“ Address: 118 Causeway Green Road, Oldbury, Warley, West Midlands, B68 8LQ „
When my all time favourite restaurant Wing Wah closed down I won't deny I was little heartbroken. This all you can eat Chinese buffet restaurant was the place our family would assemble whenever there was special occasion, often we didn't even need an excuse to go. When Wing Wah closed down it was replaced with Flavourz, another all you can eat buffet style restaurant specialising in Chinese, Italian, Indian and Mexican food and I was desperate to try it out. With my Mother and Sister down from Mansfield for the weekend it seemed the like the perfect excuse so off we went for Sunday lunch at Flavourz!
Flavourz is located in Oldbury, just outside of Birmingham (there's also one in Bristol) and easily accessible via public transport with a number of buses stopping just outside the restaurant.
From the outside the restaurant is modern looking. A large newly painted white building with 'Flavourz' written in gigantic red bold font on the front and side wall. There's a decent sized free car park with a few disabled places situated at the front of the building by the door. An outdoor speaker was playing Mexican music when we arrived which added to the atmosphere and gave the restaurant a more authentic feel.
The inside of the restaurant was even better appearance wise, very modern looking and very clean. The wooden floor and white and red walls feature throughout the entire restaurant and decorations are added to fit with the different cuisines such as Buddha statues and paintings. Upon entering there's a large bar and a few tables and chairs should you need to sit and wait for a table or simply wait if you're meeting people there. At the side of the bar is the podium you must wait at to make a request for a table or inform the waiter of your arrival if you have booked a table advance.
We arrived at around 12pm on a Sunday and found the restaurant to be rather busy although still plenty of space for other diners to come along. Although first in the queue we were waiting at the podium for a fair while before someone came over to seat us. In actual fact it was probably only about five minutes but that amount of time feels a whole lot longer when you're simply stood waiting for someone! Once we had made our request for a table for three we were seated immediately.
Our dark brown wooden table provided enough space for the four diners it was meant for and was laid out with red napkins and four sets of very clean knifes, forks and spoons along with a drinks menu. The moment I picked up the drinks menu a waitress came over and just sort of barked 'drinks' at us (I assume that was her way of asking what we would like) and, even though I said we were still looking, just hovered over the table waiting for us to decide. The pressure to order meant this folded double sided A3 drinks menu didn't get much of a look in, instead we just ordered three diet Pepsis costing £2.30 with unlimited free refills. I did notice a huge amount of rather nice sounding cocktails and, had I not felt so rushed to order, I probably would have sampled one of those. The drinks were a little late to arrive, we were all just about finishing our first plate of food by the time they did, but they were at least nice, refreshing and didn't taste diluted like a lot of Coke and Pepsi does in such places in tall, clean glasses containing ice and a wedge of lime.
The choice of food was very overwhelming. Around the sides of the restaurant were main course dishes with labels on them indicating what the dish was and which country it was from which was a appreciated by me as I wouldn't of had a clue what half of it was otherwise! In the the centre of the restaurant were many food stations containing starter and side dishes as well as a rather large dessert station too. It was quite difficult to work out where to start actually! I started with a plate of self made nachos which meant I could add the ridiculous amount of sour cream I like on my Nachos and topped this off with green and black olives from the fresh salad bar. The sour cream was absolutely beautiful although the nachos themselves a little bland tasting. There was no way of melting the grated cheese on top too which was a little disappointing. Still, as starters go it was a pretty good one with the fresh tasting pitted olives for garnish. My Sister and Mother opted for a first plate full with a wide variety of foods. Mum had a tacho filled with chillie con carnie which she had no complaints with but stated it was spicier than she had been expecting. She also had no complains with her crab claws or any of the pasta and curry she sampled. My Sister had a fish curry which she liked but complained about the amount of bones it contained. The sign on this dish did clearly state it contained bones though so I don't think you can complain about that too much.
