As per @corvette_johnny’s request. A thread dedicated to the wonders and glory of the Chinese Buffet.
It can either be a cultural experience or a place where you hang your head in shame. To me, Teppanyaki in East Brunswick is the best. They have at least 10 islands of hot food, 4 cold, plus sushi and a hibachi grill. One island is strictly authentic Chinese such as frog legs, chicken feet, tripe, etc. The rest cover your takeout classics and “American” food. They have a large enough selection that you really feel like you’re having an experience. It is not fine cuisine, but the food is hot and fresh. A large crowd allows for good food turnover. Price is $15 per person (and a dollar more for weekends I think)
Then you have China Buffet in Hazlet which I described in another thread:
The China Buffet in Hazlet (used to be same owners as Eatontown) isn’t much better. I tried it last year after not being there since I was a child. I was praying no one would see me there. I didn’t even review it! But of course, halfway through I hear a “Hey Greg!”. It was a former coworker of mine.
Anyway, food is dreadful. Lukewarm, soggy, limp. Everything looks old. It could come right out of the wok and still not be hot. Bizarre. They had nice looking pastries for dessert but were hard as a rock. Probably bought day old items from Normandie bakery a few doors down.
The Middletown location was actually decent but closed and their replacement was even better but failed as well.
I enjoyed the Middletown one for years. They had a guy at the grill who made excellent cheeseburgers (of all things). Their replacement was Hao Sushi Seafood Buffet which went all out with sushi and only had average hot food. Location size/rent plus too good of a bang for the buck, I believe, led to its downfall.
Meanwhile, the Hazlet one charges the same $15 as Teppanyaki and offers a quarter of the product. I don’t know how anyone could walk in or out and not feel ashamed.