Monday, September 17, 2012

Supreme Buffet & Hibachi Grill ... why me?

Supreme Buffet & Hibachi Grill

After seeing so many posts on Instagram of the good looking food from this buffet I was so excited to visit it with my family. My husband is not a fan of buffets but for the kids sake we visit so they can eat immediately. This place is located in Hillard Ohio which is a good 20 min or so drive for us. T

I've seen excellent pictures of a good selection of seafood and sushi so I figure for a price of $11 a person I can eat all the good specialty sushi I want. We went on a Sunday so they were serving dinner all day.

Boy was I disappointed.

We had a party of 7 and was placed in the back on the left of the buffet area. My husband asked to be seated in a less crowded area just in the next room but was told they were unable to seat more than 6 because they were not allowed to push tables together. Of course as I walked by 5 minutes later, they were pushing together tables for other people.

SERVICE: The service is good for a buffet. Our plates were not there for too long before the waitress would clear them from the end of our table. She did refill our cups once or twice before we left. The only thing is when the host sat us and took our drink order he was short one glass which after I told the waitress she brought over right away. We did not get offered any chopsticks which I just grabbed from the waitress station.

mixed sushi
FOOD: I can't do food portions because of course its an all you can eat. But the food quality is not very good. After seeing pictures on Instagram, I was enticed by how good the food look. After tasting the Octopus salad, BBQ ribs, green beans, lo mien, egg drop soup, baked crab meat, fried jalapeno shrimp and sushi. It was average if not below average. The only thing I really enjoyed was the crawfish, which was frozen precooked crawfish but they cooked it good. Not overcooked, which is very easy to do, but good let alone they were big and meaty. Not spicy at all, but fulfilling.They had blue crab but nothing to crack it with. I thought it would be flavorful but just tasted like it was stirred around in oil and decorated with green onion. If you were going to do that, they should have just steamed it. The soups needed salt, very plain and the lo mien noodles were just cooked spaghetti noodles, not even lo mien. The sushi was my biggest disappointment. This was well below grade but I should have known being a buffet. It seemed like they just grabbed what was left from the buffet and rolled it up in rice and seaweed, added some sauce and served it as is. It was the first time where it almost came out of my mouth before I finished chewing on it. I had to hold my gag reflex since I was in public. The rice was hard and the fish did not look fresh. There are plenty of options but also missing options you expect at Chinese buffets like certain noodle dishes. Seemed like they were on the thin line of American / Chinese. They did have 2 different steaks and plenty of ribs which weren't bad. They kept running out of the fried shrimp but this is the first buffet where no one was fighting over the crab. My husband said the hibachi was good but fresh cooked food is always better than food sitting out.

LOCATION: You could spot the sign right off the highway on 70 westbound toward the Hillard Rome Rd exit. But if your not familiar it may be easy to miss. You have to turn right at the light immediately off the exit then a small sign leads you onto a side road to the buffet. They are a stand alone location surrounded by motels & hotels.

ATMOSPHERE: Typical buffet with rooms of tables for guests and buffet area right in front when you walk in so you see it as you enter. There's an outdoor patio to eat at. Very awkward with people walking around to get food mixing with the guests walking it. Usually the buffets are set up out of the way of people walking in to be seated so this was a little crowded.

PRICE: 60+ guest get 10% off, 3-10 yrs old are at a reduced price, 2 and under are free. Adults are about $11 but I don't remember if that included the drinks but knowing buffets it probably doesn't. They have coupons on their website.

OVERALL: My family did not enjoy this place at all and I doubt I would give it a second chance. It felt like everything was fried and was extremely greasy. It was not clean and no one was trying to even keep it decently clean. The first thing out of my husband's mouth was it was dirty. The sushi was horrible and the place was messy even for a buffet. I read some of the reviews from Urbanspoon which a majority of the people seem to agree with me how bad it is there. I regret the visit and should have taken my kids to Asian Gourmet for good sushi and food.

Sad Sushi Eater - Bay Nan

Supreme Buffet & Hibachi Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bangkok Restaurant - never changes...

