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It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve written a post. Between traveling and working, I hadn’t had time to write. Let’s see, my dad just visited me for a week and most of the time, we went out to eat. I truly am not a fan of buffets but for my dad, it’s a good choice for him. Actually, my immediate family likes buffets primarily for the simplicity and immediate access to food. As for me, I’d rather have quality. Being a good daughter, I can put my personal preferences aside during my dad’s visit.
So, he asked me if there are any good Chinese buffets in Orlando. Honestly, not really. I am not a fan of the Chinese buffets here. They’re usually fried mass amounts of MSG-laced food. I decided to do a little researching and found Koy Wan Hibachi Buffet. The prices here are comparable to other Chinese buffets but with more sushi selection. This is not a Japanese buffet, you’re not going to find pork katsu or udon noodles here.
The interior is Asian themed with a water fountain. The buffet tables are spread out. Big spacious dining area. The sushi selection was diverse and I ended up trying most of the items. And of course I got seaweed salad. That stuff is just addictive! As far as the sushi goes, I’ll be honest. I’m not some super huge sushi fanatic. It was fine, it had a good variety and it worked for me. As far as the quality goes, I’d rate it higher than average for a buffet. On the same token, I would not parallel this to the quality of an actual sushi restaurant.
The hibachi station has a good selection. It is called Koy Wan Hibachi Buffet after all. This is the best selection for hibachi that I’ve seen in the Orlando area thus far. I made my noddle dish with onions, mushrooms, napa cabbage, zuchinni, shrimp and beef. Koy Wan has a ginger sauce and that “special” white sauce on the side to go along with it. That was truly really good. Honestly, this alone is worth the price of the buffet.
I love oysters but I really dislike the raw oysters at Chinese Buffets. Why must you tempt me?! Raw oysters are delicious but raw oysters from buffets make me cringe. I thought to myself, perhaps this time it’ll actually be good. Nope. It needed to be chilled more.
As far as actual entrees, I enjoyed the walnut shrimp and the salt & pepper shrimp. The quality of the shrimp was good and it had the proper texture. The Korean short ribs were too salty for my liking. Everything was pretty good but let me tell ya, the green tea ice cream is where it’s at! I might have to hoard me a tub of this stuff. Yum! This is perfect for those who don’t like their ice cream too sweet. It’s a nice, refreshing flavor. Perfect way to end my gorging session.
Koy Wan has a student, senior citizen and public officials discount. They also have an early bird special as well.
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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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Hibachi King Buffet is located on East Little Creek Road near Shore Drive. Throughout the years, I’ve seen buffets come and go at this very location. I’m a fan of Hibachi King. Although this is an Americanized buffet, I always enjoy the food here. It’s very spacious inside, great for large groups. Inside you’ll see all the bright neon lights. Ooohhh…lights…
The sushi is pretty decent especially for buffet standards.
Even for the hibachi, there was plenty of options to choose from between the proteins and vegetables.
Hibachi King serves Pepsi products, beer, wine, and sake. And ladies, there’s even Moscato here. As long as you come in knowing that this is an Americanized Chinese buffet, you’ll enjoy the food here. This is a great spot for lunch and they always have discounts whether if it’s a mail flyer or Facebook. Friendly wait staff, great prices, plentiful selection, clean restaurant, and a large chocolate fountain. For a buffet, it’s a winner for me!
Monday-Saturday 11AM-3:30PM $6.99
Ages 3-6 (must be under 4 ft) $2.99
Ages 7-10 (must be under 5 ft) $4.99
Monday-Saturday 3:30PM-CLOSE $8.99
Ages 3-6 (must be under 4 ft) $3.99
Ages 7-10 (must be under 5 ft) $5.99
Sunday All Day Dinner $8.99
Take Out Food By the Pound
Dinner & Hibachi: $4.99
Seafood & Sushi $6.99
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It’s been a little while since I had a post since I hadn’t had steady internet access. The little things we don’t ever think about. Anyhow, Dad and I were looking for dinner and Dad sees an ad in the Chinese newspaper. I like to try different things and he likes to eat a lot. So, we decided to go get dinner here for $10.95 per person on a Saturday night. It looked like just about any other Chinese buffet I had ever been to yet. (Yes, I’m Chinese and I do eat at Chinese buffets. Only with my family.) The interior is set up average like any other Chinese buffet.
I go to get sushi and I’m just looking at it, do I really want to chance it? The avocados in the sushi looked “iffy”. The seaweed salad was good but c’mon that’s premade (the buffet doesn’t get any points for that). The raw oysters were the most snotty-like unflavored room temperature blobs I have ever tasted. I really enjoy raw oysters, freshly shucked ones and all… but this, this was disgusting. I couldn’t consume it. It was probably a good thing that I didn’t either.
Fine, oysters were gross but it’s called Teppanyaki Grill so I get my plate for the hibachi. Terrible quality for the “steak” and my food was burnt. Really?! Burnt noodles, shrimp, eggs and all. It’s called Teppanyaki Grill! Oy. Even the General Tso’s chicken was soggy. The clam chowder was watery. Of all things, the mac and cheese was actually ok.
There’s just soooo much fried food here. Golden yellow food everywhere. The fried food lovers won’t be disappointed here.
The crowd were was a good mix of everything but lots of kids. There was quite a bit of Asian folks as well. I actually wanted to stop all the Asian people and ask them,”What are you doing here?!?! I’m pulling your Asian card!” Sigh. I’m pretty much done with this place but Dad still wants to chow down.
One of the desserts happened to pique my interest. Something that actually looks authentic? Coconut milk tapioca pearl dessert. It’s a sweet, cold treat with the small tapioca pearls (not the ones for bubble tea). How did it taste here? Not sweet enough and the green and orange bits were honeydew and cantaloupe scraps. Really?! It didn’t even add anything to the dish. Why bother?!
I wasn’t expecting authentic Chinese food here but at least tasty food. I have been to plenty of Chinese buffets in my day and this one certainly falls short.