Golden Terrace: Lunch on the fly
Address: 245 King Street
Phone Number: 204-944-9400
All-you-can-eat buffets can be very scary propositions.
We've all heard horror stories about unclean operations, gastrointestinal germs running amok and old food on the steam table. The whole sharing of serving implements with strangers and sneeze guarded food is a bit off putting too.
For all those reasons, buffets have been the bane of my career in eating.
But on advice from a friend, I shelved my distain for buffets, took a time out from my food fetishes, and had lunch at Golden Terrace in Winnipeg's Chinatown.
The instant we walked in I knew things were looking up. The dining room was populated with Chinese Winnipeggers digging into plates of chow mein, ginger fried beef, fried rice and the like.
If locals love the food, that's always a pretty good sign. The dining room was clean but a touch on the dark side. That said, the buffet table was pristine, well maintained and a hive of activity by customers and attentive staff.
The lunch buffet was stocked with 14 classic North American-Chinese dishes, sauces and soups. All the favourites made appearances including chicken balls, mixed stir-fried vegetables, chow mein, ginger beef, fried and white rice and wonton crisps. Hot and sour soup, wonton soup and two additional vegetarian vegetable mixes were also on the table. Crispy fried chicken wings—an oddity on a Chinese menu—were also there for the taking.
Staff buzzed around the buffet making sure supplies weren't running low. Errant drips, spills and minor food mishaps were quickly wiped from the stainless steel buffet. (Word to wise eaters: Take a quick look at the buffet table before ordering. It should be clean folks.)
Golden Terrace isn't breaking new ground with its traditional North American-Chinese food fare but it hits all the high points. The ginger beef is a sweet and sticky, spicy gingery treat. Vegetables were crisp, fresh and flash fried. (No limping broccoli or sagging cauliflower to be seen.) Chicken balls (battered and fried) were exactly as expected. A splash of sweet and sour sauce brightened the bites. Wonton crisps (served without meat) delivered crispy crunch on the plate and were a perfect sweet and sour sauce delivery system.
And at $9.50 per person Golden Terrace's all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is also quite affordable. The buffet runs Monday to Friday from 11a.m. to 2 p.m.