Friday, March 14, 2014

Return to Yummy China Buffet, East Meadow, NY

We decided to go back to Yummy China Buffet in East Meadow on Long Island in New York. We had just gotten a circular in the newspaper with their menu stating that their price was $15.99 with free soda - as it had been when we first went a month or so ago. This, that first time, was a sudden reduction in price from the usual $19.99 every day for dinner that this buffet opened for business with a number of months ago. In my first review I mentioned that it was uncertain if this price would remain in effect and that is still uncertain as the advertisement that we just received said that the price was for a limited time and showed it through March. This buffet is priced just right at $15.99 including the soft drink.

So we went back and were very pleased - again - with the meal that we had. For the most part the same dishes were on the buffet with just a few exceptions. We went both times on a Friday night so it may just be that this is the usual Friday night offerings. Everything that we had was good so there really was no disappointment that there were not other dishes that they show on their rotating buffet menu.

The best thing here in my opinion is a dish that they call Yummy Pork and I mentioned this in my first article about this buffet. This is a large piece of pork with the skin on that has been slow roasted to the point that the meat is moist and just pulls apart. The addition of the skin still on and roasted with the meat in whatever seasonings that they are using makes this delicious. I was very happy to see that this was there on the buffet on this second visit.

This time I also went up to the sushi bar to see what would happen if I asked for sushi without rice. There was absolutely no problem having this made for me. The sushi is served at a sushi bar with a chef making sushi to order from a menu - all is included in the price of the buffet. There are various rolls, sashimi, and also platters. The people at the table next to us were ordering sushi platters and they each were given a tray sized platter with various assortments of sushi. The platters have different names on the menu that sits on the counter next to the chef and each is described with what it includes. I ordered a salmon roll without rice. I was told that it would take ten minutes as there were two other orders in ahead of mine. This is the only drawback with this type of sushi service at a buffet as the one chef is doing all of the work to order. It was not a problem and I waited until he put my plate of salmon roll up on the counter for me to take. It was a roll of six pieces and he even  garnished the plate. I went back later for another roll. I was very happy. I can't eat rice - though I would love to - and I love sushi. Getting sushi without rice at a buffet has always been a challenge and I always wind up taking the rice and leaving it on my plate after I eat the fish.

I also tried the baby clams in black bean sauce. These ere very good and I rarely eat cooked, steamed clams. These clams were small, in the shell, and cooked in a very tasty sauce.

My wife commented during the meal that everything tastes like it is supposed to. That may sound like an odd comment but at many Asian buffets, the food is a bit different from what you would get if you went to a non-buffet Asian restaurant. Here the shrimp tastes like shrimp, is not mushy or hard, and has just the correct texture. This is true here for just about all of the dishes.

I had commented in my last article about this buffet that there had been no beef dishes out on the buffet. On this night there was beef with peppers. There was also a full tray of crab legs - which are individual legs and not clusters.

Everything is well tended and served at the correct temperatures. There is someone from the restaurant always checking the buffet and making sure that nothing needs to be replaced. If it does, a new tray come out from the kitchen shortly. The trays that are out are also stirred and not allowed to dry out.

Be aware, as I had suspected in my first article, that the soda served is not name brand. It is fine, it is just not Coke or Pepsi. It is included in the price and that helps to make it OK. 

Service here was again very good. The young lady who took care of our table cleared our dishes promptly and refilled our sodas without our asking.

I am very much hoping that the price here remains at $15.99 including the soda. Soda at buffets is about $1.99 or more in this area so when that comes off the price for comparison, the buffet dinner price becomes $14.00. Other than one buffet near to the location of this buffet, other Asian buffets on Long Island are starting at $14.99 without the soda. So this buffet's price - at this price - is very good for the area.

I feel that starting out with the $19.99 price hurt business at this buffet. On a Friday night, this buffet should have most of its dining room full. While there was a steady turnover of tables less than half of the tables in the small dining room were full. Two of the tables had regulars who the owner knew and came over to chat with several times. All of the employees here are very friendly to everyone! But if people are not coming, I have to wonder why. To start out with a high price and then see a need to lower that price to bring in business means that a lot more advertising needs to be done to let people know of the new price. They did send out this circular in the newspaper but it took them almost two months to do so. The other possible problem is that formerly this was a very run down Chinese buffet and many do not realize that it is under new ownership, far, far cleaner that it had been, and the food is much, much better. Taking over a failing restaurant can be a big problem as the former reputation remains with the location sometimes. I saw this before with a restaurant that was associated with a former restaurant in the same location that had problems. This can be overcome with good word of mouth and a lot of advertising to let everyone know that this is not the restaurant that once was here.

As I was leaving after a fine meal, I started thinking that this buffet has all of the markings of a Top Buffet. The price is the only concern and if it stays where it is at the present time, this buffet could be a best Asian buffet.  We will keep an eye on the price and on the consistency of the restaurant as a whole and see.

I do recommend Yummy China Buffet and Sushi Restaurant. Try it if you are in this area!

The Yummy China Buffet and Sushi Restaurant is located at 398 Merrick Avenue, East Meadow, New York 11554. The telephone number is 516-486-2525. There is no website. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm. Prices are the same for weekdays and weekends. The lunch price is less. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.


Anonymous said...

I just went here with the family on Mar 28th and the food is fresh but it is a smaller buffet than the asian ones in Suffolk. The covers over the food keep the food hot as well and keeps the food moist. It is a far drive for us but we wanted to give it a try.

If I compare it to Golden Buffet in Centereach, the price is similar but the buffet is larger and has more choices.

East End Buffet Eater!

Writer said...

Yes, it is a small buffet but the food is better than most of the Asian buffets that I have been to. The entrees are also not the usual and almost standard Chinese buffet selections. Plus the sushi chefs are creating to your order. I don't know any other buffet with sushi that is doing that including the big Japanese buffets. We were there again tonight and the food was excellent. I had things that I have had just here and at no other Asian buffet.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the food was very fresh and the made to order sushi was good. The mirror in the place makes it seem like the place is larger than it is, I was also surprised how empty the place was on a Friday night.

In terms of Sushi, Crystal garden Buffet in Ronkonkoma does have made to order Sushi but not sure you get as many choices.

Love this blog, we go to a lot of buffets as well and would be great hearing your reviews of the many buffets on the east end of LI.

East End Buffet Eater!