Whenever we ask our two children what kind of food they fancy when we’re thinking of dining out, the answer is always predictable.
“Chinese!” they always cry with glee - and buffets are always their favourite kind of Chinese as they love being able to try lots of different dishes, not to mention being able to eat until they’re fit to burst.
Although hubby and I are quite partial to Chinese food ourselves, we do emit a groan as while eating buffet style is nice now and then as a novelty or when on holiday, in the main, we prefer to enjoy a relaxing meal without having to constantly get up. Although we have healthy appetites, we’d always have quality over quantity.
Wonderland Chinese is somewhere where we’ve always been aware of as whenever we pop to Tesco in Leyland, we see it opposite and have been saying for years that we must try it sometime.
We got off to cross purposes to start with as the sign outside stated the Sunday buffet began from 1pm. But when we pushed open the restaurant doors practically on the dot, we were informed by staff that it didn’t actually start until 2pm.
We pondered whether to dine elsewhere, but were determined to fulfil our visit that day so we returned an hour later with our stomachs rumbling.
Happily for me and Hubby, we discovered on seeing the “buffet” menu that it wasn’t actually a buffet in the strictest sense at all.
Instead, the Happy Sunday Buffet priced at £9.99 for adults and £5.50 for children under 10 consisted of appetisers, main courses, side dishes and banana fritters to finish with the idea being that you order the food and they freshly cook it and serve it to the table and you can keep on ordering more until you’re full... or go pop.
This suited us all down to the ground and we began with chicken and sweetcorn soup all round with prawn crackers. The soup was sublime as not only was it full of flavour, it was packed with chicken. It was definitely one of the tastiest Chinese soups we’ve had.
For appetisers, we chose one option each and between us ordered salt and pepper mushrooms, salt and pepper chicken wings, prawn on toast and spare ribs. We expected to get enough of each portion to try a piece of everything, so we couldn’t believe our eyes when the friendly waitress brought over a huge platter heaving with the selection of starters - and a separate dish of spare ribs.
And it wasn’t just quantity that impressed us as everything was brimming with quality flavours and ingredients.
The salt and pepper mushrooms in particular were a hit as they were so tasty, as were the coated chicken wings. And the prawn toasts were filled with succulent prawns while the ribs went down a treat with our children.
For mains, we had ginger and spring onion beef, chicken chill black bean sauce, sweet and sour chicken balls and a chicken curry.
Again, the portions were very generous and everything tasted fantastic with flavour full sauces and tender and good quality meat and tasty vegetables.
The sides of chow mein, egg fried rice and chips were all spot on too.
We struggled to get through it but gamefully persevered as it was too delicious to leave.
I was the only one who forced down a banana fritter - for review purposes only you understand – and it was as great quality as the rest of the meal.
The staff definitely weren’t tight with the “order as much as you want” concept as we were asked a few times if we wanted to order anything else... although how anyone could manage any more we don’t know.
The only slight criticism from my son who has a real aversion to bananas was that he wished they offered an alternative dessert such as ice-cream.
The bill came to under £50 with a soft drink apiece.