City Light Buffet

Apr 08 2009

450 Topsail Road
747-8377

60 responses so far

  1. hungryhungryhippo

    Sherrie– either you broke in there at four in the morning or you hallucinated your experience, because when I went to City Light it was really really enjoyable and I can’t imagine it being any other way. The people were friendly, the waitresses were not wearing baggy gym pants, all of the food was hot and excellent, there was a lot of variety, and for a busy all you can eat buffet, the atmosphere was relaxed.

  2. I agree with Sherrie. I thought it was an unpleasant experience. The food was awful. There was no variety and more than half of the buffet trays were empty. I went there lunch time, and I’ve heard that supper is a much better experience, but I do not foresee myself going back to find out myself. The waitresses weren’t wearing baggy clothes on my trip there, but I didn’t find them helpful, or very friendly either. I asked one if they had an beef and broccoli and she said if it’s not out, we don’t have it. Very rude. I also did not enjoying paying before I ate I guess they want to ensure that they don’t have to give discounts for the lack of food quality.

  3. When I walked in,it smelled like grease.WHen I ate the food it tasted like pure grease.When I left,I smelled like grease.The selection was not terrific,nothing on the buffet stood out. For the same amount of money you can do much better elsewhere.

  4. Went there a week ago with some friends and family, the food was ok. It wasn’t the best buffett I’ve ever had but it was not the worst either. There were some things they did really well and surprised me with like the steamed black and red bean buns and the hot flaky apple/pineapple pie. However the wonton soup, fried rice, and black bean chicken were so salty I couldn’t finish them. Luckily they had plain steamed white rice too. Loads of choice but that’s mostly a novelty because aside from a few stand out dishes it was average.

  5. As the name implies, I’m hard to please when it comes to restaurants. I enjoy eating out but want good food and good service without compromise.

    I found this at City Light Buffet. What a great experience! Lots of variety – and all the dishes were good. And this is not a novelty!!! When you have young children it’s invaluable. Especially as every dish we tried was very well prepared. My family and my friend’s family all found plenty of dishes that they really enjoyed.

    The service was great, we went during a very busy time and there was always hot food ready at the buffet and there were always very neatly dressed servers ready to help with every aspect of our dining experience.

    The restaurant was also very clean and well decorated. Not to fault the old “Ponderosa” but the City Light team certainly did a great job in remodeling the place.

    The price was very reasonable for what you received. I will certainly be a repeat customer.

  6. The Unknown Critic

    Food is good I have been to worst places (ie) a certain chinese buffet in Mount pearl that has gone completely down hill…

    Spicy chicken/some of the sushi/steamed buns black bean sauce dishes are high lights

    overall not bad

    have returned and will return again priced very reasonable

  7. Very pleased with selection and quality of the food; have been 3 times and each time service was OK, not top-notch, but OK. Much better than the many cheap, poor-quality Asian buffets that St. John’s has been used to.

  8. The food is very good. THe atmosphere is very good. The staff is very good. This is an excellent restaurant. Having dined there on several occassions, I have never been dissappointed. I highly recommend this for personal dining, business or otherwise. Suitable for all occasions.

  9. it sucks and smells in the back no very expensive and not good a rip off

  10. Best Chinese buffet in Newfoundland by FAR. They offer authentic Asian dishes, not just typical deep fried stuff like chicken balls and egg rolls.

  11. Having lived in St John’s 22 years and having eaten at most of the Chinese restaurants in town, it is clear that City Light wins hands down for variety, flavour, freshness, and value. (1) Variety: chicken, duck, beef, pork, shrimp, mussels, frog legs (!), squid, in multiple forms, many times in novel combinations otherwise unseen elsewhere in town. We went back three times, and never really made it to the sushi table. Half the things I didn’t try and will have to go back next time. (2) I love hot and sour soup, and potstickers. This is the first time I’ve had them in town without being disappointed. The roast duck was perfect. (3) We got there at 7P, the pans were constantly refilled and two items empty on first pass were full the second time. Grabbed spring rolls fresh from the kitchen, so hot they sizzled on the tongue. Crisp vegetables, non-rubbery squid (a real trick). (4) Superb value – I make it $15 @ with tax, and once over the shock enjoyed having payment over with ahead of the meal, so we just relaxed into it. Wait staff were busy, but we got their attention for chopsticks, tea refills (one volunteered, If you like it, it’s Oolong. Owner (I assume) was constantly in motion seating guests, talking to us, etc. (5) By the way, children and the less adventurous will find chicken wings of several sorts, fries and onion rings, salads and bottomless tubs of ice cream.

