Restaurant Review – Beijing Banquet (Kilmarnock)

This review is from a meal we had at Beijing Banquet on Tuesday 1st November 2022. As Beijing Banquet is a buffet style restaurant, this review will be a little different, as rather than ordering a specific thing from the menu, like with all my previous Restaurant reviews, I’ll just be talking about the abundance of different food on offer. Enjoy!

Also, quick editors note, Tori was with me for this meal, but they weren’t feeling up to putting their reviewer hat on, so they just enjoyed their meal. So the thoughts below will just be mine for a change.

Main – 
Chicken Maryland
So this is one of my personal favourites, and has been since I was a kid. I grew up in North Ayrshire and one of my favourite places to order from was Lucky City, a Cantonese takeaway in Kilwinning. I don’t know if it’s just nostalgia or if they really do just make it better than anywhere else but I always measure any other Chicken Maryland to the one from Lucky City. Beijing Banquet’s offering was perhaps the closest I’ve ever tried. It was perfect, well breaded and served in bite sized chunks. It was moist and well cooked chicken, and overall it tasted great.

Chicken Dumplings
Not to keep comparing Beijing Banquet to other eating establishments, but I think we all tend to find an item of food we like, find a place that does it well then that gives us a quality baseline upon which to judge all subsequent examples of that food. The best dumplings I’ve ever had, and continue to have are from Golden Valley in Kilmarnock. They offer them in Pork and Beef and they are both just perfect. The Chicken Dumplings from Beijing Banquet come very close to dethroning them. Beijing’s Chicken Dumplings were well proportioned, flavourful and the dumpling casing had a very good consistency, It was neither too bland, nor overpoweringly seasoned. In short it was a very tasty dumpling.

Char Siu Roast Pork
Considering the sheer quality and range of things on offer at Beijing Banquet, I want this to be taken as the extreme compliment that it is intended to be, but the Char Siu Roast Pork is by far my favourite thing on the entire menu. It’s just absolutely perfect. Savoury and yet with a subtle sweetness. Filling and yet in more or less bite-sized chunks. It tastes so amazing, that no word of a lie, I would come here just for the Char Siu pork. It is heavenly and you need to try it for yourself.

Salt and Chilli Chicken
This is not quite as spicy as I would have liked, but the batter and the chicken were both really tasty. Plus the peppers and the onions that it was cooked with have soaked up and released so much flavour that they are worth eating on their own. Overall the Salt and Chilli Chicken is very tasty, and it’s mild enough not to offend the taste buds.

Vegetable Spring Rolls
I usually don’t get spring rolls, I mean I like them well enough, and now and again I’ll be in the mood for them but compared to things like Chicken Maryland or Dumpling  or Chow Mein which are my staple orders at a Chinese restaurant or takeaway I don’t usually get them. Tori, however, loves them, and would happily have them every time we are getting Chinese food. I decided to try Beijing Banquet’s Vegetable Spring Rolls though, and I really enjoyed them. The wrap was very nice, not oily or soggy, the vegetables were well seasoned and crisp, and overall the spring rolls were quite tasty. 

Chicken Noodle Soup
I missed the soup options the last couple of times I was in, and I absolutely adore Chicken Noodle soup. Beijing Banquet were very clever with the serving options, with the Noodle Soup pot having a ladle for scooping out broth, and another instrument for just lifting noodles so you can get a better mix of the pair. The noodles were very thick by the way, which for me was a bonus but is not to everyone’s taste. The broth was very nice, warm and rich, and not too salty either, just a really savoury taste. If you do want to season your soup though, there is salt and pepper on the table but I personally didn’t think I needed it. Also the little bits of chicken in the soup were super moist and delicious, and added in that little bit of extra texture between the noodles and broth.

So I absolutely adore sushi, both freshly made and pre-packaged, if you’re interested I’ve found that out of Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda that Tesco on the whole has the best range, and highest quality pre-packaged sushi. Anyway, back to Beijing Banquet’s sushi, first off the display is awesome, very inviting, so much so that I think I’d be convinced to try some sushi even if I wasn’t already a fan. I’m not 100% sure what type of sushi is on offer, as it’s not labelled as sushi, but whatever it is, it’s very tasty. First off, it holds together really well. It’s a pet hate of mine, when even before you take a bite, the sushi falls apart. It was very fresh, the cucumber in particular was still firm. There was a subtle sweetness to the sushi that I also really enjoyed, and it was balanced out by the clean, neutral flavour of the sticky rice. I could eat a hundred of these, easily, but I just took one of each of the options that looked different. Overall the sushi was superb, and you should for sure try it.

Literally just a regular sausage, I feel kinda basic going to a veritable banquet of Asian foods, and getting a sausage, but the past couple of times I’ve went I’ve tried all of the things that I don’t usually get a chance to eat and I decided for this review that I’d do a mix of more European foods, and Asian food. It was very tasty by the way, it wasn’t just a cheap sausage either, it didn’t taste overly processed or like it had a synthetic casing. It was super good, and even under the heat lamp it wasn’t dry either. 

Cheese Omelette
Another thing for the European menu, and it was very nice, the egg was cooked perfectly, and the cheese was mild but creamy, and there was a delicate hint of what I think was pepper spiced through it as well. It also had a really nice consistency, thick and surprisingly filling, which was a big bonus for me.

Fish in Batter
It was a touch oily but other than that it was very good, the batter was really nice, crunchy but not too crunchy, and the fish was mild but had a nice flavour and overall texture. I think it worked really well, and thankfully there were no bones in it, which makes it 100% better than the last three fish suppers I’ve eaten. 

Dessert –
Baked Cheese Cake
So they had both strawberry and mandarin cheesecake on offer, and I’ll definitely be getting one or both of them next time we go to Beijing Banquet, but I’m a big believer in tasting the classic or original version of a dish first before trying something else. In the case of the Baked Cheese Cake, you really cannot beat the original. It’s so creamy and moreish, with a really thick base that had an impressively tangy depth of flavour. It’s so rich and filling that this could easily be a meal on its own, but overall I really enjoyed it, and if you get one dessert from here then I’d recommend this one. 

French Apple Pie
It’s so warm and filling, it’s very crust forward, and they do have a more appley apple pie if that’s your preference, but honestly I really liked this a lot more than a conventional apple pie. It’s not as sweet as I was expecting but it’s very tasty, and once you get into the inner apple layer, it’s worth it. I think it has that wholesome, and home-made quality, like something your mother might have made. 

Final Notes
The bottomless drinks option at £3.50 is more than worth it, you can help yourself as many times as you’d like, and you can even have a different drink each time you go up, if that’s what you want. Now I tend not to get ice in my drinks if I get a choice, because I see no point in diluting my beverages, and the machines which supply the drinks dispense it cold anyway, but if you do prefer ice then there’s a handy ice machine right next to the drink dispenser.

Also while the bottomless drinks option and the main buffet menu are self service, you can order drinks at the bar. We were working on a budget for this trip, and were happy enough with the soft drinks from the machine, but if you want any number of alcoholic drinks including wine, spirits and beers then you can head on up to the bar to order yourself one. They even have Tsingtao which is easily my favourite beer. They aren’t limited to just alcoholic drinks either, you can grab soft drinks at the bar if for whatever reason you don’t want the bottomless drinks option, and they also have a good range of hot drinks including English Tea, Coffee and even my personal favourite tea, Black Oolong.

You can find Beijing Banquet (Kilmarnock) on Facebook and Instagram so make sure and give them a follow. You can also check out their website via this link. This review was written by Tom Neil and Tori Anderson so click on one of those links to check out more from those authors.

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