (not sure about the deconstructed part but it definitely looks like it)

IMG_7131Cream puffs (or profiteroles), some type of tart, brownies….

IMG_7148Suger free section: chocolate mousse, panna cotta…

IMG_7150Gluten free: cookies, housemade marshmallow, chocolate chip cookies

IMG_7151Fruits, cupcakes in the back.

IMG_7147And the glorious ice cream machine.  This is my favourite part of a buffet, making my own ice cream cone.  I wanted to make a 4 inch tall ice cream cone like the ones you get at the night market but I gave up after two swirls HAHA.  I didn’t want to look like a crazy lady walking back to my table with a tall ass cone and possibly even trip and fall.  Aiyaaaa…

IMG_7152This was my dad’s second plate of seafood filled to the rim.  I told you he likes his seafood, just don’ t eat too much dad! You can get food poisoning, now no one wants that :S.

IMG_7154The lobster definitely was frozen. It didn’t have that nice crisp and plump tender of freshly cooked lobster, kind of sad actually.  When we eat lobster at home, the one part of the lobster that I look forward to is actually the shell.  Lobster bisque is my favourite, and making it at home just hits the spot. I didn’t take any pictures of my plate of food since I wanted to enjoy the time with my family and you wouldn’t want to see the mess on my plate haha.  It is always go time when we go to a buffet.  I’d plate things nicely on my plate but ain’t nobody got time for that!

IMG_7155Dessssserrrt~  The chocolate mousse that I never got to try since my dad stole it from me (naw I just gave it to him HAHA, saying stole for dramatic effect).

IMG_7156OHHHHH YEA.  This lychee jelly was my FAVOURITE part of the whole buffet. Seriously if you messed up on dessert, your buffet is done.  I think this jelly saved me from bad mouthing this buffet too too bad.  I had three of these.  This had the perfect amount of subtle sweetness and the freshness of the lychee, just YASSSSS~  Give me more of this.  There were these little sliver flakes on top of the jelly which I thought was aluminum foil HAHA, silly me. I’m like “why would the kitchen not check this! It’s so dangerous. Oh wait they’re those sliver flakes, nevermind~”ಠ_ಠ

IMG_7157Crap I forgot the name, but it was some type of mango cake.  So so with this one, slightly too sweet, nice mango flavour, not memorable though.

IMG_7158New York cheesecake, my favourite type of cheesecake :).  Nice, rich, good balance of cheese flavour.  The berry compote didn’t come with it, I just poured some over since it was sitting next to the cheesecake and thought it could be good with it (✪㉨✪).

IMG_7159Sugar free panna cotta
At first I thought the were little tofus on a spoon, but turned out they were panna cotta.  If this was a bit less sour, I would have liked it.  I think they put way too much lemon or whatever into it, I ate one bite and put it down. This was a no for me… Nice simple design tho, half gooseberry on top but the gooseberry was also sour so it didn’t help the cause.

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These didn’t come plated like this, they were just those ones where you can grab but I had to take a picture of it somehow haha.  The housemade marshmallow was nice actually, it was slightly bit more dense then the ones you would get at the supermarket.  It had a nice mango flavour to it, though I wouldn’t eat too much of it since it is literally  icing sugar, corn syrup and flavouring.  I don’t want to have a heart attack thank you.

The profiterole was decent, but I don’t like the filling inside.  I’d rather have like a creme anglais or a bavarian cream inside, the generic stuff doesn’t cut it.  It wasn’t even cream inside, I don’t know what it was.

And then there was the gluten free cookie.  Why I’m so against the gluten free trend (not counting if you are celiac) is that people are getting scared over the stupidest shit nowadays.  Oh I don’t want to eat carbs, oh my god gluten is going to kill me.  No it isn’t going to kill you, you know what is going to kill you, being a pu**y and being scared of gluten.  Do you know there is more fats and fillers to make “gluten free” products just so it could so called “taste” like what the product is suppose to be.  Asians have been eating rice their whole life and they don’t get fat, please explain to me why people are so damn picky nowadays.  Are we going to be scared of grass next.  Oh my god. Anyways, back to the cookie, you got me all worked up there cookie.  Dry, kinda hard and just sad. LOL.

Overall thought
Favours: 3/5
Food quality: 2.5/5
Food selection: 3.75/5
Price?:  $35 per person (on Friday night), $30 for seniors 55+

Recommend?:  No

Overall I wouldn’t recommend this buffet to anyone.  It was not a memorable buffet and the only reason we went was because I wanted to bring my dad out to a seafood night buffet.  Other then that, River Rock would have not been the first place I would voluntarily go or even go out of my way to go to.  Food selection wasn’t half bad, but the food quality, flavours and everything taken to account, the price was not justified to me.  I gave River Rock a chance to redeem themselves after so many years, but I guess some things never change.

What do you guys think?  Have you eaten here?  What buffets in the world would you recommend?  

Written by Christina

    2 Comments

  1. Marjolein Kucmer June 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm Reply

    Oooh I almost thought I would never eat meat again with those meaty pictures…things like that creeps my out… but I’m strong because I do recommend the “buffet” I’ll be making tomorrow, we’re going to BBQ tomorrow with a lot of meat. I’m the “chef” and some parts I’ll do with my eyes closed (I’m pro) haha. The desserts looks really nice though!

    • Christina June 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm Reply

      Haha I could go without meat but my body is weak, and I need the protein sadly. You’ll get through it! The desserts were good 😛

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