I Go to Mandarin Chinese Restaurant For Their Buffet. If That Makes Me Wrong, Then I Don’t Wanna Be Right.

That quote is from a film or something, right? I don’t know, I’m not really a movie person. Because you can’t eat them.

A lot of people turn their noses up at buffets, and while I understand the cynicism, I disagree with it. As long as the restaurateurs are attentive, and there is a good amount of foot, mouth traffic and turnover, then I believe that buffets are one of the best creations ever. A  slew of food for a set amount of dollars, usually fixed at reasonable price? Well, I’m no rocket scientist, but that sounds genius to me.

Vegetable Chow Fun, steamed dumplings, clams, garlic green beans, and fried chicken.
Vegetable Chow Fun, steamed dumplings, clams, garlic green beans, and fried chicken.

My first plate consisted of vegetable chow fun, steamed dumplings, garlic green beans, sauteed clams, and fried chicken.  I love rice noodles, and then there are wide versions? Yes! The garlic green beans are always a must for me. On this visit, they weren’t as cooked as I like them, too crunchy,  but still delicious nonetheless. A part of my affection for them stems from the nostalgia they bring to the surface of memories I hold from my youth. Steamed dumplings are always good, no matter what country they come from. I believe that these were gyoza, so they were Japanese. I love Chinese style fried chicken, but theirs is always too salty for me. Just a couple of bites and I have to discard the wing. Onto the clams. I love them. Sauteed, or stir fried clams in a black bean sauce cooked with chilies and jalapenos. These may be my favorite part of this particular buffet.

Mapo Tofu over rice, more clams, srping roll, egg roll, more garlic green beans, and crab rangoon.
Mapo Tofu over rice, more clams, srping roll, egg roll, more garlic green beans, and crab rangoon.

I saw the Mapo Tofu and nearly passed out from the excitement. It has been so long! Set in a chili and bean based oily sauce, this delicious Sichuan soft tofu dish has always been one of my favorites. I prefer it over steamed white rice and I make sure to put a lot of the sauce in there so it can be soaked up. Clams? Check. Garlic green beans? Yes, again, despite my initial reaction to texture at the time. The crab rangoons are bland, albeit generously filled. I found the egg roll boring as well, and I would have liked more cabbage along with more flavor in general. The spring roll tasted much better, although a little hard from sitting out. Still, I had a second one after.

I didn’t bother taking another photo after that. My third plate was full of all the same stuff, I topped off my bowl of Mapo Tofu with more Mapo Tofu, and finally I was done after that. They have scoop-able ice cream, and I hate to admit that I completely forgot about that until just now.

I tend to stay away from your typical Chinese American dishes, like chicken lomein and sweet and sour whatever. I much prefer Chinese food over the westernized versions of the cuisine. I like that this restaurant gives me a couple of those options. Service here is always friendly. The space is big, with the tables and booths spaced out awkwardly, but nothing you dwell on as soon as you get food in front of your face.

I will end this entry with a serious piece of advice, which I would give in reference to most Chinese buffets in this town:  Stay away from the sushi. I understand the curiosity, trust me I do. Actually, I already take that statement back. Try the sushi, so you know exactly what I’m talking about. You have to try everything once. Do it. Then let me know what you think.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s