BUFFET BUDS: EPISODE 1 – DRAGON PEARL BUFFET
Welcome to Buffet Buds, the show where Toronto comedians JJ Liberman and Marc-Anthony Sinagoga search for the best in Buds and buffets. In our first episode we hit up the one and only Dragon Pearl Chinese Buffet in Toronto. We chose this buffet because when you hear the word buffet, you automatically think Chinese Buffet. They aren’t the originators of the Buffet, but they most definitely popularized the idea. Comedians Marc-Anthony and JJ have traveled the world with their comedy and if there’s one thing every town has in common, regardless of its size, it’s a Chinese buffet.
If you’ve never been to Dragon Pearl buffet, it’s a must! It’s one of the higher end Chinese Buffets in Canada. They have some many big-ticket items that most Asian buffets lack, for example; they have a good quality sushi station, a hot griddle station with authentic options such as; Chinese sausage, squid skewers, dumplings, short ribs, chive pancakes, pineapples. Marc-Anthony’s favorite section is the hot noodle bar. Showing JJ the ropes to the noodle bar was hilarious, JJ was treating the toppings to your noodle bowl as a salad bar! You get to choose your broth, your meat, noodle thickness as a robot is slicing them into a hot pot to order. That alone makes this $18.99 lunch buffet well worth it. The most distinctive dish is their Dragon Pearl, it is a huge sesame ball, they have a special chef will make it in front of you when you make an order and it costs $20.00 each. Unfortunately, they only have that for dinner service, so we didn’t get a chance to see it, however our outstanding dish, which you never see at Asian buffets was an authentic Peking duck station.
Since this was our first episode, we figured we needed a strain of cannabis that was a nice balance. We didn’t want to be blasted high to where we would melt into the booth, we just wanted a nice high to boost our appetites a little bit, while still being able to function. We chose ‘Balance’ by Solei. It’s a perfect balance between THC being 5mg/ml and CBD coming in at 9.5mg/ml. We smoked it using it king size RAW rolling papers giving us an incredible high walking in. We just didn’t know how high it would get us. There was a point where Marc-Anthony was gazing at his General Tso chicken for about 11 minutes while JJ was trying to use chop sticks to eat sheets of Iceberg lettuce.
Our first impression of Dragon Pearl was mind blowing, talk about being the most authentic Asian buffet on the planet. It makes the Mandarin look like a Burger King in the 90s. They have Asian Zen garden statues, a very cool lobby featuring all the symbols of the Asian calendar. We walk in higher than ever and they seat us at the huge booth that is shaped as an old Asian dragon boat, we felt like we were on set of Rush Hour 2. We started the buffet with very different approaches, JJ treats his buffets like a tradition meal, he starts with a salad appetizer, has his main, then dessert. Whereas Marc-Anthony attacks the buffet like it’s the last meal he’s ever going to have, no sign of vegetables or fruits, just a glutenous disaster. Our favorite moment of going to buffets is the victory lap, so when it’s all over, you’ve had dessert, what are you willing to go back for one last little taste. For JJ, it was the hot waffle with ice cream and sprinkles, like a classic toddler. For Marc-Anthony, it was also a hot waffle but with a size of Peking duck.
There is nothing we didn’t like about this buffet, the only thing that we both regretted was getting a little too high. Before we went into the restaurant, we were worried that we weren’t going to be high enough for the episode, so we took another few hits before the first session even kicked in. We found ourselves a little too high having long gaps of silence and chewing almost forgetting that we were even being filmed. We also wish that we went for the dinner service because there would have been more options for food and turnover, oh and of course, we would have been able to see the live making of the famous dragon pearl.
Overall Dragon Pearl Buffet gets the Buffet Buds stamp of approval. For the price you get really good quality food, a very diverse selection of all Asian cuisines and the dining experience is incredible. They do a great work at taking the America Asian buffet we all know and taking it to another level by making it Traditional in terms of food and decor. You know it’s good simply by the people in there, if it’s an Asian buffet and there are Asians in there, you know it’s good spot. Let’s just say that you never see Asian people at the Mandarin, unless they are working there.
Check out episode 1, Dragon Pearl on our YouTube channel Buffet Buds and follow us @BuffetBuds on Instagram for monthly prizes and giveaways. Thanks for watching!