  12. Forgot to rate this 5 stars, since there aren’t six

  13. Visited City Lights Sept 16 for evening buffet. We were one of the first people there. We found that most of the food was cold. Over by the buffet table the back door was open and it was cold there. My daughter had meatballs and there were pink inside. My grandson had fries and they were cold. Wasn’t very impressed today, after paying $57.
    I’ve been there before on two occasions on weekends.. No complaints then, just today. If I go back it will be on weekends, seems like the food is hotter and more variety. I’ll give it 2 stars today.

  14. Only buffet place that serves authentic chinese food! And we love the take-out buffet option, for when you’re craving a real meal and you dont have much time. 4 tables of food, such great variety! And who else serves all u can eat sushi? Oh, and 8 different types of ice cream?! Definitely not for close-minded people as this place serves dishes you cant get anywhere else in St. John’s. Oh, and if this place sucks so bad, why is there always a crowd there?

  15. I found the variety to be great for a lunch buffet and I did not pay until I finished.I thought it was worth checking out again, especially the supper buffet!!

  16. City Lights Buffet, was a fair meal on M-F lunch for the price. my first experience was on a Saturday, paid a bit more, but received a better assortment of seafood dishes. Particularly enjoyed squid, and Salmon. Found the wait-staff nice and friendly. at the time had to pay first, sounds like the managment made some changes to pay after the meal. that seems more reasonable. had two good experiences with food and service 4/5 stars

  17. I love City lights, FINALLY a real fusion of traditional foods that I could not find served in the city. The Chinese buns are wonderful, and now I make some at home. The servers are normally very nice, the setting is beautiful, and another reason for me personally are the asian men eye candy there, many of the very good looking! A pleasure to all the sense’s! City Lights, I love you!!

  18. October 24, 2009 – Evening Buffett

    We had an absolutely fantastic meal at the evening buffet!
    Received excellent service although we had to wait a short while for a table but the meal was well worth waiting for.
    Everything was fresh, hot and very tasty. Can’t wait to go back again!
    Highly reccomended!!

  19. You paid 57$ for 3 people and you expect anything better? I can’t get a steak for $57 dollars in most restaurants.

  20. I didnt think there was anything terribly special about this place one way or the other, although I may be biased as I’m not a big fan of Chinese fast food to begin with. I didnt like being expected to pay before I ate, it just didnt seem right. Also, the orange slices at the dessert section of the buffet were literally rotten.

    Overall it was about what I expected from a fast food buffet. I forget what I paid, but it was probably too much, although thats my fault for agreeing to go to this type of restaurant to begin with. Minus one star for the rotten oranges and having to pay up front.

  21. On my way there tonight, I’ve been once before and loved it never got to try it all there was so much food. mostly the trays were topped up service was excellent dont really bother me to pay first.

  22. This is my favourite place to eat in St. John’s. The food is delicious, the staff is wonderful, and everything is very clean. It’s very reasonably priced too and if you don’t have time to sit down they offer a full take out menu (on which you can find the best Shrimp with Lobster Sauce in town) or you can make selections from the buffet to go. They have a HUGE selection of all different kinds of cuisine so it’s great for when everyone in your party wants something different. I eat here all the time and have never found anything negative to remark on, they’re great!

  23. Terrible restaurant. Went there once and swore I would never go back again!

  24. Today was the first time I ever ate at City Lights and it will be my last.
    I am a lover of Chinese food but this place turned me. Not one thing I had was good. I have never had an egg roll that I didnt like except for this place.It was damn near disgusting. My family was also disgusted. After spending $73 I felt like I threw it out the window. I think its the first restaurant I ever went that napkins were considered SPIT TOWELS. My family and I will never go there again. I wouldnt even rate this a one star but I have to.

