I first discovered the delights of VIPS in my first year here. Being a professional overeater, I am a big fan of the all you can eat buffet. So what better news could I hear then, that there is a chain of all you can eat western buffets with locations all over Korea.
To those not in the know VIPS is a steak and salad bar restaurant. When you arrive you can choose to eat just the salad bar or to buy a steak, rack of ribs or a variety of luxury meat or fish items that then come with access to the buffet. I usually tend to buy the steak as it only costs an extra 10,000 and you can have it wrapped up and taken home, it is served with a little jacket potato that I love too. If you take your steak home not only do you have a delicious meal ready to eat later, you also have more room for the salad bar.
Calling it a salad bar is actually underestimating it, as it has so much more than that to offer. Starting with the salad they have a station with all the raw ingredients so you make your own with various dressings to top it off. They also have about 8 premade salads. These change every few months depending on their current theme but as a guide they have chicken salad, roast vegetables, potato salad, pasta salad, crab salad etc.
On to fish they always have fresh smoked salmon which my boyfriend loves which comes with various accompaniments and fresh king prawns (although you do have to peel them yourself). They used to have a make your own taco stand which was great because they always had guacamole but the last time we went they had changed it to make your own hot dogs (this varies from location to location though). Up at the hot plate they have 2 different thin crust pizzas, fried chicken, corn on the cob and various other roasted vegetables and french fries. You are also given a choice of two different pastas, tomato or carbonara. Lastly they have 3 – 5 main dishes which vary seasonally but I have seen, fried rice, mussels, sweet and sour chicken, and sweet chilli battered prawns.
There is also a Korean stand which has some kind of soup which you can add noodles or various vegetables and things too plus rice and maybe mandu (Korean dumplings). You can get 3 regular soups corn, broccoli and mushroom which come with fresh bread or rolls.
If you have room left by the time you get to dessert they have a make your own ice cream bar, various fresh fruits, and a selection of cakes and cookies. An assortment of teas, coffees and sodas are also all available within the salad bar. If you want something a little stronger they have a selection of wines and Korean beer on tap which you must pay for separately.
Vips has a website http://www.ivips.co.kr/ click on store to bring up a map and find the location nearest to you. Prices vary – weekday lunch 17,800 weekday dinner 23,400 weekend 24,400.