Thursday, November 12, 2009

King Buffet

Strip malls are the new castles.

So is King Buffet a Chinese buffet or a Japanese buffet? In the waiting area there's a giant mural of the Great Wall of China. However, they've also got an entree called Japanese Chicken. Then again, the buffet has Mexican food as well, so whatever. It doesn't matter. Really we just wanted massive plates of fried in sauce.

Studying the mural while we were waiting to be seated, Steve said with awe, “It's just like being there -- on a really blue day.” Shortly thereafter we were shown to our table, and I made my first trip to the buffet for a bowl of hot & sour soup and some appetizers. I got crab rangoon, chicken teriyaki on a stick, some fried pork dumplings that were 300% more doughy than any dumpling I've ever encountered before, a pork and shrimp Dim Sum concoction, and everybody's favorite traditional Chinese delicacy, cheese nuggets.

But the highlight was the Dragon Roll. Tug pointed to it and asked me what was in it. “Dragon,” I said.

Nick countered, “I think it's actually imitation dragon meat. Like K-Rab.”

“You mean it's Dee-Ragon?,” I asked.

“Yeah,” confirmed Nick.

Plates two and three were entrees. Like the appetizer selection, pretty much all the usual Chinese buffet suspects are present and accounted for. Your General Tso, your sesame chicken, your lo mein and fried rice, etc. And each one tasted about like they taste at every other Chinese buffet -- vaguely Asian with only slight variation in flavor from dish to dish. Which is exactly what we were in the mood for, even if it doesn't sound as good when you spell it out like that, though.

I should note that King Buffet does have two items I hadn't seen elsewhere.
  • House Special Chicken: I liked this quite a bit. Mostly because it had mushrooms in it, not because it tastes any different than anything else on the buffet.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken: First bite was awesome. Second bite less so. After the third bite, I never wanted to taste this again. Do not put more than two bites of this on your plate.
King Buffet also has sushi. Now I like sushi and everything, and this sushi looked fine, but buffet sushi, uh, well...thank you, but no. Yet between that and the soft taco -- technically more of a tiny burrito, I believe -- I probably should've braved the sushi. The soft taco tasted like it came out of a can.

Again, all we were looking for was fried in sauce, so barring my third bite of Peanut Butter Chicken and that soft taco, as buffets go this wasn't bad. Perhaps even slightly above average, thanks to the Dragon Roll and the mushrooms in the House Special Chicken. Although there weren't any Chinese donuts, and that totally blows.

Maybe it's a Japanese buffet after all.
1601 West 23rd Street | Lawrence, KS 66046King Buffet on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. One lousy soft taco thing? Not much for international flavor. I think you should try the Chi-Mex buffet near Taco Via at 95th and Metcalf. They have a full on Taco Bar and the Chinese food isn't half bad.