Last week for a little fun night out, we went out to eat at the Grand Asia Buffet on Six Forks Road in the Celebration Station area. The restaurant looks pretty big from outside and we’d heard the food was good. We love Chinese food, so what could be better than buffet-style Chinese?
We arrived around 6:00 hoping there wasn’t much of a big dinner rush, and the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all. We were seated quickly and could smell the food coming from the buffet area. We headed over to the buffet line and walked through to see what fare was offered. There were a lot of heated bins with different options to pick from, but the bins weren’t anywhere near full or steaming hot. One entire buffet side was nothing but spring rolls, egg rolls and sushi, which we skipped over. Which ended up being a good thing because there was a man standing there coughing all over the place without covering up his mouth. Bleh.
After picking through the plates to find one that did not have old rice or food stuck to it, I selected the vegetable rice, teriyaki chicken on a stick, and chicken bits that I thought were also teriyaki chicken but wasn’t sure. I grabbed a few crab rangoon (won-ton) and sweet sauce too since these are my favorite!
Other plates were filled with fried chicken, rice, noodles and fruit. Two of us got won-ton soup and the third got egg-drop soup.
We all dug into our food and within a few bites were very disappointed. The rice tasted like it was old and greasy. The teriyaki chicken on the stick was dried out. The other chicken pieces didn’t have much flavor and were tough to chew on. The crab rangoon were soggy and the cream cheese overwhelmed any hint of crab, of which I saw no pieces mixed in at all. We set our plates to the end of the table, still half full. The soup wasn’t any better; the won-ton soup was watery and the egg drop soup was really thick and gelatinous. Very unappetizing.
The fried chicken was good, as was most of the fresh fruit. But the greasy warm noodles weren’t much better than the stale-tasting rice was.
On our second trip up to the buffet we selected pepper steak. This was pretty good but again, not very hot from the serving tray. And, again, we had our plates cleared while still half-full.
We decided to not bother with the food any more and moved on to the dessert buffet line. There were plenty of options to choose from here, but we all picked the self-serve ice-cream machine. That ended up being the best and tastiest part of the whole ordeal.
I was ready to check out and was annoyed that my less-than-desirable meal for three cost a little over $30. Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that much for a dinner out, but when your food is tasteless, cold and just not good at all, well it makes you wince. I pretty much felt like I paid $30 for three ice-cream cones.
It’s possible that we hit this restaurant on an off night, but I can tell you I will not be making a trip back here any time soon. I get better value and better tasting food from any number of take-out or sit-down Chinese restaurants in the area.