Buffet Casa Corfu, located in the Vieux Rosemont district. This place has been around for a few years now, and I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials advertising the huge all-you-can-eat buffet they offer on CTV News. And selection they have. As long as you pace yourself, you’ll be able to get to try a bit of everything on the menu, but if you pile up your plate too soon, then you’ll miss out on some of the best food items, like their rich and delicious dessert section. I’ve always wanted to go, and so I decided to gather a few friends and try it out one night.
We walked in, and were greeted by a man in a business suit and a walkie-talkie, he called one of the waitstaff who quickly whisked us away through the buffet and up the stairs to our table, overlooking the entire buffet with a view across the restaurant at the street below. Our waitress arrived, brought us glasses of water and offered to bring soup to our table.
After finishing our soup, which was hot and quite tasty, we began to wrap our heads around the sheer size of the buffet. Over 100 dishes all divided into their country of origin. Italian foods, such as pastas and pizza in one corner, Greek and Indian food in the middle and Chinese Food on the other corner. Along the borders are a salad bar with dozens of salads and fresh fruits, an ice cream bar with a variety of toppings, a sushi bar, followed by a roast section with a chef cutting fresh slices of turkey, chicken, beef, lamb and pork, all to order. Next to that is the seafood and across is the dessert section, with a dessert chef maintaining the cakes and pies at all times.
I did have one issue with the buffet itself. The bright red heat lamps. I could not see what I was selecting from the buffet. Everything was just bright red. But that wasn’t the real issue. These heat lamps were only there for decoration, because all of the food was lukewarm. And we ate around 7pm, so it’s not like we arrived just before they closed, the place was full, and the food was being brought out fresh. It just happens that nothing was really all that hot.
I’m not really a fan of buffet sushi, but when I saw the two Japanese chefs continuously making fresh sushi, so I decided that I had to try it out. And yes, it was fresh and included all of the usual accompaniments that are found at sushi bars, such as chop-sticks, soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.
The main buffet items may not have been that hot, but the specialty items, such as the roast meat section was certainly as fresh as it could get. The chicken was actually rotating on a spit at the buffet, and the chef would slice off pieces for you when you arrive. The beef was cooked perfectly, and the various sauces and side dishes nearby were quite delicious. Unfortunately though I wasn’t able to try out one of the filet of sole dish due to the fact that someone had just sneezed into it. I thought that’s what the sneeze guard was there for. Guess it doesn’t work if you stick your head under it, and then don’t have the decency to turn away. Well, I suppose things like this happen in a buffet setting, but gross.
After finishing up these dishes, I headed down to the salad bar to cleanse my palette and wait to see if I would have more room for the desserts. With over a dozen salad items, I had a hard time to select a few items, because I still wanted to have room for dessert, and by now I was already pretty full. I chose a few leaves of lettuce, some light dressings and a few cold pasta salads.
NOW, time for dessert. What should I eat? I know I want to try out the ice cream bar, and those cakes look delicious, especially the cheesecake and the cupcakes. I wanted to try them all, and I did fill my plate, but sadly I wasn’t able to finish everything, but did get to take a few bites from each dessert, and it was all so delicious and sugary sweet. The dessert chef was quite proud of his section as he promptly filled up any empty spaces left from the buffet-goers.
Payment time. Our bill was brought to the table, and when I asked if they had Interac debit payment, they said I could use their ATM machine ($2.99 fee, plus bank fees). I noticed the machine when first entered, but I saw them walking around with wireless pinpads, so I figured that they would naturally have Interac. If I really didn’t want to try this place, I probably would have avoided eating here, just on this basis alone. I never carry cash with me, so not having debit payment available in a restaurant that charges almost $20 for their buffet disappoints me to say the least. I did manage to pay with my credit card, but I’m not crazy about credit either, but it’s always good to have a backup plan for just such emergencies.
So all in all it was a decent meal. A lot of chefs working on the buffet floor maintaining the dishes and bringing out fresh food. The temperature of the food in the main buffet area was unacceptable, especially considering they had bright red heat lamps that really were only for show, but hid what the actual food looked like. The prices I must say are quite a bit steeper than I had imagined, especially since there were no real standout expensive food items in the buffet to warrant such a price, but the service was quite good. Water glass was refilled very often, and thankfully so. The food was heavily salted and the water really helped wash it all down. I would probably return again someday, but I don’t think I’ll make it a regular place to visit, unless I try it again at lunch and compare it with the dinner buffet. No Interac is completely unacceptable in this day in age. Almost like going into a coffee shop that doesn’t have free Wi-Fi.