One of the classiest, most satisfying ways to eat in China has manifested itself through the swift, popular rise of 5-star hotel buffets. Most 5-star hotels have them, and though comparatively pricey in China, the variety and quality of the food is among the best you’ll find anywhere.
Typically loaded with international food, as well as assortments of Chinese dishes, fresh seafood (crabs!), various sushi and sashimi, fancy pastas, tons of mouth-watering deserts and much, much more, these buffets are the go-to spot for business dinners, company gatherings, holiday celebrations, or just a special night out. Go once and soon any occasion will turn into an excuse to indulge. And, as luck would have it, Suzhou being graciously sprinkled with great buffets, you won’t have to go very far to delight your palate.
For lunch, in addition to the massive selections, most hotel buffets offer a great late-breakfast selection, which typically includes pancakes, omelettes, waffles and other breakfast favourites. For dinner, they bring out the tenderloins and the specialty dishes. In addition to the staples, the buffets typically have a theme - be it Indian, Italian, German or French - from which they offer a selection of specials.
Excluding holidays and special occasions, the best (and cheapest) time to go is on weekdays. Although Sunday brunches are great to take your mind off a hangover or enjoy the weekend sunshine, prices will hamper your appetite with menu prices doubling, for an identical, albeit slightly more copious selection as those offered during weekdays.. Prices listed below are the regular weekday prices. (Note that most buffets charge a 15% service charge in addition to the set price.)
These are some of Suzhou’s heavy-hitters, and what you can expect:
1) Café Soo, Shangri-La HotelView In Map
Café Soo is a Suzhouvian favourite. Though all the buffets listed here are worth trying out, what truly sets Café Soo apart is the food’s exceptionally delicious and varied calibre.. Additionally, every time I’ve been there, lunch or dinner, they’ve had an entire section devoted to Indian food, prepared fresh by Café Soo’s own Indian chef. To boot, the lunch buffet at Café Soo is the cheapest of all the major hotel buffets.
Though Café Soo has all the staples—local Chinese food, seafood, sushi, sashimi, Italian, pizza, a roast—the seafood, clams, oysters, king crab legs, and the Indian selections(the nan, papadum, assorted main dishes and basmati rice) alone are worth going for. Oh, and the massive desert section will have you rolling yourself home.
Add: 168 Ta Yuan Road, SND
Tel: 0512 6808 0168
Opening hours: Lunch, 11:00-14:00; dinner, 17:30-21:30
Price: Lunch, 128 RMB; dinner, 239 RMB
2) Rhine Café, New City Garden Hotel View In Map
The Rhine Café serves a wide variety of dishes—perks are the nice cuts of meat served at dinner and lunch, and the gourmet pizzas, which are the tastiest of all the buffet pizzas I’ve sampled. Another bonus is that draught beer is included with the price of a dinner. Otherwise, the variety is standard and comparable to others, though they’ve recently hired an Indian chef to contribute to the buffet, an auspicious sign to keep an eye out for..
The elaborate chocolate fountain, used for dipping various fruits and cookies and cakes is fun, though it can get a little messy (and kind of gross) if there are lots of kids around.
Add: 1 Shishan Lu
Tel: 0512 6825 0228
Lunch: 11:00-14:00 147 RMB
Dinner: 17:30-19:00 216 RMB
3) Season’s Café, Kempinski HotelView In Map
What’s memorable about Kempinski Hotel’s Season’s Café is the extensive and tasty a la carte section, the freshly brewed Paulaner beer, and the restaurant’s sheer elegance. Cosy and romantic, it’s a perfect place for intimate occasions.
In addition, every Thursday night, for 288 RMB, seafood lovers can gorge themselves on an entire buffet dedicated to seafood, with huge spreads of all the delicious treasures of the sea.
Add: 1 Guobin Road
Lunch: 11:30-14:30 158 RMB
Dinner: 11:30-14:30 208 RMB
4) Sun Seeker, Crowne Plaza HotelView In Map
The food at the Sun Seeker at Suzhou’s Crowne Plaza Hotel is expansive, encompassing a wide variety of Eastern and Western delicacies. However what really makes this buffet stand out in comparison to others is the great view of Jinji Lake while you dine. The hotel itself, shaped like a cruise ship, juts out into the lake, making sure taste isn’t the only sense in elation.
Add: 168 Xinggang Street
Tel: 0512 6761 6688
Lunch: 11:30-14:30 170 RMB
Dinner: 17:30-14:30 239 RMB
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Keywords: best hotel buffets Suzhou best buffets Suzhou where eat Suzhou Suzhou 5-star hotel buffet
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