I confess, I had never been to one. Never.The only buffet experiences I have had were in Vegas or at a local Indian Casino. Neither would I consider "destination restaurants" by any means. But, a friend told me about "Wonderful Buffet" on the Guide Meridian (near Wendy's). She said it was different. I went on a Friday night and the place was packed with Asian Canadians. Much of the staff didn't speak English ( I took this as a good sign that maybe they could have decent chow here).
We ordered some white wine...actually it was a question that turned into an order..."do you have a chardonnay?'...a smile, a nod, and then 2 glasses appeared, full to the rim. It was fine. I have no idea what wine it was.
The buffet was HUGE. I was pleased that they had a sushi maker right there (beautiful stuff) - they had decent seafood like little steamer clams, crayfish and crab- as well as a big tub of frog legs! They had a bit of dim sum, a smaller green salad buffet and a huge desert buffet. This was certainly a place where you go for protein....vegetarians would be out of luck for the most part. Most of the food was really pretty good (some things were awful) but the value was astounding. It would have been worth going just for a huge bowl of fresh crab legs, butter prawns and steamer clams with salad :) We had 2 glasses of the cheap chard each and 2 buffets for 40 bucks. I usually pay 30 dollars just for the wine for a Friday night out. I thought that much was under-seasoned but at least it wasn't the typical noodle/rice/ gloppy sauce Chinese junk food. It was kind of "different".
After that positive experience, we decided to try another one! It was the week of Chinese buffet experiments :0).
We tried "Super Buffet" also on the Guide Meridian but by Cost Cutter. This time on a Thursday night. Not as busy and the customers were not strictly Asian or Canadian. This one was just as huge, didn't have a special sushi person...but had a BBQ person "Mongolian BBQ style". Kinda fun. They also had a ton of sushi items, lots of seafood- but the food tasted quite a bit more "American Chinese" in flavor and style...my spouse calls it "MSG American Chinese". I also like that style sometimes and just consider it "junk food" -but it didn't go over real well. Same deal though- wine for $3.50 per glass and the buffet is $13.99 each. Again, I have no idea what kind of wine it was- but it was kind of "innocuous" but very, very drinkable.
I have had comparable food and drink from more "upscale" establishments around here for twice the price. I think if you can be selective at a buffet (and not want to "try everything") and like seafood- I would encourage you to give these places a try. I will go again sometime this year. I will go to Wonderful Buffet, order the Chardonnay (?) and choose the little clams, butter prawns, crab legs, frogs legs, broccoli beef and green salad. Very fun and interesting :)