Uptown Buffet Norfolk
Ok, it seems like I’m on a buffet kick lately. I swear, it’s not me, it’s my family! Every time I visit them, we end up going to a buffet. Usually Chinese but occasionally we go to Golden Corral as well. It’s interesting how many Chinese buffets are in the Hampton Roads area as opposed to lets say, Orlando. Orlando is definitely much bigger but yet I can’t say there are any Chinese buffets that I think is good or worth taking my family to. At least at this point in time.
So, for Sunday dinner we ended up going to Uptown Buffet. It’s located on Military Highway near Military Circle Mall. It has been here for years. I would not say the food is consistent here but this time around, I was surprised at some of the dishes they had. Authentic Chinese dishes at a buffet?! What?! Hmm…
Well, needless to say, they have the sushi bar. You never can go wrong with some seaweed salad. I absolutely love that stuff. There’s also a hibachi grill, or rather a sign for it. The space is too small to prepare it in front of you, but give them your plate and they’ll make it in the back. There was so many other food items for me to eat, I skipped the hibachi. Usually, that’s one of the things I always get. You know you go to buffets a lot if you have a buffet routine. I usually start of salad/sushi, soup/hibachi, a minimum of two plates for meats/veggies, a dessert plate and ice cream. When my family and I eat, we eat! We don’t just stay around for 30 minutes.
The salad bar is good. They have alfalfa sprouts here that actually looked fresh. Some people may be a bit hesitant on eating food from a buffet but you really have to chose wisely. Or have an iron stomach. I’d like to think I have both. There’s nothing that I ate here where I would stop myself and say, “Does that look okay to eat?”
So of course, there’s the sushi, hibachi, the salad bar, American food (pizza, mac & cheese), the “Chinese” (General Tso’s Chicken) and the fried food. Some of the food that I kept coming back for more were the frog legs and the oysters. These frog legs were absolutely addictively delicious! Nice light batter, perfectly seasoned, not too greasy. This was sooo good. Buffet or not buffet, these frog legs were just great! I’ve had some mediocre frog legs in the past month but these, my goodness, I just kept getting more and more. The whole family agreed, the frog legs were a winner. If you hadn’t had frog legs before, it similar to a drumstick but leaner. Of course everyone says it tastes like chicken but I’d say just a leaner version.
The steamed oysters in a black bean sauce were fantastic. The oysters were soft, with a flavorful sauce. This is a legitimate Chinese dish and quite different, I might add. No harsh flavors, very delicate balance. More salty due to the black beans but absolutely delicious. I most definitely ate a bunch of these.
Next up, we’ve got sweet sticky rice. It looks like a eight treasure rice pudding but not as fancy. It’s got glutinous rice, red dates, lotus seeds with a simple syrup on top. This is definitely a Chinese dish. The rice will be sticky and slightly chewy. It’s a very warm and comforting.
Another surprising item they had was the White Fungus Papaya Dessert Soup. It’s a warm dessert soup with papayas, dates and white fungus. If you hadn’t had white fungus before, it’s got a slightly plasticky texture. You would find this in an Asian market, dried. It looks like a sponge and needs to be soaked long enough.
There were many items here that I enjoyed but these four were at the top of my list. Also, they had some delicious fresh papaya here. Usually buffets don’t really make a positive impression on me. Either it’s average or below average but at Uptown Buffet, I had a great experience all around. Even the server here was such a pleasant, sweet lady. Maria was on top of things and she had such a warm personality. My only criticism would be the labels. Some food items had no labels at all or others were mislabeled. Aside from that, everything else was great.
For the folks who want to stick to the regular food at a Chinese buffet, you won’t be disappointed here either. For a Sunday dinner of $11.59, it was well worth it.
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