All-You-Eat can be a joyful experience if you know what are the strategies from all-you-can eat sushi, all-you-can-eat BBQ, buffet, tapas to hotpot, the varieties are abundant. Some people may felt the guilty pleasure of indulging large quantity of food, however if you know where to start and when to eat (the skills), you will be able to love and enjoy all-you-can-eat.
All-You-can-Eat is not cater for people who can’t stop eating until they leave the restaurant feeling nauseous and bloated (I have experience once honestly- it wasn’t a pleasant one) but rather is for people who enjoy a variety of everything. Normally, if you would order a few dishes from the restaurant, the bill may came out expensive but all-you-can-eat allows you to try a wide range of dishes by paying a reasonable price per head. If you know how to ‘eat’, you will be leaving satisfied, contented and at the same time got the most value for what you have paid.
Firstly, it is important to know the time limit. If you have never been to a restaurant that serves all-you-can-eat by ordering from the menu, some restaurants may tend to prolong the time of serving. We know its the business tactic. If the food is decent, you know what to order next time at the start of the “clock” so there is no excuse for the restaurant to not prepare them in 3 hours. Some buffet may have a grilled department where the chef cooks your seafood or meat in front of you, you might want to start with that.
Secondly, made an initial move first. Always do one or two rounds of looking over the menu, what can you actually order and what you actually feel like eating. Do not order something that you don’t enjoy, you might end up being charge for wasting. For Buffet, I have learn to walk one round to see/hunt what is available, what would be a good choice of having and what should i save for the next round. You just need some planning while you are walking.
Thirdly, avoid soft drinks and juices. Water or green tea are better substitutes as they aid digestion. Those gassy beverages or filling juices may add on to the weight of food piles that you have taken during Round 1, then no spaces available when you are going for Round 2. This would be a total ripped off when you are just filling yourself with liquid.
Moreover, try not to overload with carbohydrates such as rice, bread, noodles and potatoes. Starch made you full and they are usually sides rather than main. Take a small portion just to go with the mains. You might need to stay away from sushi or rolls with only rice can be seen. If you really feel like having sushi, go for salmon, tuna or scallop that were place on top of the rice. Inside out rolls tend to have more rice then the fish. Vegetables (normal leafy salads are better options than potato salad. You could try a few spoonful of spaghetti that you have been craving but always remember the carbohydrates is not a meal itself.
In addition, choose quality over quantity. I have once went to a crappy buffet where you only paid $10 so you might need to just choose quantity because there isn’t much choices for you to go for the quality. But when it comes to buffet that you pay over a hundred, this is the time that your eyes have to scan for ‘quality’ type of food- lobster, scallop, salmon, crab, sashimi, steak, mutton, prawn and cheese. Although, I am not suggesting that you have to greedily take a huge amount of this category food. For instance, you would take a piece of salmon rather than 10 pieces of fish cakes. You would only take a few more pieces if it’s fresh, scrumptious, irresistible and most importantly, there’s still a lot on the table (LOL)
Lastly, take a break if permits OR take a walk. If a buffet has 3 hours, don’t just spend 3 hours ingurgitating food non-stop. After an hour or two, try to go for a short walk and come back again. There is no harm for leaving out that half an hour, you may feel like eating again after that. You won’t feel sickly and uncomfortable from all the digestion going on in you tummy. Take pictures, chat with the people around you, get up and don’t just sit there thinking the food will eventually wear off.
Small eaters don’t like buffet because they feel that their tiny stomach won’t fit such large amount of food so they would rather go for degustation meal. This article is not meant to encourage people to go for all-you-can-eat but sharing my personal techniques when encountering this ‘problem. The best part of buffet is the myriad choices of entree, main, desserts and there is no better joy then to pick what you want on your own than fixing your choices from the menu itself.