  25. We eat there at least once a month, the variety is great, Sushi is awesome, service is always fast, friendly and efficient. I highly recommend City Light Buffet!!

  26. WELL ,good to be back, went to my favorite restaurant today, CITY LIGHTS ,TOPSAIL RD. Get a kick out of some of the negativity ,either still eating the green boughs or don’t know better. Have just spent about three months in ontario eating at all types of restaurants and will say a real thrill to be able to eat here. Was greeted in the usual way by a very friendly hostess ,seated quickly , was told if there wasn’t enough of a certain food more would be supplied. All the time this young lady smiled as she spoke. As usual the food was great ,slection was good , food fresh ,even learned to like sushi since i’ve been going there.The owner stopped by to say a very friendly hi.The other ladies i hadn’t seen in awhile stopped to say hi. Paid on the way out ,( no problem either way).If some of these others know a better place in NL. let me know . For me this place is #1.The friendliest and best food. Looking forward to going back and enjoying my next meal.

  27. I love City Light Buffet – the staff are always so friendly, especially the woman at the counter. She always makes sure to thank you and to tell you to have a good night. The food is great with a lot of variety, however I think some of it may be different than what some are used to in other chinese restaraunts i.e. chicken balls and rice. It seems to me that they serve more traditional foods and they even offer sushi. They have now changed it so that you pay after you have eaten. I did visit there first when it opened and a waitress was wearing a hot pink velour Victoria’s Secret tracksuit, but ever since it seems like the staff are always dressed professionally.

  28. i went there a while ago and the food was good but not great. they had a good selection well it was good enough for me. alot of the food was salty and i would much rather pay when i was leaving. the decorations were wonderful and the waters were clean and very well dressed. they even had a few chinese waters i found that cool. i agree that the food wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst either.

  29. I thought it was not bad as far as St.john\’s goes . Lots to choose from ( at supper anyway ) , a little pricey at 20 bucks if you don\’t eat meat . The salad bar was scant at best , but they made up for it with several noodle dishes . Worst thing , no baby change table . I asked and they said I could pull a chair in . Kinda unsafe and gross . Would you want to sit on it when I was done ? I would go back …maybe with out the kid ……

  30. Hi!
    My wife and me have our meal at least once a week at City light Buffet.

    Simply because it’s a great experience. The food, no the traditional “super fried, super salty” things that we see a lot in St John’s, but seafood…
    The service is very good, but the environment… that’s excellent! even when it’s full with people, the atmosphere is still relaxed and pleasant.
    The price, I’d say is cheap, for the variety they offer.
    We love City Light, it’s a great place to have a nice meal, either lunch or supper.

    Jaime

  31. ate there two nights ago- loved it – the sushi was awesome according to my boyfriend -i was full before getting to the sushi table LOL – we are going back for sure :)

  32. The food here is FANTASTIC, authentic asian selection, asian waitors and waitresses, asian themed, an overall asian experience, not only is the food GREAT, the service is too, i greatly enjoy the general tso\’s chicken. TRY IT!!

  33. my friend eats there regularly. i know why now after dining there this week with him. the staff were very friendly, especially the manager. although the food was fine, the behavior of the manager was not. in fact, it could have been more respectful had the manager spent less time flirting with my friend whenever i turned my back. if i may make a recommendation, it’s that the manager not be so curious about the personal information of a man, especially when he is dining with a lady and focus more on advertising the food and not herself.

  34. Took my daughter tonight after reading some of the good reviews, was totally disappointed. I never did actually see a price posted anywhere, I would imagine it is at the front desk somewhere but all I saw was the price for soft drinks @ 1.99 with free refills on pop.
    We went back and forth with plates of stuff 3 times but not because we were loading up on the delicious food, instead we had to keep going back and forth trying to find anything that was edible and then leaving the uneaten food after tasting it.

