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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Asian Buffet & Grill

  I had heard some good things about Asian Buffet from a relative, so we decided to check it out.  Asian Buffet is sort of a chain - if you consider a second location in the Cincinnati area to meet that definition.  At first glance, I thought the name seemed a bit generic.  I thought perhaps it should have a name that reflected a specific place in China or something, and then I realized they were going for something more general after all.  For example, they have sushi, teriyaki, and others.  

  I started out with the grill, which is pretty much what I've seen called "Mongolian Grill" other places.  I loaded up on shrimp and beef, adding noodles and a few other items that caught my fancy.  Unlike a few of the other Asian grills I've been to, they don't have the sauces out where you can select and add the amount you like.  Instead, you simply tell the cook which sauce to use, and how well done you want it cooked.  I went with a teriyaki sauce, and added a decent amount of diced garlic.  The shrimp was ok, the beef tastier, but overall the noodles were a disappointment.  I should probably have left them out, and used some vegetables.

  The decor of the place was festive and clean.  There were 6 serving stations.  Women's restroom needed a cleaning, but the men's was spotless. (perhaps just an issue of cleaning schedules)  There was no background music, which was a little disappointing.  The "Buckeye Room" was available for groups.

  Since this was a buffet, I'll just give some "short & sweet" highlights:

pepper shrimp - shell on, buttery, a bit of work if you don't like the crunch

peanut chicken - appropriately nutty, maybe a little too sticky

stuffed crab - excellent, went back for more several times

clams - salty goodness, ~1.5" in size, good enough for seconds, maybe thirds

steak - decent if a little fatty; no steak sauce anywhere. (but they got some for me when asked)
            was more like roast beef, very tender

kimchee - the sign said spicy, and it was (too hot for me, unfortunately)

general Tsao's chicken - again, sign said spicy, but it was the mildest I've ever had

frog legs - a tad tough, but I like the taste

plum chicken - normally I love plum sauce, but this sauce did not seem to have the spices balanced

octopus - a bit spicy, would have eaten more if a milder version was available

crab rangoon - tiny, perhaps a little too sweet with a sugar kick

steak pie - +++!  This was a bit unexpected, topped with sesame seed, it looked rather like
                 philly cheesesteak cut into sections

rice crispie squares - if you like these, this place has them, and you're set for dessert
                 (comfort food for me - my Mom used to make them often) 

  Overall, this place has a much better selection of foods than most of the Chinese buffets that I've visited.  Considering that it is only a few bucks more than many of the other places, with nearly twice the selection, this would be a good place to try if you haven't.  On the other hand, I wasn't quite as impressed with their grill as I have been with the Mongolian style grills at other places, though it might just have been the noodles, or the sauce I chose.  If you would like to save a few dollars, and crab legs aren't your thing, try going for lunch.  Off the top of my head, I'd give this place around an 8.5 out of 10.

Asian Buffet & Grill
address: 6999 Miller Lane (just south of I-70 & I-75 intersection)
telephone: 898-1888
Sun.-Thur.  11a - 10p
Fri. & Sat. 11a - 10:30p

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Dayton Dining

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