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Valentines Buffet Restaurant

2_half star rating 49 reviews

Telephone 09-630 6633

290 Dominion Rd
Cnr Ewington & Dominion Rds
Mt Eden
Auckland City

Cuisine:
Family, Buffet
Hours:
Mon - Fri Noon - 2pm, 6pm - 10pm
Sat - Sun Noon - 2:30pm, 6pm - 10pm
Provided by business

Overview

Valentines Restaurant is New Zealand’s most popular buffet restaurant, where nearly one million Kiwi’s love to dine and celebrate every year. Our offering encompasses both hot and cold dishes, salads, seafood, meats, vegetables, soups, breads, condiments, desserts plus tea and coffee, as well as an ethnic food selection which provides a delicious diversity and spices up our tasty table with dishes from India, China Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Indonesia. With this mouth-watering collection of over 100 delicious dishes at Valentines Restaurant Mt Eden. Mon – Fri All Adults: Lunch $19.90, Dinner $29.90 Seniors: Lunch $17.90, Dinner $27.90 Sat & Sun All Adults: Lunch $21.90, Dinner $29.90

Photos

Photo of Valentines Buffet Restaurant
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More Information

Categories:
Restaurants
Takeaways:
Yes
Price Range:
Moderate, $15 - $25
Attire:
Casual
Good For Groups:
Yes
Good For Children:
Yes
WI-FI:
None
Alcohol:
Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
BYO/Corkage:
BYO, Corkage Charge
Wheelchair Accessible:
Yes
Takes Reservations:
Yes
Meals Served:
Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Payment Types:
EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX
Seating For:
250

Reviews for Valentines Buffet Restaurant

1 star rating
by Len W.
16th April 2014

Valentines restaurant in Mt Eden is to be avoided. Service is slow and the food is dreadful. I took 3 friends there recently and was very embarrassed. Food was tasteless, oily and in some instances stale. I have complained to the restaurant 3 times but they never respond. It is as if they don’t care. The carpet going into the kitchen was black and slimy – a sure health hazard. This restaurant has put me off Valentines restaurants forever. Believe me, avoid this restaurant.

5 star rating
by Marcs J.
1st March 2014

I was shocked when I read some of the bad reviews. However I had fantastic evening with my girl friend in Valentines day here. Am living in Australia, my girl friend booked about 7pm. The restaurant was pretty packed. it was a nice touch as they prepared a little gift for us. Salad and seafood were fresh. Huge selection of the hot food, beautiful cooked, nice presented. We found BBQ was the best section even the waiting queue was so long there. I don’t eat dessert, but they looked pretty impressed. Service was good and fast. I would definitely come back if I am in Auckland again. BTW, its much cheaper to eat here than Mel.

3 star rating
by Loretta S.
14th February 2014

Have been to Valentines a few times and often it has been a good experience. Had booked for a number of people, as it was my husband’s birthday celebration and due to some people dropping out at the last minute, our numbers were much less. The lady at reception was so rude, as I explained not the full amount of people had turned up. She explained they had prepared enough food to cover the numbers we had booked for?? She huffed as she went off to show us our table. The food was fine for what we paid. Some improvement of their customer service may help their ratings???

1 star rating
by Mata
30th January 2014

Terribe experience at Valentines Mt Eden. Nobody should ever dine there.
Very limited variety of food. Its obvious the food is not fresh, looks like its been sitting there for the past couple of weeks. Staff are not friendly especially the chefs. Very slow at replenishing food, there was nobody behind the buffet so there was a long wait to ask them to top up the oysters, hot chips, pizza etc. It looked like staff didnt want to be there either. At around 9pm lights when out even though some of us were still grabbing dessert. Staff turned away a couple of customers at 8pm because ‘they were closing ‘ Very unprofessional i must say.
I am suprised as to why this place is still open. It was close to empty when i was there.

1 star rating
by Max
26th January 2014

Went to Valentines Mt Eden last night for a family dinner to celebrate grandchild’s birthday. A dreadful experience, food was tasteless, mostly inedible, fish was bassa (Vietnamese), carvery pork and ham slices swimming in fatty water , salads not fresh. Restaurant was almost empty for a Saturday night so maybe the word is out. Service ok but food well below average.

