Food Monster: Yo Yo in Beijing's food hits jackpot
The explosion in Chinese buffets in recent years has sparked considerable debate among food lovers over their worth.
Snobs treat them with disdain while the eyes of food lovers bulge at the prospect of eating infinite amounts of prawn toast.
For what it's worth, I am in the latter category. A Chinese takeaway has been a staple diet of growing up having been hooked on Mrs Wong's chow mein in my teenage years.
I still indulge in takeaways regularly but the concept of eating at a Chinese restaurant for lunch was pretty alien to me.
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To be honest, I've always felt that kind of food is best reserved for the evening when you are sat in your living room supping a nice lager and watching a film.
It's what I did when I was a teenager and it's still what I do now as an adult.
So when my colleague suggested a jaunt to Yo Yo in Beijing for lunch I must admit, it took a while for me to get my head around it.
But with little choice, off we went for a little sojourn to sample the taste of the Orient.
No sooner had we crashed through the double doors, we were greeted by a lovely waitress, who found us a table and immediately took our drinks order.
The vast array of smells delighted the nostrils and even before our drinks were served, my colleague was like a rat up a drainpipe to the sheer amount of food.
In what can only be described as Augustus Gloop being let loose in the Cadbury's factory, I took a lap of the island of Chinese heaven.
There was char sui pork, there was curried chicken, there was sweet and sour, simply put nothing was off the menu.
My colleague took the healthy option first by indulging in some salad which I had to rib (no pun intended) him for.
Being a meat lover, I just dived straight in knowing that if I really wanted to, and as long as my stomach could handle it, I could have plate upon plate of the stuff.
First to be attacked with vigour was the char sui pork which was delicious and was aided by a nice helping of sweet and sour chicken.
I built up a mountain of noodles, dropped in a couple of spring rolls and away we go.
So far it was looking so good until I visited the sauces.
I love a little sauce – soy, to be precise – but what was presented before me was a effectively a game of sauce roulette.
Slapped against the wall was a badly written note explaining the colours of all the sauce bottles.
Light brown was chilli oil, brown was vinegar, dark brown was soy.
The problem was they were all of the same shade and it became impossible to tell the difference.
What I presumed was soy sauce actually turned out to be vinegar.
I realised my mistake mid-stream and retreated, rather miserably it has to be said, back to my table.
Fortunately, the char sui survived the mishap and to be fair the meal wasn't totally ruined.
Still the beauty of the buffet is that you can always go back for seconds, thirds and fourths if you are that way inclined.
So off I traipsed back for more. This time the duck darted onto my radar and let me tell you now, there are no complaints over the food.
But another issue which began to come to the fore was that some meals didn't have a label to tell you what they were.
Standing in front of a big pan of food and looking at it for 10 minutes wondering what it is, is not my idea of fun.
So instead of trying it, I just stuck to those which were labelled.
A second trip to the sauce section sparked more fear after the vinegar incident, but this time I hit the soy jackpot.
Again the food was tremendous. The pork in Cantonese style was excellent and heartily recommended.
After polishing it off, all that remained was the dessert.
My colleague looked at me in amazement as I returned to the table with some jelly, some cake and some ice cream for good measure.
We laughed as we discussed my ever-expanding waistline.
But the jovial mood soon hit the buffers as I caught sight of something in my jelly – a small black hair.
I have no idea where it came from, but I supposed when there are so many people leaning over the food the risk of rogue additions increases.
But aside from the vinegar and hair issue, nothing could detract from the quality of the food.
At a glance
Where: Yo Yo in Beijing, Unit 4, The Junxion, St Marks Street, Lincoln, LN5 7BA.
Telephone: 01522 845888
Parking: City centre
Food hygiene: 3/5
The Damage: 2 x lunch buffet £7.45, 1 x Becks £2.70, 2 x diet cokes £4
Veggie friendly: Yes, extensive vegetarian menu
Family friendly: Yes
Visit again: Yes
Good for: Quality Chinese food in an instant.