City Taste & Tipples: Friendly style with fresh take on a favourite

Tuck in: The Chinese Buffet.
Tuck in: The Chinese Buffet.

It’s a British favourite and a familiar host for everything from an evening meal on the town to a family birthday.

The goal for area manager Kevin Mao and The Chinese Buffet was how to modernise a traditional institution without losing the simplicity that made it popular.

Tuck in: The Chinese Buffet has 11 branches, mostly in the north of England.

Tuck in: The Chinese Buffet has 11 branches, mostly in the north of England.

Kevin left Shanghai – a super-city around 250 times bigger than Wakefield, – aged 19 to train in Ireland before working in hotels and restaurants across the UK.

Kevin said: “I was an only child in my family so it was a big deal for my parents when I asked to move to the other side of the world, but it was what I wanted.”

Kevin, 35, knows the stereotypes of old Chinese buffets and opted for an open kitchen and freshly cooked food to bring the Trinity Walk restaurant up to date.

He said: “We wanted to bring an a la carte quality to our buffet and we wanted our customers to be able to see the way their food is made with their own eyes.

“And we try to get to know our customers, greeting them with a ‘ni hao’ or ‘hello’.”

Another old theme of buffets that Kevin is trying to move away from is the trend of piling food high on one plate, rather that trying a litte bit of everything taht is on offer.

He said: “The phrase we use is ‘the smaller the portion, the bigger the selection’.

“I want customers to try everything rather than get full on one plate and have to throw the towel in.”

There’s everything on the menu you would expect from spring rolls to crispy duck, with a bigger evening menu branching out into sushi and dim sum.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: - noon - 3pm and 5pm to 10pm
Friday: Noon - 3pm and 5pm - 10:30pm
Saturday: Noon - 10.30pm
Sunday: Noon - 9.30pm

Events: The Chinese Buffet, in Trinity Walk, caters for birthdays, family parties, business events, and recently hosted a wedding party.