    First time I tried chicken balls with sweet and sour gross the chicken was tough, didn’t think anyone could ruin that dish, the broccoli was so salty it was inedible, duck was stringy, chicken skewers/kabobs were welded onto the skewer I could barely pull them off the stick. Apple pineapple pie was just a soggy mess, cheesecake was like sawdust etc etc I am giving 1 star for the one piece of coconut chicken I managed to claim before the dish was empty for the rest of our visit and for the fresh melon which I guess they couldn’t screw up.

    And don’t count on the free refills on your pop the staff is unfriendly, they don’t make eye contact just keep themselves busy looking elsewhere, even though they remove your used plate while you are away from the table and they can see your pop is gone they don’t ask if you would like a refill and like I said short of tripping them as they walk by looking the other way you are not going to get a chance to ask for a refill.

    Altogether a waste of 45.00, which was a shock, I asked how much was the buffet anyway, the muttered reply sounded like 17 something and 1.99 for pop so not quite sure how that added up to 45.00 but let if go thinking I’ll check my bill in private later but upon checking the bill it is just a cashiers tape saying 45.00 no itemized description so it will remain a mystery as we never plan on going back, that’s an hour of my life I will never get back, shame on me, I should have heeded the numerous bad reviews on here!

  35. Great supper buffet. Love this place! Recommended to the fullest

  36. We ate here last night and have to saw we really enjoyed it. We came for sushi because the other place we frequent was closed and we really wanted to have it. I did not eat anything besides the sushi, soup, veggie spring rolls and squid, and it was all delicious. Polite and efficient staff and a great interior made this a great meal!

  37. We visit city light tonight, and i have to say it was awesome, big selection of food,which was fresh and hot,lots of deserts including many flavors if ice cream.
    the service was great,fast and friendly,building was very clean and well decorated, staff was neat in appearance and well dressed.
    the price was also great roughly $20 per person….we will go there again…

  38. it was ok, im nto a fan of buffets anyways after an experience i had.

  39. OK the very cool thing about this place is: they have all these vegetarian dishes that are actually meat dishes normally, like kung pow chicken etc, and they use these soy strip things as delicious substitutes. So much better than a boring vegetarian alternative.

    it was fun to finally taste the flavours and spices that people get in the regular chinese food meat dishes.

    so very cool place for vegetarians!

  40. Went there twice at lunch time. Won’t go again. Food was average and selection not so great.

  41. (actual rating: 0)
    After reading positive reviews I went here.
    Absolutely horrible. Servers were horrible and rude.
    No fresh food even on a busy night.
    I ate from the sushi bar because it was the only edible thing there.

    Do not go here no matter what you read elsewhere. Bird’s nest or china house are much better.

  42. WE LOVE THIS PLACE!!! My hubby and I started going there when they first opened and have continued at least once a month since. We now go with our little boy who LOVES to visit the waitresses who know us well and often take him for walks around the restaurant. Where else can you go for great, hot, delicious, food with great variety AND all you can eat Sushi as well?? Neither my hubby nor I in the 30 or more times we have been there, have ever been disappointed. The staff are wonderful and friendly too. 5 stars from all three of us!!!!!!!!

  43. In my opinion the best Chinese buffet in the city.I lived in China for 3 years and actually found some of the real authentic Chinese food I used to eat over there at city light.

    Good variety and very friendly staff.Some of the staff have poor English, but that just makes the place more genuine.

    I usually eat there once a month and really like the fact that they have a take out option at the buffet where they simply weigh your stuff as you leave and you pay accordingly.Very convenient and not too bad for $6.99 a pound.

    My only complaint with the place is that sometimes the buffet trays aren’t refilled quickly enough so you can’t get the item you want and many of the authentic Chinese items like the roasted duck,are only available during the weekends.

  44. It has quite a selection, it is fresh and clean!

  45. for the price they charge you would think they would keep the buffet filled up.they should realize that the late customers are just has important as the earlier ones.

