Panda Garden Buffet
420 Hazeldean Road
Ottawa, ON K2L 4B2
(Van Leeuwen Centre)
Foods from Panda Garden Buffet
All You Can Eat Sushi
First post for this user
2010 Aug 20
I'm not a big fan of the all you can eat buffets- would much rather have something fresh and hot brought to the table, but I have to say...for a buffet, this was OK. Some stuff I liked...some I didn't. But, for the things I liked..I'd go back again. My husband quite liked the Sushi.
New User 2769
First post for this user
2010 Jun 18
EVERY negative review of this restaurant is DEAD-ON. Take it from me and DO NOT eat here. I am not one to listen to blogs or reviews but I sure should have in this case.
From the RUDE RUDE RUUDE staff who speak NO ENGLISH WHATSOEVER to the pickles that taste like BLOOD I will not be back. We got to the restaurant for my Grandfather's 80th birthday dinner and wanted to order the man a Scotch but the waitress failed to understand us. When we asked what kind of soda they offered for the kids she failed to understand that question as well. We all ended up drinking water, I guess that's what they want?
There was NO music playing in the background so since it wasn't busy AT ALL it made for a rather awkward environment. We decided to start with salad which was a mistake, the lettuce was bad and (no joke) the pickles tasted so much like BLOOD I gagged and couldn't eat the rest of my plate, and I am BY NO MEANS a picky eater. The macaroni salad tasted like bad coffee breath and the brocoli salad should not even be discussed. Oh and the clams and shrimp (which I wouldn't eat anyway) were rock hard and reeeally fishy- just for the record.
So we moved on to the "real" food (oh and by the way there were 14 of us at this dinner and we all pretty much shared the same opinion) the deep-fried food was about the only decent thing. I can't say much about the tasteless sticky rice or the rotten-looking noodles because I didn't touch either. The egg-rolls had ONLY bean sprouts in them and the entire "filling" fell out when I took a bite and as I'm sure you've read the spring rolls were practically raw. The mixed vegetables were awful and totally seemed like they had been previously frozen. Like I said, ALL of the negative reviews of this place were dead-on.
So once dinner was finished we chanced dessert and it was then that I noticed TWO large black flies sitting and feasting on the fruit salad while another couple hovered around the Jello- which was also as hard as rock. The ice cream flavours were plain and disappointing (as most Chinese buffets are) and the typical pastries were just bad, they had some peach bun which wasn't a peach bun at all but instead was filled with some dark brown bean-paste from another planet.
THEN as we are getting ready to finish up one of the barely-Engligh-speaking waitresses came up to our table and rudely insisted we let her know how the bills were being divided amongst us, we struggled through telling her and ended up having to get up and gesture to who was going on what bill etc. I'm not racist in the least but if you're going to open a restaurant in a predominantly causcasian community then you need to speak a bit of the language.
The bathrooms were relatively clean despite what some of the reviews say but honestly, SAVE YOUR MONEY! I don't know if it's because they don't care when it isn't busy but both the food and the staff were rather unpleasant, from having no music playing and the group of unfriendly young asian waitresses standing and staring at people (and not refilling drinks nearly enough) to the hard and stale food me nor anybody in my family will be back. We would have had a better meal ordering in from KFC or Pizza Pizza, honestly. There are SO MANY better Chinese buffet's in the city that are a million times better than this one, Yang Ming on Merivale is the best one I've found so far.
Anyway, there you have it! Listen to the negative comments, for real, you'll be doing yourself a favour. I don't blog or read these things often but I had such a terrible experience I felt the need to seek out a forum and give my two cents. Hopefully you'll make the right decision!
2010 May 10
Our family of 4 was looking forward to trying out the new Panda Garden buffet on Hazeldean Road and a family birthday celebration presented the perfect opportunity. Having just returned from our "meal", we could not be more disappointed. An all you can eat Chinese buffet can be a wonderful thing if the food is fresh and well prepared. Unfortunately, the Panda Garden buffet is a weak selection of poorly prepared and poorly presented deep fried, breaded, previously frozen dishes. Yuck! Almost everything is covered in a sweet and sour red sauce. Despite that, the food is dry, dry, dry. The steamed peach bun looked like it might hold some promise. Unfortunately, it was so stuck to its paper cup, I was unable to eat it. When it was cut in half, the filling had no peach. It might have been plum or it may have been soy bean paste. The vegetable dishes are few and far between. The chicken fried rice was cold and gummy. We dared not try the clams on the half shell which looked dry, hard and oddly discolored. The squid rings were rubbery and overly fishy meaning they had been frozen and might possibly have been past their prime. The dessert pastries were dried out and we are still wondering what the concoction was that looked like chicken broth and multi-colored mini marshmallow soup. The jello cubes were flavorless and hard. Even the ice cream was a disappointment.