4 star rating
by Pauline
24th January 2014

Good place for family gathering. You can dine in for free when it’s on your birthday. We had small birthday party last month. The restaurant was packed. Dinner is much more worthy than the lunch.

Service: 4/5
Wait time: 4/5
Environment: 3/5
Food Quality: 3/5
Food Quantity: 5/5

3 star rating
by Tony M.
7th January 2014

Valentines is definitely not a place to take your VALENTINES DATE!

That being said the food is edible. Not great. But edible.

If I was camping for a week in the woods and went to Valentines it would taste great!

But frankly, for the price and quality they offer, I prefer to go to McDonalds.

Service: 3/5
Wait time: 4/5
Environment: 3/5
Food Quality: 2/5
Food Quantity: 5/5
Price range: $30+ pp

4 star rating
by Ray
4th December 2013

One of the best valentines for quality. The seasonings that they use are awesome and the crab and garlic prawns cooked fresh

1 star rating
by Monika
28th October 2013

Unfortunately once a year I have to go to Valentines because my friends just live that they can eat as much as they want for $21.90. Last year was bad, this year was even worse. The potato salad had half-cooked potatoes in them, the fresh fish that was prepared to order was cooked to rubber after 20 min, one of the hot desert had indefinable ingredients, the other had a top that tasted of milk that had gone sour – similar to the milk that was offered to have with your coffee. We ate at 1pm -the restaurant was not very busy- and most of the serving bowls were empty, stuff struggling ti fill them up. The staff is friendly though but that is the only plus of this restaurant

4 star rating
by Suzannah G.
18th September 2013

Favourite dishes included the surimi salad, the battered fish, (hot, crispy and perfectly done) the bbq lamb, the thai beef salad (very tender beef), and the chocolate mousse. But in fact I really enjoyed everything I ate, (except just the baked fish was way way too salty – like inSANEly salty, and the texture of the chilled chicken-spaghetti pasta salad just wasn’t my thing).

There was ample quantity of an enormous range of hot, cold, juicy and tasty things. Also nice green broccoli – fresh, hot and colourful, with a cheesy sauce on top.

Just the carpet and chairs are probably the only thing that lets the place down a bit. They definitely need renewing.

The serving guy was very good – meal-checking me twice, and being very welcoming and attentively clearing my plates away very quickly each time I left the table to get another serving of something, which I thought was very impressive! He seemed to have a certain enthusiasm and dedication to his role that quite shone :)

1 star rating
by Gaylene H.
27th August 2013

We went to Valentines Mt Eden on Sunday evening for my daughter’s birthday. Wow what a terrible meal. There was very very little to choose from. What was there was horrible. So cold, tasteless & minimal. I had to reach across and cut my own meat to try and find a piece that was reasonable. Hardly any seafood, no vegetables – oh yes, I did get the last piece of pumpkin but couldn’t eat it as it was so cold. The desserts had no choices. My partner who always has dessert came back with nothing. When I booked for 7pm they did ask me to come in at 5.30pm but I didn’t realize it was because they don’t put fresh food out otherwise I would not have gone. I have been to dinner at many many places (including Valentines Mt Eden on several occasions previously) never have I had such a horrible meal. We did get 50% off and the manager did seem to agree with us but honestly it wasn’t worth 50% discount. I would not recommend. At least go in and check out the choice/buffet before you commit to eating there. I also left a message for owner to phone me but they don’t seem to care. (Must say Manager was concerned and tried to help but said it was out of his control?) Wish we had celebrated my daughter’s birthday somewhere else.

5 star rating
by Nia L.
5th June 2013

Me and my partner decided to dine out on Monday and I had a great time..I loved the food. Plenty to choose from. We enjoyed out dinner and the staff were really friendly and welcoming. I loved every bit of the night and I recommend it to friends. And next week a group of me and friends will visit again. :)

Thank you so much

3 star rating
by Gagandeep S.
3rd June 2013

Went out to dinner with my mrs. Food was excellent, service was good. Both enjoyed our night out. Staff was very friendly and also recommended some very exquisite wines with our meal.

1 star rating
by Mark N.
3rd June 2013

What a horrible experience ! I wish I had read the earlier comments. Food was dry, salad old and soggy. Nothing much can eat actually. This place need to be done something to improve ! Never come back again.

