5 Halal Buffet Restaurants in East London
I have been trying some of the Halal Buffet Restaurants in East London (Ilford mostly) so thought of compiling a list to share with my lovely readers. I have reviewed JRC Global, Al-Qasr Buffet Restaurant, Spice Village, Gourmet Buffet Chinese Restaurant and Chaudhry's Buffet Restaurant mainly on the basis of availability of parking, seating and ambiance, cost and food.
We had gone to this buffet restaurant on a Friday evening for giving a farewell dinner to a guest. As the name says, JRC serves a buffet menu and has different food stations such as Indian, Chinese, Thai and Japanese along with desserts and drinks. The parking is available within 2 minutes walking distance and it was free when we parked which was on a Friday evening at around 9:00 pm. Although it is a buffet restaurant and it does have variety, not all the food is Halal, so make sure to check the labels before filling in your plate.
Since we had gone there on a weekend, the cost per person was £19.99 inclusive of unlimited drinks. Otherwise, if you wish to dine there during the weekdays, the cost would be £18.99 per person. You can check their rates and opening hours, here.
According to our liking, the quality and taste of the food was pretty average. Firstly, the Halal options were limited and some dishes were also bland but then they do have sauces and chutneys if you want to spice up the flavours. Also, they did not fill up if something finished. I walked around at least three times to check if they had refilled a couple of dishes I wanted to try but was disappointed.
For me, the desserts are very important and I always look at the desserts menu first, when opting for buffet dining. That's because I enjoy the desserts more than the savoury items. At JRC, they had all the English desserts such as profiteroles, macaroons, different sorts of cakes, chocolate fountain and an ice cream bar. They had 4 flavours of ice cream and you will find the quality pretty average if you are used to eating the high-quality ice creams.
Drinks include all the juices and soft drinks (soda) and also the hot drinks (tea/coffee). I am not too sure about the quantity allowed but at least one glass of beer is also available in the price. However, if someone wants some other drinks from the bar, there will be an extra cost for it. For the price, the overall experience was pretty average. Also, I would not prefer to go on a weekend if I have to go again because it was very busy and noisy on the evening we went.
AL-QASR Buffet Restaurant:
Tried the Al-Qasr buffet restaurant in Ley Street on the recommendation of a Twitter follower. Free parking is available just next to restaurant on a plot reserved only for the restaurant guests.
This time again it was a weekend and therefore, it was extremely busy and noisy. The major chunk of the noise came from the kids and from the guests attending the birthday party going on there. I would advise the owners to create an enclosed party hall for such gatherings so the other diners don't get disturbed.
The food was Pakistani buffet styled but the variety was quite good. Not a very posh setting and ambiance but the flavours were fine. I liked some of the starters and a couple of main dishes. Drinks are not included in the buffet price of £12.95 (weekend price) but they give complimentary unlimited green tea. The variety of desserts was also fine although they could add some more too, if they want.
Good for trying once. I might go there again because of the variety and flavour and the availability of parking but will choose a time when it might not be busy. If you wish to see their buffet menu, you can see here.
Spice Village is a Pakistani buffet restaurant but you can also go for the a la carte option. We decided to try the buffet because it gives more options and also includes the desserts.
The parking for Spice Village is available just across at the retail park nearby, is free and takes less than a minute by walk to get in the restaurant.
The sofa seating we were escorted to was comfortable and also gave us some privacy but if you prefer the traditional table and chair setting, that is available too!
I had seen the menu on their website before going to the restaurant and was quite happy with it but when I reached, there were many items that were missing. The quality of some of their food was good. I liked a few items on the menu especially the chana chaat (chickpea) and starters such as fish and chicken tikka.
Although the variety of the starters, salads and the mains was fine, they had very limited variety of the desserts. I think just around 4 things in all (rice pudding, vermicelli, suji halwa and gulab jamuns). The cost of the buffet at Spice Village is £12.95 (weekend price) per person.
Later after coming home when I was browsing their Facebook page, I came to know that they give free drinks. Had I known about it earlier, I would have gotten them too. The staff did come to ask about our order for drinks but didn't mention that they were included in the buffet price. Generally, buffet restaurants charge extra so that's what I had in mind too and preferred not to order. Do check with them about the drinks in case you plan on eating at Spice Village.
Gourmet Buffet Chinese Restaurant:
Gourmet Buffet Chinese Restaurant serves full Halal Chinese food. It's has a good variety and parking after 6:00 pm in the evening is free but it is a bit of walk from the parking spot to the restaurant, which is acceptable. The parking is available opposite the street behind a local school.
I think the evening buffet costs something around £12 per person (drinks not included), there is a variety of Chinese food but desserts are limited, just fruits and 4 flavours of ice cream. I think it was worth the money we paid as we got to eat a variety of Chinese dishes.
Although the staff was friendly, I just want to add that they prefer taking payments by cash on weekends so make sure you carry some in your pockets. A very special person I know loves Chinese food so if you know any other good Halal Chinese restaurant in London, please do let me know so I can try it out and treat him.
Chaudhrys Buffet Restaurant:
This is again a Pakistani buffet styled restaurant that serves mostly Pakistani food and a couple of Chinese dishes too.
There is a charged parking spot nearby, opposite a mosque, where ample parking is mostly available. On Sundays, the parking is free, otherwise it needs to be paid and displayed.
On entering, you need to pay before having the meal and the drinks are not included in the buffet price. As mentioned earlier, most of the dishes are Pakistani and there is also a live cooking station where you can see chefs cooking the food.
The restaurant is very spacious and they have a separate party hall for functions but I've heard the minimum number of guests should be 50.
The quality of the food was overall average and I personally think they have a lot of room to work on their buffet especially in terms of presentation. Husband did not like the Chinese dishes, so I didn't bother even tasting them, but I liked their starters such as chicken tikka. In desserts, I liked the Gulab jamuns and ice cream. For the children, they also have a chocolate fountain, that even BabyN' enjoyed.
Read more Halal Restaurant Reviews HERE.
Have you heard of or dined at any of these restaurants or is there any other Halal buffet restaurant in East London that you would like to recommend?
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