We recently had a dinner date night out at new hotel, The Himalayas Hotels' Z1 restaurant in Qingdao. Our incredibly generous friend, Sonny, is the GM there and so kindly gave us two tickets to try the Z1 buffet out. Thank you Sonny!
We were so excited to try Z1 especially because we heard that all of their produce is local and organic. We had also attended an opening party for the hotel where the food was fantastic. We thought if the food there was any indication of the food at the buffet, we were in for a treat!
Heading on our way out for our free date night! :) Those are the best kinds, right?! Please don't ask me why we looked frosted over and vampire like in this picture because I have no idea why.
There are so many hotel buffets in Qingdao. Usually, they are not really our cup of tea. For one, they are usually ridiculously overpriced for our taste. Some of these buffets go up to 400 yuan per person, which is just crazy to me. Not only are they so expensive but they usually aren't that great in our opinion. The food is sub par and still has that "buffet" taste. Also, the environment never feels that cozy to me. When we go to dinner we like to go to places that we can sit back and relax for a while, we don't like the usual stiff chairs of a buffet.
The Himalayas is different, though. From our first sight at the lobby a few months ago we knew this would be a place that we could enjoy. We love the setting and the couches at the tables in the buffet area. The lighting, surrounding and fresh flowers at each table all add to make a great ambience. Also, while there are many buffets that are overpriced like I mentioned above, the Z1 Restaurant is only 198 per person, which is much more reasonable.
Every table was decked with these beautiful, fresh centerpieces.
There is so much offered for your 198 yuan. There are stir fry, steaming, grilling, and sushi stations. There's tons of desserts, a chocolate fountain, and free wine and beer. There's Peking duck and roast pig stations and even a brick oven for pizzas.
The dessert section is fabulous. I never wanted to leave. There were at least 10 types of cakes to try, macaroons, a chocolate fountain, small dessert bites, tons of fruit and ice cream. Every thing we tasted was delicious. I especially liked the dark chocolate and mint cookie bites, the cheese cake and the madelines dipped in the chocolate fountain.
Fresh noodle choices for your choice of stir fries or soups.
The kitchens are out in the open so you can see all the work going into your dish.
The Himalayas has all the usual Chinese food, steamed dishes and dim sum that you would hope for at a buffet.
There is an abundance of great Chinese food dishes, as well as some Thai influenced dishes available.
Fresh seafood. You can enjoy it raw or ask for it to be steamed, grilled or bar-b-qued.
There's a very nice sushi station. I just loved these displays.
Fresh sea food on ice. You can choose what you like and they will grill it for you over an open flame.
There is a sweet and sour pork carving station as well as Peking duck. Let me tell you, I know that hanging meat may not look that great but man, the honey roasted pork was amazing.
Free flow red and white wine and beer is offered, like all good hotel buffets in China.
A cold stone bar for mixing your ice-cream of choice with your toppings of choice.
If you're in Qingdao we highly recommend the Z1 Buffet! Enjoy!
Oh, and we finished off the night playing with the Wii's they had in the lobby. We may or may not have played well over an hour. It was a great night!
Also, the Himalayas has a great offer going on for 5 cocktails and antipasti for only 128 yuan! I'm not gonna lie, I really want to jump on that deal some time soon!