1 star rating
by Jules
19th May 2013

WOW and not in a good way.
Saturday night at Valentines Mt Eden would have to have been the worst dinning experience ever!
We should have walked out when seeing how grotty the staircase was.
Since when was it a good idea to slice roast pork and put in hot water to serve??
My daughter loves butter chicken, however what they labelled butter chicken certainly wasn’t.
The only thing we thought was ok was the garlic bread!
Will never ever go to Valentines again, and I can’t believe that people actually write good reviews on bland, tasteless, dry horrible food, maybe it’s the owners putting on their own feedback so more unsuspecting dinners will turn up.

1 star rating
by Amee M.
19th May 2013

My partner and I decided to take a drive to Mount Eden Valentines restaurant for dinner on Friday 17th May 2013. What a huge mistake this was!!! We wished we had read the other comments regarding this establishment as it turned out to be the worst we have visited, ever. I’m tempted to report this business to the Auckland City Council for the following reasons and concerns:

1) I lifted a clean plate from the pile only to find it had another stuck underneath by gravy, and grease – it was not washed and had missed the cleaning process altogether. Other plates also had traces of dried food on them.

2) The quality of food is nothing short of inedible. A dining establishment can only go so far in reducing costs to keep afloat, however Valentines Mt Eden have pushed it to its limits. When food quality is this low, foot traffic diminishes severelywhich is clearly evident here, at 7.20pm on a Friday evening. Most foods were dry, crusty, and desserts were practically shriveled up due to sitting on a warmer for extended periods of time. My partner felt the cream in the brandy snaps may have been off.

To charge full price for this level of quality is unbelievable and falls short of having this restaurant disestablished.

We will be advising head office of the above, and if no action is taken a follow up to the Council will take place.

4 star rating
by Carol E.
15th May 2013

We went to dine on the spur of the moment and hadn’t made a booking. We were pleased that there were tables available for casual diners. There were two of us and we both enjoyed our meal very much. There were two celebrations happening and large crowds at both. So there was some queuing past the servery and some waiting for another batch of food to be cooked, but wait was only 10 mins. The kitchen staff did a very good job of keeping up with demand and the food was fresh and well presented. Well done Valentines.

5 star rating
by Huang.X
13th May 2013

We went here today with my mum to celebrate. We always go here, we were so surprised they put our favourite oyster and salmon. Live BBQ is always great, my kids love desserts. It was very busy today, we understand food was not the best today, but the staff tried their best. They were super friendly. We enjoyed very much, it is a nice place to get everyone together.

5 star rating
by Raj S.
30th April 2013

I went today with my family and my friends on my birthday it was really a great dining with this restaurant with many different types of food and awesome types of deserts, fresh and variety of salads. I even loved the BBQ specially the salmon and steak wonder full and yummy dinner and the price which I paid was really worth to me. Staff working there are really good they are professional in there service and I really love the decor of that restaurant and they suggested me good wine with my meal.. I really love it thanks to Valentines Mt Eden for making my day.

4 star rating
by Kemeuwiffen
21st April 2013

8 adults and 5 kids here for lunch to celebrate my dad and mum’s 40th weeding anniversary last week. This is 3rd time we are here since mid of last year.

The salads are always fresh. There are huge of selection of hot food. The authentic butter chicken and rice with a bit spicy taste and sweet & sour pork are my favourite dishes. All the kids enjoyed dessert very much. The best mud cake with fresh cream I ever had. The service was excellent. The staffs were really helpful and friendly.

We are very appreciated you gave us a moment to remember. We will expect to see valentines mt eden again.

2 star rating
by Mereia K.
19th April 2013

I had previously heard good things about this Valentines Restaurant so decided to go with my family for my dad’s birthday. Service was horrible with grouchy workers and the waitress who assigned our seats, told us we had to eat within the hour and leave because it was getting too full and they needed seating for other customers. Food was ok, the chef at the grilling station was the only friendly worker. The same grumpy waitress kept in trying to clear the table while we were still eating and when I asked her to wait she just mumbled and walked off !! Extremely disappointing never ever going again.

