Restaurants & Bars 1

Genesis Buffet restaurant and the Art of Buffet

Vinnie Vidimangi | Feb 7, 2008 05:48 PM

3560 Victoria Park., at Tempo Ave. Above Aladdin's Palace , which I heartily recommend for the combo plates.

I was going to go to Aladdin's Place. The magic words appeared above, "All you can eat" .They hypnotized. Besides, this one looked interesting. It touted South American BBQ, Italian and Japanese cooking, let alone Chinese. Heaven knows that it is difficult enough to find in Toronto a good restaurant in any of the aforementioned styles of cooking, let alone all four styles in one establishment.

So hope triumphed over experience and I went in. It was the grand opening (two summers ago.) Yes, there were all these stations, really small kitchens. And there was more: Canadian Institutional- salads and dessert,( mostly from Sysco.) And the kitchens were very generous with expensive ingredients. But it was all crap. The ingredients were brutalized. And it was impossible to have a coherent meal. It was all discrete excrable stuff.
The cooks had very little idea what they were doing, they were out of cooking culture.

The sole exception was teh South American BBQ station. Why this in a Chinese buffet? The Owner , who is Chinese , had lived in Argentina, and had run a big buffet restuarant there. So he was familiar with the idea. In Toronto, a friend, one Juan, convinced him over his backyard BBQ that it was a good idea to add a BBQ station. Indeed Juan was stationed as the BBQ cook, and he was really good. I even would take the raw meat from the Italian station and ask him to BBQ it.

I had heard that the Chinese owner refused to take advise; he had reps from his suppliers working during his opening. Then one Juan and the wan one must have had an argument. No more Juan after a week. His replacements were some one Chinese and someone Mexican. It would not have been unreasonable to think that they had never BBQ'd before in their lives.

But things improved. Many expensive ingredients stopped being ruined. They were eliminated from the buffet.

Anyway it is possible to have a decent meal at Genesis. There is a steamed flat white fish in a soy ginger sauce. I have this as an appetizer with a bit of the sauce.Then I have the BBQ short ribs, medium. I hav e the chopped tomato salad, some pickling and celery ticks., a couple of sushi rolls with lots pickled ginger and wasabi (wasabi goes with the ribs). Dessert is cut fruit- oranges, grapefruit , pineapple, watermelon if it looks good. That's it. Period. ( The ice cream looks good , but I have never had it.)

So the Art of Buffet at Genesis is to try to make a coherent meal, and choose things that involve as little cooking as possible. And to pay $9.95 ,so it will be worth it. As`for supper, it is only more of the same- more ruined ingredients, so lunch is enough..


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