Everything else.. How to Win (Eat) Your Money Back at a Buffet

How to Win (Eat) Your Money Back at a Buffet

2018 May 23

-A guide for an average eater written by a slightly above average eater-

Just the word itself, buffet1, ˈbʊfeɪ, ˈbʌfeɪ/ sends a tingle down my spine, shudder over the shoulders and all that tingly lovey dovey stuff that gets my senses all excited. Simply put, I love buffets more than I’ve loved any other entity on this earth. If you don’t agree with my ways of winning (eating) back your money at a buffet, well then, good on you, go find a fault in something else now will you then, *chop chop* Also, If you’re a vegetarian, sorry but unless you were born with a stomach of a cow, you aren’t winning (eating) your money back at a buffet.

We’re focusing on a more generalized idea of a buffet, with a typical Sri Lankan hotel dinner buffet which is slightly above average standards…basically the buffets that would cost you around 2,500-4,000 rupees. You can check out our full list of buffets in Colombo right here.

Salad Bar and Appetizers:

TIP 01: Only go for the salads you know you won’t find at other places, like the seafood or those with fruit in it and avoid the potato and egg salads.

TIP 02: The cold cut meats are what you’ve got to target here to make your big bucks. The hams and smoked beefs and the turkey cold cuts, load up on those with two side plates at the least! (On a side note; If you’re here to win your money back ignore the judgmental looks from the old aunties as you walk back to your table. They’re going to judge you anyway).

TIP 03: If the soup is a nice clear one like seafood bisque then I’d recommend saving it for last just before dessert but if it’s a thick soup like a cream of some vegetable or sweet corn without any meat just avoid it, that space can be utilized better.

TIP 04: COMPLETELY AVOID THE BREAD ROLLS! These little pieces of flour are specifically designed to fill you up at buffets, that’s why the bread sections in most high-end Colombo hotels are so darn good.


TIP 05: Attacking the mains is like a boxing match, you got to be ready to go the distance while at minimum, lasting 15 rounds (each plate being a round), if you attack the early rounds too hard you sure aren’t going to last the later rounds. So before you grab a plate, take note of the variety and where the good meat and seafood ($$$) is at. Be sure to note down what the action stations have to offer and how fast the food move off the stations. (let’s be honest, waiting time at buffet action stations can be a painstaking)

TIP 06: Avoid any sort of carbs (rice, noodles, pasta) in the early rounds and slowly attack the roasts, kebab, and seafood from the action stations filling up at least 3 to 6 rounds. Thereafter, slowly shift the focus onto the meat stuff laid out in the main buffet by adding some items from the pasta station or some noodles. Rice is probably the cheapest thing at a buffet but if you’re a complete “Buth Gulla” then just have a tad bit I guess, but make up for it with the loaded meats!

TIP 07: If you’re a slightly below the average eater or feel like you’re getting full but determined to eat your money back go for a small walk and get some fresh air or even bad air if you know what I mean, beauty of a buffet is there’s no time limit so take a breather if required.

TIP 08: The above-average eaters like myself usually do one “last” round, after covering all the rounds, this round is like wanting to take the best memories home with you, this last round is where I serve tad bit of everything I loved at the buffet with no real connection, heck, sometimes I end up eating a nice mutton paal poriyal with vegetable lasagna and a killer grilled modha.


You know you’re a slightly above the average eater if you confidently feel like you’ve won (eaten) your money back BEFORE dessert, but not everybody can eat like that.

TIP 09: When it comes to dessert, it’s all about variety, don’t stick to many pieces of the same desert but try to cover as many as possible, bank on the cheesecakes (rarely available) and fruit crumbles with honey and butterscotch sauces ($$).

TIP 10: Ice cream is another unnecessary filler and most of these places have store bought stuff anyway. (Unless you’re eating at Mövenpick, they make their own ice cream so deffs try that one out).


With the button on your pants about to pop and you questioning your life decision in the past couple of hours, but remind yourself that you did this to win (eat) your money back, and that’s what differentiates an average eater from a food lover with an above the average appetite.

So, while you lay there disgusted with yourself, questioning if it was really worth it, as for me, you may ask? Well, I will most likely (Definitely* who am I even kidding, anymore?) be daydreaming and strategizing the techniques for the next buffet, where you’ll find me.

In the mood for a grand buffet after reading this article? Check out all the buffets in Colombo below!

Buffets in Colombo



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