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Restaurant Review January 26, 2007
Shity Wok
By Yasha Levine Browse author Email

This new mall-style all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet opened up across the street from Smolenskaya on the ground floor of a brand-new "food mall" called Jigsaw about a month ago. The mall has four or five floors of nothing but cheap fast food imitations of a sushi boat restaurant, a sports bar and a mix between a discotheque and a diner.

From the looks of it, Jigsaw is a high-class adaptation of a shitty podmoskovye mall. At $25 a head, CHINA CHINA is on the expensive side during dinner hours, but it came highly recommended as a "slammin' all you can eat joint" so I decided to splurge.

When my date and I got to the place at around 8pm it was completely vacant. In fact, the entire food mall was devoid of any customers.

A cursory survey of the 25-40 dishes sitting out under rows of intense moisture-zapping heat lamps didn't bode well. 9 out of 10 dishes were completely dried out.

The spring rolls and pot stickers were hard as rocks, while the white rice had turned into a hardened yellow lump that came out whole with the serving spoon. Most of the chow mien varieties were dried solid at the edges.

I made it a point to try as many dishes as I could. But other than a string pea salad my date was having and a piece of duck cooked in thick plum sauce I picked up, nothing was fit for consumption. It was dried and mummified. Most of the dishes were bad enough, but the soup was completely rotten, probably moments away from spawning a litter of slithering white maggots.

The waiters apologized for the soup and removed the dish from the buffet line up, but pretended they didn't see anything wrong with other dishes when I pointed out that their entire selection was dry and completely inedible.

"No, this is how we serve our noodles," one of the waiters tried to explain.

"You serve your noodles died out on purpose?" I asked.

"Yes. That is just the style in which it is prepared. But you are free to try any of the other dishes here. It is all you can eat, after all," he volleyed.

Fuckers, management actually trained their waiter for this sort of situation. There was no use. I was too tired to argue. And paid the $50 plus change for the two of us.

Even though the eXile was paying for the meal, it hurt to see my date's $25 share pay for a few string beans and a fork's worth of rice. Only American chicks dig on all-you-can-eat buffets.

We took a look at the sushi boat restaurant on the second floor of the "food mall" as we took a self-guided tour around the facilities. The place was vacant. But that seemingly didn't stop the bored chef from preparing a whole track of rolls and nigiri sushi and letting it roll round and around like a putrid salmonella merry-go-round.

Jigsaw seems hell-bent on killing its own customers.

Smolenskaya pl., 6

Metro: Smolenskaya


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Yasha Levine is an editor at The eXile. You can contact him at
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