How many times have we been to a restaurant and ordered dishes on the menu and then, on tasting them, said to ourselves: gosh, it is too bland, it is too fatty, it is too hot, it is too oily, it is too peppery, it is too rich, it is too salty, it is too spicy, it is too sweet or even describing the food using a combination of some of those same attributes? The fault is with the chef, obviously, we think. How is the chef to know what our tastes are like? He or she cannot guess our preferences unless we tell the server at the time of placing the order what we (you, the reader and I) expect – that is exactly what my wife does often: no exotic sauces, no garlic, no spices and not oily at all – she wants things plain and simple. What would you think and do if you could do something about the taste? Well, you can do exactly that at the Dragon Stone Mongolian Grill.
This is a restaurant where a whole array of ingredients, vegetables, meat, and sea-foods are on display buffet-style, and kept suitably cold or cool and from which you can select and pick your ingredients, place them in aluminium bowls, select and add your preferred spices or flavourings or sauces in the quantity you carefully choose. In addition to the oil(s), flavourings include salt water, ginger water, soy sauce, teppanyaki sauce, and Thai sauce of some sort, etc. You then pass on the bowl to the chef, who transfers the contents to a large circular iron/steel griddle, which from where I stood looked like it had a diameter of about 1.2m – do feel free to correct me if I am wrong. After transferring the contents, the chef places the bowl on top of food so as to cook the food under the raised temperature of the griddle and whatever steam or moisture that may be present. At any one time there may be eight to ten or even twelve bowls of food being cooked in this manner on the griddle as diners keep bringing bowls. Once in a while the chef, in this case a lady would lift the bowl to monitor how the cooking was progressing, and also to stir the food. Once she decides that the “dish” a person or diner or patron had concocted is ready to serve, she transfers it to a plate and hands it to the person who is waiting with, I suppose, patient expectations.
I thought the food was more a stir-fried than grilled, despite the term “grill” in name of the eat-all-you-can buffet restaurant. If the taste is not what one expects, one can try adding more or less flavourings/sauces the next time round. The two of us who eschewed plain and simple cooking that my wife loves, had to adjust the quantity and type of flavourings on subsequent rounds. That could well be the case with other diners at this restaurant, I assume.
There are no restrictions – one can have any combination of food items as also sauces, flavourings, sauces, and go back any number of times as one is hungry or can eat.
When we arrived as a party of three people, there were groups of people waiting for their tables; we had to wait about 10 minutes before we had a table. Each of us had three rounds and that was enough for us, but we did see some people going back to have more. I was looking for fish but unfortunately could not find that item. There were shrimps and cockles, though and meat such as chicken, beef and undoubtedly a wide array of vegetables like bell peppers, courgette, mushrooms, bean sprouts, snow-peas, carrots to name just a few, and all mostly very thinly sliced to allow for quick cooking.
Having had the food, we signalled to waiter who happened to be at a nearby table -- she offered us a small choice of desserts. We waited for the dessert and our order was delivered, this time by the server who had previously brought us to our table. She had a friendly smile on her face unlike some of the “New Canadians” at some other restaurants we had visited whilst in Canada, who “greet” diners with permanently sulky faces betraying characteristics that absolutely do not resonate with the notion of friendly, welcoming hospitality. A welcoming attitude goes some way in enhancing the dining experience, even if the food is not up to expectations. I paid at the counter and left a tip for that friendly server and not forgetting the chef, I also made sure that she got her tip – there was a container conveniently placed on the table in front of the chef and I left a tip for her and she acknowledged that gesture with a nod and a smile – incidentally, there were two griddles and two chefs at work on our visit.
PS: Apparently the Mongolians who reached China travelled light with little cooking utensils and had their meals, very often meats grilled simply and quickly. That may account for the name I suspect. Do ask the restaurant about the name should you chance to visit Mongolian Grill.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.