Wednesday, November 25, 2009

review: Buffet City

(edit and note to self: do not trust office software spell and grammar check because they let you use the wrong words that may be right in another context LOL)

Do you ever have the feeling that you are hungry for EVERYTHING all at the same time but do not want the pile of leftovers... so you opt for buffet (at least *WE* do).

As a veteran of many a buffet of various kinds, cuisines, styles, etc. I can safely say that buffets range from the barely edible (then only because they are what is available in a foreign place) to actually worth going out of your way to experience.

We have stumbled upon just a perfect example of the latter. They do have a menu which they quietly ask if you would like upon arrival... we were not there for just one thing we were there for the buffet!! (we will return to see if the rest of the menu lives up to the buffet or not).

First the advertising from their menu/place-mat
Buffet City
Chinese * Japanese * mongolian BBQ & American Cuisine
TEL 801-965-0088
FAX 801-969-7687
2739 S 5600 W #110
West Ualley City UT 84120
(and yes I left the spelling error we all had a big laugh about in... should be Valley)
We Use Vegetable Oil Only
Cholesterol Free
No M.S.G. Low Salt
Party Welcome

Over 100 Items Daily
Menu Include: Sushi Bar, Japanese Tepenyaki, B-B-Q Grill, Salmon Fish, Ribs, Shrimp, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Duck, Walnut Shrimp, Cocktail Shrimp, Orange Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Sesame Pork, Pot Sticker, Clam, Mussel, Oyster, Appetizers, Soup, Lo Mein, Chow Mein, Egg Foo Young, Fried Rice, Salad Bar, Fruit, Cake, Ice Cream, Dessert And Much More … … …

Lunch Buffet 6.99
Dinner Buffet 9.99
(lower for children but I am not going to post all of that unless someone wants to know)
Senior Citizens Over
65 10% off
We Have Party Room
Up to 100 People
Open 7 days a week
11:00am – 10:00PM (22:00 for you 24 hour types)
except Friday and Saturday when they close at 10:30pm (22:30)

We went in late evening after a VERY busy day and some things were a little stale or just not present so a full review can not really be made yet. The place is in a rather unassuming strip mall and from the outside not exactly awe or hunger inspiring, especially with many local favorites in the area and more fast food than one can shake a large tree at.

The staff was still present from the party/rush which left the place slightly worse for the ordeal, and ate in the party room before going home basically with us.

Do yourself a favor if you like Asian food and at least give them a chance...
I had a couple of pieces of various sushi which had been covered (did not suffer from the dryness some of the hot food did). Tuna roll, spicy tuna, shrimp roll all met my standards very well. The pretend wasabi is only partly pretend in that it does have wasabi as well as horseradish which is more commonly what is called wasabi in Utah,

The Mongolian BBQ was present, staffed and available but both of us ignored it and frankly I didn't notice what was available other than all of the insert pans were full, looked fresh, smelled very nice, etc.

On to the buffet itself... Everything I had was tasty, some to an excess. Everything was low salt and the only M.S.G. I could detect was the kind already present in various of the ingredients (glutimates are present in several forms in many ingredients of Asian food and a few USAican foods as well).

Some of my food was admittedly a little dry but I will forgive them as my experience tells me there is a time after a rush when you choose to ignore the buffet and allow stuff to run out naturally because usually after a rush you just as well close the place and go home early (especially true now that “everyone” has a cell phone and calls their friends, micro blogs, or otherwise notifies the world that the place was “packed so full we had to go to ____ to eat”).

All of the shrimp dishes were quite tasty. The walnut shrimp in particular reminded me of a dish I often pay for in a local Thai place (there advertised as coconut shrimp and containing grated & toasted coconut but otherwise very similar, down to both sauces being reduced coconut milk and sugar).

There were also Mexican dishes not mentioned on the place-mat including burrititos (their word for tiny burritos, I assume supplied by one of the several Mexican staff that we saw), and tiny soft folded tacos. Both tasty though my wife found the tiny burritos a bit dry and ended up eating the centers and leaving the ends.

The shell fish both cold and hot were quite tasty. Nothing unique here other than most buffets around here do not serve shell fish or do so only once in a while.

The cold mussels had been marinated and/or cooked in something which seemed citrus based (I had only a small bit of one because the sign led me to believe I may have a problem and could not explain my citrus allergy to the person that was close at hand) and would be quite delicious were it not for my allergy. Slightly sweet, probably orange and just a tiny bit waved over the mussel before being poached not steamed... Not over cooked, then chilled with gelled shell-fish juice poured into each shell.

The cold/salad bar held more treasures. I was a little annoyed that I could not figure out the ingredients in the fake crab meat salad but assume it is probably something I have not tasted previously. It was however very good and quite worth the return trip for all on it's own.

The fruit even out of season was tasty and fresh (if you can call something shipped half way across the USA fresh).

Dessert is rather standard buffet style around here with one exception. Rather than the air filled soft serve ice cream or yogurt it was a rather tasty tiny tub or orange cream-cicles or one other we have forgotten. The tubs came in vanilla, strawberry or chocolate.

Nothing was found to be spoiled or inedible, all in all definitely on our list next time we feel the buffet urge even if it is still early enough in the day for the Asian buffet near our house to be open. (A review of the closer place will be had soon as far as the buffet equally tasty but without the other options like sushi, BBQ, tepanyaki, etc. and no menu to order from).

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