Friday, October 14, 2011

Wasabi Oriental Buffet, Williamsburg, Virginia

Wasabi Oriental Buffet was a pleasant find in Williamsburg, Virginia. Our trip to Williamsburg, Virginia included a buffet meal every night with the idea of bringing our readers some new buffets to visit in their travels. Three of those meals were at Asian buffets. We almost did not eat at this one. In fact, the first night that we went to eat there the parking lot to the right side of the restaurant was full. On a second night's successful attempt, we saw that the parking lot to the left of the restaurant is not just for the motel that is right behind, but there is a large section next to the restaurant that is just for this restaurant. I am glad that we saw this because we had a very pleasant meal.

The Wasabi buffet advertises itself as having a Mongolian Grill (in this area all of the Asian buffets include a Mongolian Grill), having Hawaiian BBQ, and having a sushi bar. I was very curious to discover what Hawaiian BBQ was. When we entered what we found was the usual Asian buffet setup with hot and cold buffet servers and a section behind a counter with a grill and sushi bar. We were pleasantly greeted and brought to our table which was in one of the two dining rooms that this restaurant has. One dining room is just off the buffet area and is very traditionally decorated. There is another dining room through an alcove that is much larger and is much more modernly decorated. Each room has a distinct look - both very nice. The other dining room is used for catering as well as an additional dining room and they have had weddings and parties in this room.

We paid just $29 and change for the two of us for dinner on a weeknight and this included the price of the meal, unlimited soft drinks, the tax, and the tip. Compared to prices at home at a comparable Asian buffet this is very good.

We started with soup, as always. There was the usual assortment of wonton, egg drop, and hot and sour. Lately, I have been mixing egg drop with hot and sour to tone down the hot in the hot and sour. It is an unusual combination but I like hot and sour and don't like it spicy, so while this may not tell you how the hot and sour soup is on its own, the combination was good. My wife had the wonton soup and liked it.

There is a small salad area and as is typical of Asian buffets it is really just an afterthought. Few go to this type of buffet to make a salad, but if you are inclined, the lettuce, the dressings, and the toppings were there for you to do so. There was cold, peel and eat shrimp at the salad bar. Clams and mussels were also on ice.

There was a large sushi bar and there was a broad variety of sushi rolls - but it was all rolls. There was no plain fish or just fish on a bed of rice. If you enjoy, sushi rolls you will be very satisfied with what you find. If you like the fish and don't want the rice, then you will be picking it out of the rolls.

There are hot crab legs but they do cost $5 extra with the buffet. If you take crab legs, you will be charged the additional $5.00. Again, this is not unusual in Asian buffets that I have been to in the South. Frankly, I prefer it this way. If you are not going to eat the crab legs why should you pay for extra that is added to the buffet price. This way the crab legs are there for you and given the price of the buffet meal, an extra $5 for the crab legs is not unreasonable.

Hot dishes abound on this buffet along with a nice variety of appetizers. On the hot buffet, there were three types of dumplings - fried pork dumplings, steamed shrimp dumplings and peach buns - a doughy, steamed dumpling that looks like a peach filled with sweet bean paste. Entrees included General Tso's chicken, baby clams in a red sauce, spicy chicken, beef with broccoli, egg foo young, crab and cheese casserole, scallops, teryaki chicken, salmon, sauteed green beans, shrimp and seafood legs combination, bourbon chicken, ribs, boneless ribs, sweet and sour chicken, mussels with cheese, lo mein, and others. There were egg rolls, fried cheese filled wontons, "sea" balls, fried shrimp, and sesame bread. The buffet also had a lot of side dishes - consider some "international" - and these included fried rice, mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows, fries, cabbage, broccoli, red potatoes, rice noodles, corn, and garlic spinach. Dishes may change by the night as there are other dishes shown on their website that I did not see the night that we were there.

Now, what about the Hawaiian BBQ? On the hot buffet there was a tray with a Hawaiian BBQ chicken and Hawaiian BBQ pork. Both were the meat in a slightly sweet sauce. Not bad, but not what I imagined as Hawaiian BBQ - perhaps I was thinking roast suckling pig...

The Mongolian BBQ was the usual selection of raw beef, pork, chicken, and shrimp available to mix with an assortment of raw strips of vegetables. You place what you want on a plate - add a sauce for it to cook in and hand it to the chef behind the counter who cooks this all for you on a large, very hot, flat griddle. This is always a good addition to an Asian buffet because if you don't see what you like on the buffet you can create it yourself at the grill.

Dessert was the usual Asian buffet assortment - small pieces of cake, fried dough balls in sugar, chocolate pudding, and fresh fruit. This is standard oriental buffet desert fare and one does not go to an Asian buffet for the desserts.

So how was it all. At first, I had my concerns. The first of the hot foods that we took, after the soup, were warm but not hot. They should have been hotter. As the meal progressed and more was put out, however, the temperature of the foods increased to proper temperatures. This was not a concern into the meal. The taste of the food was good. It was an enjoyable meal. There was plenty to choose from and plenty to eat. We certainly were not hungry after the meal and we both said that this was a restaurant that we wanted to come back to again. When we were leaving the Oriental gentleman at the front cashier's desk (perhaps the owner) bowed to us. This was the first time anyone at a buffet bowed to me.

We both were pleased - remember my picky eater wife - she was pleased. I think that you will be too. If you are in Williamsburg, Virginia try Wasabi Oriental Buffet.

Wasabi Oriental Buffet is located at 1203 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, Virginia. This is right near Colonial Williamsburg and William and Mary University. Their phone number is 757-645-3988. There is a website and there is a link to that website at the side of this page.

If you look in the free tourist magazines that are at all of the hotels, you should find a coupon to save money on your meal at Wasabi. This makes it an even better deal!

1 comment:

Writer said...

This restaurant closed unexpectedly during the summer of 2012.