I can't name every dish we had between us as there were far too many but no one had real complaints about the food and I couldn't fault anything I tried really. I played it safe with chips and onion rings most of the time as none of the food stated whether or not it was vegetarian and so trying a dish I'd never heard of felt a bit risky even if no meat was mentioned in the name of the food item. I can recommend the egg fried rice though! Rice was light and fluffy and packed with flavour. The Mediterranean roast potatoes had a very unique and creamy taste to them too and I ended up eating an awful lot of those. I was also a fan of the way in which pizza is made up there. You take your plate to the pizza counter, add whatever topping you would like on your pizza to your plate and then hand it to the chef who then makes your pizza with these toppings. This was great for me as it meant I didn't end up getting stuck with boring old cheese and tomato and instead got to create my own. I filled my plate with sweetcorn, mushrooms, olives and pineapple and handed it the chef who then made up my pizza from scratch. This did mean waiting for about ten minutes (again, feels much longer when you're just stood there waiting) but it was completely worth it. The pizza base was lovely, not too dry and crunchy but not too soft and soggy either, just right in my opinion and he added plenty of cheese to melt everything together too which is just how I like it. You can do the same with pasta and noddle dishes, simply put your required ingredients onto a plate and chef will make it up for you whilst you wait.
My only real issue with the food is that they've tried to add too many varieties of the same dish meaning each country isn't properly represented. Plenty of Chinese food mind you, in fact there was as much Chinese food on offer as the previous Wing Wah who only sold Chinese food! But Indian was basically different types of curry, Mexican was cillie con carnie, nachos and tachos and Italian was pizza with a very limited selection of pasta. So if you're a hardcore Indian food fan and you're primarily looking for that then Flavourz probably won't be that good to you (unless you just want ten different flavours of curry that is).
After clearing about four plates of food I decided it was time to move to desserts whilst I was still physically able to eat. Desserts were vast with plenty of choice although most came without labels which meant the unfamiliar looking desserts were a complete mystery to me. There were slices of sticky toffee pudding and apple pie as well as warn custard which I will admit all looked lovely although I decided to try something different. There was a wide variety of different fancy looking desserts in little pots which I decided to try and found most appeared to be angel delight topped off with sprinkles and cream, these were nice but not as great as I was anticipating. There was another option in a pot which I liked the look of but, again, no idea what it actually was so I took it to my table and tried it. It turned out to be rice pudding topped with cream which ended up going to be my Sister as I can't stand rice pudding. She, however, stated it was the best rice pudding she'd ever tasted, 'really creamy' apparently. There was a chocolate fountain too although not a great deal to stick under it aside from marshmallows which, whilst nice, a variety would have been better in my opinion. A small selection of fresh fruit was also available and I ended up pinching a few grapes to stick under the chocolate fountain too which were much better! Five different flavours of icecream were available with a server to hand to dish up your required flavours. The icecream was extremely bright in colour and I dreaded to think just what artificial ingredients had gone into it to give it this colour but I figured given I'd just polished off a ton of deep fat fried onion rings now wasn't the time to be health concerned and ended trying a few flavours including a very nice and different bright blue bubblegum flavour. The mango flavour was my favourite, half way between a sorbet and icecream and really fruity and tangy, it was perfect. There were masses of jelly sweets available to top your icecream with too, something a lot of children were taking advantage of, filling up tubs and giving them to their Mum's to put into their bags to take home with them (although this isn't actually allowed so was done rather sneakily)!
Toilets were again very modern looking and extremely clean, fully stocked with toilet roll and hand wash. The only thing which let them down a little was the fact they didn't actully have any signs on the doors and instead each door had an A4 piece of paper which simply said 'ladies' and 'gentlemen'. This did let the décor of the place down a little.