Bangkok Restaurant - Columbus OH

phad kanar moo karb

Yesterday, after a busy early morning with my husband and son, we decided to go to a local favorite for authentic Thai food along with Chinese food made to order. Bangkok has been a favorite in our family even with the kids. That's a plus for us since our children are such picky eaters. They have such a variety and unlike other Asian restaurants, the taste of the food doesn't change. If you've had their food, you grow to love the taste of the food and if you return, it will stimulate your brain as if it's the first time you're having it again.

baby spring rolls / fried chicken
SERVICE:  It may be favoritism since I know the workers there but as busy as it may get, they are very friendly and as fast as they can be with service. Always walking offering water and checking in with us if we need anything for our meal. They are happy to help and provide. At time when visiting restaurants I get a feel that we are overstaying but not here. In addition we never feel like we are unwanted customers. Always good service and attention the same as other customers at lunch or at dinner.

shrimp chips
FOOD: The food taste consistent so you get what you expect and if you are trying new food they can adjust the heat (spiciness) according to your own preference. The food is delicious and authentic, very close to home. I have never tried the Chinese dishes because I tend to only order according to the specialties in which restaurants are categorized. (steak from steakhouse, seafood from seafood restaurants, sushi from sushi restaurants, etc.) They have specialty drinks from my favorite Thai ice coffee and Thai tea along with a selection of bubble teas. I don't prefer the bubble tea here for its a little on the sweet side. This is in addition to the sodas and water.

PRICES/PORTIONS: The prices depend on which time of day you visit. I believe they have lunch specials for smaller portions. They are usual prices for the food and the portions do feed the family. We tend to order multiple dishes to share and we always pack home for later. We split some of the dishes among the kids to share and the older kids get their own so we always go home happy and full.The drinks are a little pricy but then you are at a restaurant. You can get a dish for about $5 - $9 depending on what it is. 

ATMOSPHERE: There are plenty of Thai decorations around and they always have Thai karaoke music videos playing in the background on a flat screen TV for your viewing pleasure. It is not a big restaurant with about 10 booths and tables in the middle. 

yum seafood
OVERALL EXPERIENCE:  We continue to go back for the food and the nice "home" feeling. I have a rule I use with eating at international cuisine restaurants, if the people of that culture eats there, it must be authentic and good. There are always a crowd of Thai and Lao people eating there with my family included. It's a treat and being there at lunch is just as good as dinner with less of a crowd, but still a crowd all the same. Good service and good food is always a plus with us. It will keep you craving! For safe picks, the Phad Thai and Lad Na is always a choice. Phad Ke Mao is spicy good, but rice dishes are my favorite from ordering soups, Phad Ka Na Moo Korp (fried pork with Chinese brocolli), and Red Curries. Try one then try them all.

Bangkok on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant ... "Dim Sum funny ninjas!"

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant - Dim Sum

Recently I received an email from Tasty Tree. Once in a while I will get an email  with the local deal of the "moment" since its so inconsistent. Well recently  I received the following deal: Which was buy a $50 gift card for $20 (but they add a 16% tip automatically).

My husband was never a big dim sum fan being a fan of the big "I want to get full" meal usually consisting of noodles. But since I went ahead and bought this coupon / gift card we decided to give the kids a treat and take them out to eat. This would be the first time for the kids to try something new.

Now I have had dim sum before so I enjoy it because I'm the type of eater who likes to pick at different foods and taste different things. So you can tell I'm a big fan of cooking too many sides to the one main meal. I like the selection and the option of choosing many different tastes within one sitting. Dim sum means point of the heart meant as a snack or quick meal that lightly "touches the heart". But when it comes to my family, we eat until we were half way to food comas. If you've never had dim sum, they are like little bite size dumplings that are either steamed or fried served in wooden baskets, steam tins or on small plates.

The restaurant opens at 11 am and fills up quick. We were there half an hour early, but no one was there yet except the workers. Once we walked in 10 min early we were seated and our waitress promptly arrived to take our drink orders. Soon after the serving cart and rolled around. Basically the waitress will ask what you would like. If you know your dim sum you can ask for it by name. If not, like us we just look and point at what we like. You can ask for more than one basket and what they do it they stamp or mark it according to size on a piece of paper that is for our table.

We tried several different ones, our favorites being the pork siu mai and the steam shrimp dumplings (ha gow). My youngest loved the chicken feet and I really enjoyed the fried tofu. They have several carts rolling around consisting of soups and congee (rice porridge), fried dumplings, clams, veggies, and desserts. They also had bubble tea which the kids tasted. Not the best bubble tea but an option non the less.

Our bill was a total of $106 ($136 - $50 gift card +$20 tip) for about 20 little tins/plates,  4 sodas, 2 hot tea, & 3 bubble teas. Not bad for a family of seven. It took them a while to validate the coupon and ring up the bill but end the end well worth the savings of $30. Overall we had a good time, full bellies, and hopefully will come again. The kids enjoyed it and being picky eaters did get full from tasting every little dumpling.

Happy Ninja - Bay Nan

Sunflower Chinese Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon