Joy Luck I Chinese Buffet, Port Orange, FL
At the suggestion of two Roadfood posters, I decided to try a Chinese Buffet...again. I did so today for lunch. I arrived before noon as suggested, but actually the place was not that busy. But, everyone seemed very happy with their food. I observed ...
The staff was very accomodating, the place was very clean, there was someone assigned full time to replenish and clean the steamtables and there was an amazing variety of ...........average or below average food. I think it is just a situation where there are two types of Chinese food eaters in this world and that's the way it's going to be. Neither is wrong..It's what you like.
I tried the egg drop soup and added a few won tons that were sitting in a covered container. At noon, if they would have placed the won tons in the chicken broth, they would have at least been nice and soft. I know eventually they can break up if they linger too long in the broth, but there has to be a better way. These were dry, tough and there was virtually no meat within any of them. So much for that.
Next, I tried an egg roll and a spring roll...Both were really bad. I then tried their fried pork dumplings and they would have been fine except for the fact that they were absolutely cold. I mentioned it to the lady monitoring the steam table. She gave me the typical Chinese "tude" You know the one with the smile, the comment in Chinese to the nearest Chinese person and the unmentioned thought that "I know nothing..we know everything"
Next, I tried their pork fried rice (very good and finally something actually warmed properly!), their Gen Chen's Chicken (ok) their sesame chicken (not good) their chicken with brocoli (not good) and their boneless ribs (good).
I went back for more fried rice and boneless ribs ( Can you believe what this world has come to? But, the taste was there (5 spice, ginger and the traditional dark bbq bean paste) and the meat was tender.
The desserts were the typical Chinese buffet layer cakes, etc. Why can't they put some sugar in these cakes! Why? Because Chinese people do not like a lot of sugar in their pastries, but WE DO! Hello?
The cost of the buffet is only $6.95 and therein lies the reason for all the satisfied customers. Money talks for some diners....How does a good sit down Chinese operation compete with this? I have no idea. It's just the way it is.
I cannot wait for my next sit down legitimate Chinese meal at either Won Lee in Deland (incredible egg rolls, shrimp with lobster sauce, cashew roast pork ding,etc.) or Leahann's in Dayotna Beach (egg drop wonton mixed soup, spicy shrimp with pork, salt and pepper shrimp, char shu ding, Nancy's special fried rice, egg foo yung, etc).
I've tried my last Chinese Buffet..I went with an open mind and now it's closed for good.