Aside from the one waitress who rather aggressively 'asked' us for our drinks order the staff were mostly friendly although did make the whole experience feel rather rushed. Most were far too keen to take away dirty plates and tried to take ours off us a number of times before we'd actually finished which did get a little annoying. When we asked for the bill we were again greeted by a member of staff who simply hovered over the table waiting for us to pay and continued to do so until we'd got all of our stuff together and left. Whilst this was discouraging I wouldn't say the service was so terrible I would never go back. In fact I happily would! The food is lovely with most items I tried cooked to perfection. Flavourz offers a different dining experience which is great for when you get bored trying the same old thing and perfect for, if like us, your group all have very different tastes in food and can't agree on one place to eat. Prices are reasonable too. The price of lunch or dinner at Flavourz differs depending on the time and day that you visit although even at it's most expensive it still offers good value for money. We went on a Sunday and our total bill came to just under £40 which, considering three people were so full we could barely walk, was a reasonable price in my opinion.
All in all I would recommend this restaurant and will happily be making a few more visits in the future!
Went to the restaurant a few weeks ago, the Chinese section is faultless, fresh fish prepared for you, tastes a lil bland but I liked the idea of been able to choose a fish and have if cooked for you. I wouldn't suggest ordering their pepsi/coke, tasted like mud diluted with sparkling water, same goes for the long Island Ice tea.
The manager however is a horrible person, we had a very small problem with our bill, whilst sorting this out, the manager took our waitress (the loveliest person every) away from the table and started shouting at her in a restaurant FULL of customers, poor girl walked out the restaurant crying with embarrassment, so whilst I enjoyed some food on the menu, I don't support Indian Slave Masters, and therefore won't be eating there again, neither will any of the 18 people on my tale or our friends or family.
Flavourz is a buffet-style restaurant located in Oldbury; specialising in Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Italian food I decided to treat my mum to lunch after spotting that it taken over the building of my favourite pub of yesteryear.
We were seated as soon as we entered the building and a high chair was brought over for my son, my first impression of the staff was that they were friendly and efficient and this was reinforced throughout our meal. All members of staff were smartly dressed, tidy and well groomed with pleasant personalities - they checked with us at various points during our meal that things were going well, but were never intrusive.
The buffet is laid out by country in a very large area which takes up a quarter of the floor space within the main dining section. The lunchtime selection isn't as huge as in the evening, but there's still (literally) tonnes of food to choose from - in fact the first time I went up I was overwhelmed by the choice and ended up wandering around in confusion for a few minutes! The wonderful smells soon pulled me together however and within a few minutes I was tucking into a plate of delicious Chinese food, or more precisely battered Sweet & Sour Chicken, Pork Yuk Sung, Spring Rolls and Onion Rings. I ate far too much during our visit to list it all, but without exception the food was delicious - to be honest I dislike Mexican food so the only thing from that cuisine I sampled were some tortilla chips, although mum ate her favourite Chilli Con Carne and said it was perfect.
The choice of Italian food wasn't huge; aside from pizza, pasta and olives there was very little to choose from from this region. I suspect Flavourz listed Italian food just so they could serve their (excellent) pizzas, so if you are a huge Italian food fan you may find the selection lacking. The Chinese side of things probably had the widest selection; starters, main courses and 'snacky' foods being plentiful and varied enough to satisfy everyone. Almost every plate of food I ate had a pile of Yuk Sung on it as it was so fresh and delicious tasting, the Egg Fried Rice is also worth a mention as it was fluffy and perfectly cooked - I was drooling at the sight of some extremely sticky looking BBQ Ribs but unfortunately I'd had dental work the previous day so didn't risk it!
The Indian selection was mainly in the form of large vats of curry (the Lamb Curry being delicious but very hot, despite the 'mild/medium' label) and various accompaniments such as Naan bread, Onion Bahjee and Samosas. The Naan bread was fantastic, I'm not sure why but I hadn't expected them to be as good as in my local Indian takeaway - it turned out they were better; fluffy with a slight garlic tinge and perfect for mopping up the sauce from the various curries available.
There's a section where the chefs will cook raw food for you; here you have a choice of a noodle dish, pasta or a pizza made from your selection of toppings. I had a plate of noodles, prawns and mushrooms and it was delicious. Cooked in around three minutes, the chef asked if I wanted it spicy (I didn't) then expertly dipped his ladle into a variety of spices and liquids to create a wonderfully fresh hot meal.