4 star rating
by Patricia O.
21st February 2013

I have been here before with friends for lunch and once again found the staff to be friendly and helpful. The food was fresh and plentiful with a good variety to choose from. The desserts were also good. Overall I found it to be a very good choice of restaurant for lunch and would not hesitate to go back.
Trish

1 star rating
by Narinder G.
18th February 2013

This would have to be right up there with some of the worst dining experiences we’ve had! It was Friday we reluctantly decided to try Valentines Mt Eden for dinner with friends hoping that it would prove us wrong but just as expected the food was horrendous, there was hardly any hot food left to choose from and it was only 6.30pm not many people around, most of salad bowls were empty and no one was interested in refilling them. The meat was dry and hard and the rice was no better with the butter chicken or what was left of it dry and crusty. Chocolate log garnished with parsley and yellow whipped cream, even the custard had a crust. Dishes were dirty. Won’t be going there again.

2 star rating
by Sharon
11th February 2013

What a pity! We came here for lunch late last year and were quite impressed on what was on offer as it was a bit different to what we get served on the North Shore. Some of the flavours were great and there was plenty of choice avail.
However we went again early Feb (admittedly it was a Mon or Tues and they weren’t very busy) but the quality of the food was way down on last time. It looked like it had been there a while and a lot of it was tough and a bit dried out. The prawns and crab (at least there were some so that was a bonus), were a bit disappointing. The crab was dry and watery and the prawns were mushy, such a shame as they were great last time.
Staff were pleasant enough but spent most of the lunch service talking amongst themselves.
It must be very hard to get the balance right. I do understand that you wouldn’t want to cook too much food just for it to be uneaten but I do strongly feel things need to be looked at here if it is going to stay open.
A good tidy up of dated decor, take down the Xmas decorations (unless they had been left up for the Chinese New Year, then I apologise), brighten the place up a bit and maybe a good promotion would help bring the locals back in.
Being upstairs may also be a hindrance to encourage ‘walk ins’ as although Valentines is written on the building you do have to look a bit for the entrance.
We had come with a voucher this time so were OK with what we paid for what we got. We didn’t leave hungry but I wouldn’t have been happy paying full price for what was on offer that day. I am sorry. A do hope you can make the best of things and go forward with new enthusiasm.

5 star rating
by Kristin L.
23rd January 2013

We had dinner with the kiwi friends in Valentines Mt Eden a couple of days ago. The buffet food is much much better than lots of cuisine in my city. The salads are fresh, I like the shrimp cocktail. BBQ idea is great, the beef steak is so tender. Roast ham, beef and lamb were best part of the entire meal. There are huge selection of desserts. The chocolate mousse is my favourite. The staffs are super friendly. If there is another chance to visit this city, I will be back here for sure.

1 star rating
by Lance O.
16th January 2013

Visited Valentines Mt Eden today with my partner for my birthday, left very disappointed.

Firstly Food was cold and tasteless, the fish was not only cold but contained more batter than actual fish and looked like it had been sitting there for a while. The deserts were slightly better though the ice-cream chiller must be broken as it was fairly soft and melted. I must say this place is not up to standard and needs a serious look at the quality of their food.

Secondly the lack of staffing is obvious, one person was on in the restaurant/reception and as a result the overall service suffered greatly. The only good thing I can say about dining here however was that the service she did manage to give was great.

Overall I would not return here nor would I recommend this place to anybody, it is simply not worth the $65.70 price tag.

3 star rating
by Pradeep N.
11th January 2013

We have been to Valentine’s many times and are always very impressed.
The food is amazing, always fresh
I’m pretty sure you could not find a quality buffet meal with 3 courses. Plus the unique BBQ station is such a great idea.
I don’t get why there aren’t many positive reviews here. But for us it has been five stars every time.
What impresses me the most the the variety of food available
Food is great, staff are friendly and helpful and you will have an awesome time.

1 star rating
by Amanda W.
4th January 2013

We are visitors to this city from Australia. We were told to go here by kiwi friends. Worst mistake of our life! The food was all cold as their heaters were broken!! They kept putting them in to reheat even the meats! Several of us were sick and we walked out without paying to a manager who refused to address us and sent her waitress instead.

Avoid at all costs!!!!!

