Welcome to my review of Gran Muralla Wok Buffet in Vera. It is a short drive from Mojacar and it makes a pleasant change from the traditional Spanish bars that the tourists typically visit.
I have been going to Chinese buffet restaurants since the early 00’s. In fact the first one I went to I used to take Kyle with me and he was about the same age Sofia is now (19mths). He used to love sitting there with his portion of chips and then he would fall asleep in the highchair when he had finished.
Since then I have sampled many Chinese buffets and have felt that I have become the queen of Chinese food with the chance to explore one of my favourite cuisine more and more. Though, I try to avoid visiting them more than once a month as I have this habit of eating a lot more than I should!
So for lunch the day before we go home from our Spanish travels we have taken a day off from Spanish food to sample a Chinese buffet in Spain.
So why am I at Gran Muralla Wok Buffet?
Well I love Chinese food and I love the location. It is 5 minutes drive from our hotel and also near a soft play centre that we like to take Sofia to. So before we go we take her into the soft play centre to get her nice and tired before she eats lots of Chinese food.
When I am usually at a Chinese Buffet there is a lack of choice when it comes to food cooked to order where as here in Spain it is the opposite. So I am looking for something different and a chance to relax without having to cook just before I come home.
I have also read a few reviews online and everybody has something positive to say about the place, so I can’t wait to review it myself.
If you go by first impressions you would never actually make it through the door. You look at the front of it which is on the side of a roundabout; it looks like a horrible, scruffy mess that should be avoided as much as the plague.
However when you get the nerve to walk through the door it looks like a typical Chinese restaurant inside with plenty of room for even the busiest of lunchtimes.
There was four waiting staff hanging around when we went in and you could see the chef that was in charge of the show cooking at his cooking station in the distance. We chose our table and sat down. We were given a highchair and were looking forward to digging into our Chinese feast.
We sat down with our first plate of food and we were really disappointed that we had not had our drinks order taken yet and that there was four waiting staff to two tables of customers. Though when you looked at the age range of the staff they all looked like they were under the age of 21, without anyone being in charge of them. Eventually we had our drinks and we got into our food….
Food Glorious Food
If you love Chinese food then you are well catered for here. It is like being in a Chinese takeaway and having an incredible amount of choice over what you eat.
There is the buffet area where you can have typical nibbles such as prawn toast, seaweed, prawn crackers, chicken in batter and fish rings. Further down in the same section is the rice, noodles and chips. Along with typical Chinese food such as soup, duck and meat and veg in sauces.
Here is Sofia with her prawn crackers:
There is also a small amount of sushi and a few little salad bits.
You also have the facilities in place to be able to make your own duck and pancakes so I made a couple after all Chinese food wouldn’t be the same without them!
Over at the show cooking area you can choose your meat, fish and vegetables and then ask for it to be cooked in a variety of sauces.
The best sauces that we all tried were:
- Red Thai Curry Sauce
- Green Thai Curry Sauce
- Sweet Sauce
- Curry Sauce
- Garlic Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Black Bean Sauce
Thanks to the excellent mixture of produce to choose from you could achieve lots of favourite dishes such as:
- Red Thai Vegetable Curry
- Chicken & Sweetcorn In Garlic Sauce
- Sweet & Sour Chicken
- Seafood In Garlic Sauce
- Salmon Green Thai Curry
- Beef In A Black Bean Sauce
- Pork In Oyster Sauce
- Chicken & Noodles With Curry Sauce
- Red Thai Clam Chowder
And the list goes on and on.
I personally had:
- Sausages & Onions With Sweet Sauce
- Chicken & Onion With Green Thai Curry Sauce
- Chicken & Noodles With Oyster Sauce
Here is my last plate of Chinese food:
The boys also had a massive variety too and there is literally a sauce for everyone. Even if you are a fussy eater then you will be well catered for here.
Out of everything we sampled the only things that we were disappointed in was the quality of some of the meat and the Thai sauces. With the meat it was a case of if you got the beef or the pork it was rather chewy and if you have sensitive teeth then expect to have toothache. With the Thai curry it lists the red as hot and the green as mildly spiced. However when you actually try them the green sauce is spicier than the red.
I notice a lot of the time when I visit Chinese Buffets that the food is often cold when you go and get some and you have to be in quick after it has been served or not bother at all. Well each time we went (which was between an hour and 2.5 hours after it opened) it was always piping hot with the food being replaced regularly.
I think the reason for the buffets success is that there is more cooked to order here rather than pre-made. This means they have less to worry about and they can concentrate on quality rather than quantity.
After a few rounds of hot food we turned to the pudding department. When we normally go to buffets we will always be over charged for the puddings so that they can make their profit margin from somewhere. However at Gran Muralla it is included in the price.
Here is the ice cream I shared with Sofia:
There is the choice of chocolate cake, fruit, yoghurts and an ice cream freezer that you can just help yourself to. Just imagine for a moment the smile on my teenage sons face when he realises he can have as much ice cream and cake as he liked. He must have had more ice cream than mains thanks to eyes being greedier than belly!
The ice cream of course was very nice and I had to share mine with Sofia who has developed a brand new love for it!
Highs & Lows of Gran Muralla Vera
I am generally a positive person so let’s start with the highs and why I would gladly return to the Gran Muralla Wok Buffet and why I would be a regular customer if it was in my local area.
Firstly the food tastes absolutely amazing. I really can’t complain about any of it. I love Chinese food and I am normally disappointed by one of the buffet selections for being cold or flavourless and I have no such issues while here.
For the lows it has to be the service. There is never any offers or drink or asking if you are enjoying your food. It is also over staffed with them all stood there waiting to empty plates from tables rather than looking after the customers.
The bill is what sells it though with a price tag of just 36€ for the four of us including our drinks. And to say that you are getting pudding in with this price too is amazing.
And who cares if the service sucks if the quality of the food is AMAZING and the price is FRUGAL eating out at its best.
On a really sad note I was really angry with fellow diners. I don’t know why they think it is acceptable but we saw people filling plates incredibly high with just the expensive produce and then failing to eat it all. I am talking king prawns, clams, mussels and of course salmon. If people carry on doing this what will eventually happen is that the place will go out of business and people should only have cooked what they can eat, making sure there is enough for everyone else!
Recipe This Rating
So at RecipeThis.com we like to rate where we eat out at rather than posting it on travel review sites.
- Location = 4/5
- Service = 2/5
- Value For Money = 5/5
- Quality Of Food = 5/5
- Variety Of Food = 5/5
- Visit Again = Absolutely
- Cost Per Person = 9,00€
- Overall Rating = 4/5
This is one of those places that I would return to over and over again and I wish it was in my local town. It offers variety, an excellent price and the food is out of this world. If you love Chinese food then you have found your ideal buffet establishment.
We were also on holiday for two weeks and loved this Chinese buffet so much that we ate there twice.