6, Alley 5, Lane 70, Yanji St.
hours: weekend lunch buffet: 12 PM - 2:30 PM
Revisit reviewed: 6/10/2007
It's 1:20PM and the natives are getting restless. For at least 30 minutes, more than 80% of the trays have been table scraps- bits of meat in curry or last few bites of oily veggies in curry or the bed of onions that usually houses the tandoori chicken.
Well, there's rice. And it's good rice because I'm starving.
The restaurant is half full and quickly fills up with new tables of customers- each one eyed like competition for the new food when it comes out.
Everytime the kitchen bell *dings*, all eyes dart towards the kitchen to see what's coming out. Scenario from a game show? No, Sunday afternoon lunch buffet at Aaleja. My first time at the weekend buffet and most definitely my last time- I'm too disappointed to be angry really. From the bits and pieces of meat and curry I've gathered with my rice, the flavors are quite distinct and hearty, (if not a bit oily). The eggplant, the lamb, the beef, the vegetable curries all mildly spiced for a wider range of tastebuds.
Some garlic and plain naan makes it way to our table to fill us up, but it's heavy as a pizza without any toppings. It's not fluffy and magical like I'm used to.
The waitress half heartedly apologizes to us in Chinese saying that "everything is made fresh to order" when we complain that there's nothing to eat. I hear her echo that to at least four other tables in the room. Sure I can sort of understand if you are packed busy and my food is going to take some time to get to me. But it's a weekend buffet! Aren't you supposed to be prepared with trays and trays of food- it's not time to be "making things to order"? Refill it before it even gets close to running out, not to mention making customers wait for an hour with no results.
I've filled up on juice, rice and curry and managed to snag a few pieces of tandoori chicken that must have been on a diet, and my friend managed to get two samosas. There's no hope left for us getting anything else coming out of the kitchen in our lifetime, especially with a full house now of at least 40 customers and the hungry newbies milling about the still empty trays. It's like that episode of Survivor where all the contestants are drooling at the mere promise of food and we'd pay NT$399 even though we don't know what we're getting- in this case, not our money's worth.
Couldn't have been that bad? I can't believe it still and I was there. Honestly, it was the first time I wanted to walk out of a restaurant and refuse to pay. We should have, maybe it would have made them get their act together. Hello, Aaleja management- it's a weekend brunch BUFFET, please hire more chefs and don't run out of food in the first hour of your buffet! Is there any decent weekend Indian buffet in Taipei?
what about the last time I ate at Aaleja?