1 star rating
by Jin M.
2nd January 2013

This would have to be right up there with some of the worst dining experiences we’ve had! We reluctantly decided to try Valentines Mt Eden hoping that it would prove us wrong but just as expected the food and staff were horrendous, there was hardly any hot food left to choose from and what was left had been sitting under the lamps for goodness knows how long, the meat was dry and hard and the rice was no better with the butter chicken or what was left of it dry and crusty. Chocolate log garnished with parsley and yellow whipped cream, even the custard had a crust. One word sums it up – avoid.

1 star rating
by Marie S.
30th September 2012

My son and I went to Valentines Dominion Road and it was terrible. Sub standard food.The appearance of the food uninviting past its use by date My son came home straight to a glass of Eno. Salads were old soggy wilted, not nice and past use by date . The sweet and sour pork didn’t even taste like sweet and sour it was dry and inedible.Nothing tasted like it should. Food was like it had been rehashed and reused. It was a very disappointing yuk unpleasant experience.

2 star rating
by Tran L.
28th August 2012

My family went to Valentines Dominion Road on Sunday. I would say we had an appalling experience. Food was not high-quality, the BBQ idea is good but prawn is not fresh and squid is smelly. All meat is dry; ham and beef seem like stay in the buffet for hours and not fresh. Some food is tasteless. Have no idea why dessert needs to put on the cheap fake grass. Much worse than the last time I visited. No worth for me, sorry guys. 2-stars is for friendly staffs.

1 star rating
by Dianna
22nd August 2012

Would be no star !!!
I dine in Valentines Mt Eden sometimes but this time is the worse ever. Food is either dry, burnt or bland, tasteless. Staffs are unfriendly and can not even guide me the food name !!! Bad service. Valentines brand is tarnishing, will not come back again.

1 star rating
by Olympin
19th August 2012

Without a doubt the worse Valentines that I have ever been to.
Biggest complaint is the unsanitary positioning of the raw food that has to be carried over to a hot plate.
Kids have to be closely supervised to stop them putting raw food onto plate by mistake.
Not enough serving utensils to stop cross contamination.
Management refused opportunity to respond to concerns.
As always the bottomless soft drinks are a rip off.

1 star rating
by Juni
12th August 2012

Just can’t believe how awful the food was. Had a voucher, went on Wednesday night. The steak they cooked on request, what I assumed to be fresh was salted and the waitress took the half uneaten steak and I didn’t even bother to ask her to leave it. I even felt sorry for people who were having a birthday party here on next table. Would not go back and would never recommend this place.

1 star rating
by Jimmy
3rd August 2012

WOW… But not in a good way !! The worst dining experience I have had in a long time. Purchased a voucher and thought we’d give it a crack. Mistake indeed.
Poor selection of food. Greasy, under cooked, and tasteless. Dirty drinking glasses and very sticky floor.
If I am made to go to Mt Eden Valentines again in my lifetime it will be too soon !! Avoid !!

4 star rating
by Makk D.
30th July 2012

we went there 27th July 2012 for dinner…yum yum yum food and desserts…and the staff were nice:) only downer was having to leave to go to our movie…hahaha…

4 star rating
by Jessi
13th July 2012

I went to Valentines Mt Eden on Tuesday 13, July. I had not been here for a year because of my last bad experience, however, this time i was very pleased. It has been changed a lot. I love the BBQ idea. Keep up the good work.

4 star rating
by Chen H.
17th May 2012

I went to Valentines Mt Eden with my family on mothers day. My family really enjoyed the food there. Especially the BBQ! We had 4 beef steaks and some prawns. My kids also love the desserts and ice cream. We come there to celebrate mothers day every year. I think they improve a lot. Good job! Wish next time they will give me more surprise.

4 star rating
by Shaari
2nd April 2012

I came here a couple of months ago for a special occasion during lunch time and I was disappointed with the food they offered for the lunch buffet. The desserts were great and there was a wide variety of sweet treats to choose from. However, the lunch dishes did not seem to be carefully selected and did not taste that great or that fresh.

Hence, I was a bit apprehensive about going there again for a Birthday dinner. But I was pleasantly surprised. The dinner buffet was excellent (29/3/12), there were a wide variety of dishes to choose from and it was a dream come true for meat lovers like myself. The roast pork was really nice and tender, the salads were great and so were the other dishes we had. But the best part of the buffet had to be the live barbecue. The steak prepared by the chef to your liking was amazing and so were the garlic prawns and fish. I really loved the whole live barbecue idea! The dessert too was awesome, especially the chocolate cheesecake and here again there was lots to choose from. All in all, it was a great dinner.