  46. One of the few places in town where I can get tofu delivered! Love the food at City Light!

  47. not a bad spot, if your after amazing chinese place, well first you shouldnt go to a buffet to get it!!!

    i agree with some comments, i have been there at lunch time, start of dinner time and “later” if you go “later” there is not left to choose from, as they dont refill it…..but if you go before 8, you should get some good food!! service is a bit poor , but its a buffet, just order 4x your drinks when you first order and dont have to worry about service

  48. The first time I ate there,I swore solemnly that it would be the last.I wasn’t that lucky. I ended up going there to a family birthday dinner. Another family member made the reservation ( I would have known better). The only time we could all get together was 3pm. Apparently they close for an hour or so between lunch and dinner . The reservation was for 10 people,so they told the person making the reservation that “although we are closed at 3 pm,you can still come. yeah,still come and eat the dry scraps of leftovers burnt on to the chafing dishes.They didnt replenish anything. when they reopened and new diners started coming in,they started to put out new food. I can assure you,there will not be a third time.

  49. My husband and I went to City Light for lunch today at about 2 o’clock. We really enjoyed it. The food wasn’t fantastic, but it was good for a buffet. There was plenty of variety and the service was great. The staff were very freiendly and visited our table many times. We didnt’ have to pay until after we ate. We were disappointed with the desserts, they were very plain and tasteless, things like plain spongecake and marshmallows with a dab of chocolate on them. There was a great variety of ice cream though and we really enjoyed that. The restaurant was beutiful, bathrooms were stylish and clean. For 11.99 a person we thought that it was fairly priced. There was a fantastic variety on the buffet and we enjoyed the food. Would definatly go back again.

  50. LOVE IT!!!
    Food was great, service good … coconut chicken to DIE for … 4 stars

  51. Classic chinese buffet with all the normal staples such as chicken balls, tso chicken, etc. The sushi is a nice touch although it doesn’t seem quite all that fresh to me for some reason even though you can see them making it.

    I recommend this place!

  52. I moved from Vancouver to St. John's 3 years ago and trust me when I say, out of all the Chinese places I've dined at, City Lights wins. It is pricey but hey, the amount of food provided was a fair trade off.

  53. Remember when me, you and jennifer went out there that night!! All I ate was coconut chicken!! I still do that :)

  54. Geez, is it 3 years already? Are you sure?

  55. City lights is one of the best chinese restaurants in town. I have ate food from there about four or five times now mostly take out but I had the buffet once and plan on going back. I particularly enjoy the general tao chicken and chicken chow mein.Trust me I have ate at alot of chinese restaurants and this is up with the best of them and very reasonably priced too.

  56. food was mediocre, although i liked the variety and liked that they had the name cards on each dish. i went for the first time and was not even offered a menu or anything.

  57. City lights is one of the best Chinese restaurants in town and very reasonably priced too.Lot of variety & friendly crew

    I will go again

    susi
    chicken
    prawns
    beef
    vegi

    you name it every thing is available
    great buffet
    well done City Light

  58. won’t go back there… food was horrible… service was bad… don’t know how much they pay the reviewers who give them 5 stars… if anybody notices, after a bad reviews, another 5 stars comes in…

  59. Jason that is probably a sign of inconsistency. The first time I went there was sub par but it was like three years ago, my biggest problem was going late with a huge crew so there wasn’t a lot of variety.
    I went again recently with ten people and no reservation. Although it was quite busy we got seated right away which was nice. The food was surprisingly REALLY good, which I hadn’t expected because of my first experience. I had like four plates because I wanted to try it all! Delicious. Very clean. The coconut chicken and beef and broccoli were my faves. Ill definitely be back if its the way it was last time

  60. I have been to City Light dozens (yes dozens) of times. I have not one time been disappointed. Chinese tea is included with the price, and there is much more variety than any other similar restaurant around. The fact that they have a large sushi and dessert selection is nice too!

    I think most people saying the food there is disgusting are people that are used to deep fried Canadian Chinese cuisine. Although that section exists at City Light, they have a large selection of more authentic Chinese food, which unfortunately, since people don’t like the spices and such, they describe it as disgusting.

    When reviewing a restaurant offering a unique cuisine you are not used to, do not complain that the food is disgusting simply because you do not like it.

    Awesome restaurant, and I will be back dozens more times!