In the run up to Chinese New Year, I was wondering where to have a nice new year family dinner. Google decided to throw me a bone and suggested @tunglokgroup A La Carte Deluxe Seafood Buffet, which offers an impressive all you can eat selection of Chinese staples at $59.80++ per person. The variety on offer on the menu was incredible, but the individual dishes themselves didn’t inspire the same level of awe.⠀

Each table gets one serving of several special dishes, which includes Tung Lok’s famous chili crab. The crab portion is tailored to the number of patrons per table, so since it was only my dad & I, we got a claw, two legs and a whole lot of chili crab gravy. Pro tip: pull up to Tung Lok’s buffet with a big group for maximum crab. I’m not sure if it’s a difference in the standards between outlets, or if there was a drop in standard, but the chili crab wasn’t as sumptuous as I remember it to be. The gravy was a little watery, and it was lacking a bit of salt. Fortunately, the crab itself was fantastically fresh, so that’s a bit of a save.⠀

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as the Braised Whole Abalone With Vegetables in Oyster Sauce and the Sautéed Scallops and Broccoli in XO Sauce were downright delish with flawlessly fresh & expertly cooked seafood starring in both dishes. The two most impressive dishes to feature from the buffet menu were the stellar Salmon Sashimi and the Deep Fried Sea Bass with Light Soy Sauce, and I wasn’t expecting either to be such a hit.⠀

The salmon was sliced to a tasteful thickness, and it was so breathtakingly fresh it puts sushi restaurants to shame. I never expected Tung Lok to serve up such sublime sashimi, but I’m glad they did. As for the sea bass, there was a distressing lack of sauce, but the fish was fantastically fried and remarkably fresh, boasting moist, firm flesh that was just begging to be devoured.⠀

Even though the dishes aren’t particularly superb, the extent of the spread alone makes the $59.80++ price of admission fairly worth it.