My son, at fourteen months, was reasonably well catered for with breaded chicken dinosaurs, prawn crackers and some incredibly tender Beef in Black Bean Sauce. The dinosaurs were actually the only thing I could see that was specifically for children, although from the main selection I'd guess that any small appetite would be happy. There was a little girl on the next table and she seemed happy with a seemingly never ending selection of Chinese munchies, while I know my own four year old would have devoured the pizza and noodle dishes.
I'm not a pudding person, but craved something sweet after my meal(s) so headed over to the desert section. Here you have a counter with a choice of around ten flavours of ice cream, you can't serve yourself to this but a member of staff was waiting in the vicinity to provide dishes of ice cream to anyone who wanted it. Sauces are plentiful and there's a huge selection of sweets to top your ice cream - now, for me March is far too wintery for ice cream so I opted for jelly and a selection of small creamy cakes and mousses. If you fancy being healthy there is a decent choice of fresh fruit including some intricately shaped melon slices and huge grapes, all of which looked fresh and of the highest quality. Everything I sampled was perfect - although I did have a sneaking suspicion that the posh looking mousse was actually Butterscotch Angel Delight!
The atmosphere inside Flavourz was pleasant and conductive to a nice meal. We were in the building for around two hours and the only thing I can complain about is the fact that the staff were slightly too speedy to take our dirty plates away, at one point removing my sons before he had finished eating! At his young age that wasn't an issue, but my mum got annoyed when they removed her cutlery along with her plate and left her with nothing other than her fingers to eat her next plate of food with - this was quickly sorted out and apologies freely given, but mum was not happy at all! Drinks are brought to your table, or you can visit the well stocked bar to see the selection. As we were both driving that day we had Coke but the range of spirits and beers was excellent, including some Indian and Chinese options to compliment the food choices. A lady at another table was sipping a wonderful looking Lassi and I was fuming that I hadn't noticed these before paying my bill as the aroma of mango was so strong I could smell it even through the mish-mash of food aromas!
The building itself is beautiful. I remember this place as the Birmingham-famous Hen & Chickens pub - I had plenty of good nights in there, but the place was always shabby looking. It's amazing the difference a change of ownership makes as Flavourz is pristine clean, well decorated in airy neutral tones and filled with well chosen art pieces that define the countries whose cuisines you are eating. Tables are spaced out well so you never feel as though you are 'too close' to other diners, and there are a good selection of table sizes to choose from so whatever size party you're visiting with seating won't be a problem. For evening dining you're advised to book in advance, and I would second that as even at lunchtime the place soon filled up to the point where there were only two or three unoccupied tables by the time we had finished our meals. Everything is completely accessible for disabled visitors from the roomy disabled parking spaces near the door, to the fact that everything is all on one level so suitable for wheelchair users. In fact during our visit a group of people came in who were patently from the residential unit down the road and it was fantastic to see them treated so well by the staff, their carers had their hands full so a staff member hovered nearby in case he was needed - at one point helping a profoundly disabled lady to eat her noodles, no mean feat when I (as an able bodied person) dropped half of mine down my front!
My only irritation regarding our visit to Flavourz came as I paid the bill, when the member of staff thought I was lying about my sons age. Oh, she didn't actually use the 'L' word but she obviously didn't believe he was under four and therefore entitled to eat for free - after having words (he's fourteen months old, a big baby but absolutely could not be mistaken for a school age child!) she went to fetch her manager who laughed when she saw my son, gave the original staff member a brief dressing down and confirmed that he did, of course, eat for free.
I completely recommend Flavourz to anyone who is looking for somewhere 'different' to eat in the Midlands. The variety and quality of all food is excellent, and the tiny daytime price of £6.95 makes it a cheap (but delicious) place to eat. I love buffet restaurants, but this one stands head and shoulders above others I've visited simply because I'm not restricted to one cuisine for the duration of my meal - allowing me to ring the changes and not get bored of eating plate after plate of (for example) Chinese food.