The buffet was well worth the $30 and I would rather spend the $10 extra and have dinner there instead of lunch as there are so many more meat and seafood dishes to choose from. With regards to their lunch menu, I think they need to improve it a bit or have a option where you can just have the coffee and desserts for a set price.

Judging by some of the other reviews here, I am wondering if I happened to go there on a good night. I am really hoping the next time I go, I will have the same great experience, as I am really looking forward to going again sometime, especially if they are still doing the live barbecue.

1 star rating
by kylie
17th March 2012

Valentines Dominion Rd, Mt Eden, certainly failed to deliver, this is certainly not an experience I hope others will not have to go thru!!!! Where do I start: seafood chowder only had surimi meat no other seafood and the soup mix looked like glue!! Mussels were frozen, still in the shell with the beard attached to it, meatballs sauce FOUL, hot ham slices soaking in water, no longer HOT & tasted water log!!, cheese board not even a cheese board, only 1 choice as the others were slices wrapped in plastic and u could buy a packet of 12 at foodtown for $2.46!! only crackers were salada that u break into 4, other choice short bread!! broccoli mushy, cheese sauce another foul dish .. pool tables also shared the same space felt like you were in a games room and not a restaurant!! and finally for the 3 hours were were there with a party of 6 the same music played twice obviously on repeat!! i will NOT recommend this venue to even my pets thats how disappointed we were..what did we eat your probably wondering after sitting there for so long…ICE CREAM and it wasnt tip top either!!!

3 star rating
by Marie H.
9th December 2011

I usually like all you can eat restaurants but this one was a little bit dirty for me! I love the desserts!

4 star rating
by Baoxin X.
31st October 2011

Quite nice family restaurant~~We have been there last Sunday lunch after church for the birthday part. Service was nice, food was all good except pizza was a bit dry. $21.90 is a good value!

4 star rating
by BennyB
22nd October 2011

went there for family birthday party last week. quite a lot change from last year. good salad selection, very fresh. bit disappointed there was no oyster in seafood part. nice butter chicken and baked fish in hotline. kids enjoyed desserts and ice cream. worth to go. recommended!

1 star rating
by Angela
6th September 2011

Took my young family here for a birthday dinner on June 7th. A lot of the food was dry and Italian meatballs don’t really go with Chinese noodles. Put some casserole chicken on my plate only to discover that it was actually fish that didn’t taste very fresh. Kids enjoyed the desserts though.
Won’t be going back.

4 star rating
by aben9912
9th June 2011

went there for dinner yesterday. Nice place to go. good selection. very good steak ect. very friendly service. kids love desserts. worth it. recon to all. will go back again.

2 star rating
by maxani
28th May 2011

the quality is really poor comparing with the price we pay, the 2 star is for the salad only, but the main food is poor quality

1 star rating
by Claire A.
19th March 2011

We went to this restaurant as it was our sons birthday and thought you can’t go wrong with Valentines family restaurant…..well we were so wrong!
We were very disappointed at the selection of food and the taste was not great.
The coca cola drinks machine broke down so our son could not continue to get drinks after paying for the deal and it did not taste like the proper coke, more like a budget brand.
But the WORST thing about our experience was the children dining there were eating from the main serving spoons in the dessert area and putting them back in the bowls. Eating watermelon and putting half eaten bits back in with the main plates.
Other diners near us were complaining and telling each other not to eat the desserts!
When I told the waitress she said it was the parents fault!
I said that they should have staff in the food service area making sure it wasn’t happening because they need to consider all diners. The staff were too scared to tell the parents and so it continued and of course we among other diners left very disappointed! Will never return.

2 star rating
by sarah
4th September 2010

Decided to come here for my birthday as I hadn’t been to Valentines in years….but left feeling pretty disappointed. This is not the Valentines that I remember. The menu was pretty crap, not many options to choose from and the food wasn’t that nice. Was shown to our table on arrival and that was it, no offer of drinks or how our meals were going. Won’t be coming back here in a hurry.

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