The restaurant does not offer a menu or have any signs, inside or out, explaining pricing. You either have to ask or hope for the best. The tables have no place mats. The servers continuously remove your used plates but insist that you keep your knife and fork. Since there are no place mats or extra napkins, there is nowhere to put down your used cutlery, which is undoubtedly covered in sticky sauce. We found dirty plates in the stack of "clean" plates at the buffet. There was food debris under our table. The wooden seat backs of the booths were dirty and greasy with fingerprints.
On the plus side, the staff is friendly and fast with the free pop refills. You need that pop to wash down the disappointing bits of your meal. The parking is plentiful and free.
The Panda Garden is close to home and we love Chinese buffets. We really wanted to enjoy our meal at the Panda Garden. A tasty buffet here would have made this restaurant a regular family gathering spot. Unfortunately, we were all very, very disappointed. To put it bluntly, the food was gross. This will be our one and only visit there. We are not willing to spend money for the poor quality fare offered at this establishment.
Looks very good! But, you're far too neat! haha. My pic would include all of those items on one plate!
Plate after plate of yummyness!
2013 Jun 18
The quality here continues to be significantly above average. I'd say for $9.99 it is the tastiest and most diverse lunch option anywhere. Soups, sushi, dim sum, dessert, and all the usual fried and stir-fried meat and veg stuff.
And they have my favourite: bubble gum ice cream! :D
2010 Jul 31
I feel I need to post again, because either their quality is totally inconsistent or they've taken steps to improve things. Last week, I went with co-workers, saying, "Okay, let's give it one last shot before it goes out of business!"
Anyway, it was surprisingly full for a Wednesday, and most of the food was decent. Sure, some things were too sweet or a little bland, but nothing had a strange, unpalatable taste like before. Those plump shrimp were quite nice again this visit. Egg rolls were dismal (nothing but bean sprouts), but 80% of the food items were okay to good.
And I quite enjoyed my bowl of authentic Chinese blue bubble gum ice cream. ;-)
2010 Apr 2
Ashley, I agree. I went for another visit last week and the quality had already deteriorated since my first visit in February! At least half the dishes had a funny, almost chemical, taste. I actually left a piece of squid on my plate because it tasted so fishy. There were a few delicious items (like the crispy chicken wings), but the General Tso's Chicken was much worse than before. The Vegetable Shrimp were still plump but had a sort of astringency that left my teeth feeling fuzzy.
I tried one of those sweet fried pastry bow-tie things and it was stale! I'm very sad about this; I may have to return to
as my default.
2010 Apr 2
This place was very clean with very nice decoration inside (although we found that the tables did not match the deco).
In terms of variety, I think this place can't compare with
at all. Some of the dishes were alright (e.g., the
was tasty), some of the dishes were below-average (e.g., the fried noodles). The food items in row 1 and 2 (close to the cashier side) are almost identical (i.e., they duplicated the food items in each row). The Dim-Sum were not refilled and were cold.
We went on Saturday morning around noon. The place was only few tables full.
The service was pretty good. The young lady kept pouring hot water to our teapot.
For lunch, it is $10.50 (Sat-Sun) per person (before tax and tip). We paid $15 per person. It will be a long time for us to go back to this place again. For Chinese buffet, Buffet Yang Ming and Buffet Dragon are still the winners so far!
2010 Feb 17
Visited for lunch today and was quite pleased! Lots of selection, reasonable prices, and better than average buffet quality food... all reasons to come here instead of any other buffet west of Yang Ming.
Highlights were the General Tso's Chicken (almost restaurant quality, whereas all other buffet versions I've seen were not identifiable as GT's). All the fried chicken products were great, and the Vegetable Shrimp were nice and plump. There was a fairly well-stocked sushi bar at the back too. Some dim sum options sitting in steamers. Lots of ice cream flavours.
Very clean inside -- staff were even wiping down the legs of tables. Nice decor and high ceilings give the place a pleasant airy atmosphere.
I'll be back!
All You Can Eat Sushi
2013 Jun 18
The selection of maki sushi here is quite good. There were at least 12 different rolls to choose from, all quite well made. For an AYCE sushi place the quality of this sushi is just average, but for a Chinese buffet it is impressive!
(Also in this photo: dim sum.)
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