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Chinese Buffet on City Avenue

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We tried the new Chinese Buffet on City Avenue (across from the shopping center), and it's definitely better than the one in Narberth. If you choose carefully, you can have a very good meal for $12 ($13 on weekends). On the left side of the lovely, very large room you will find the fresh sushi (pretty good for the suburbs) and the "grill" -- it's not a Mongolian grill, unfortunately, but they have small plates of freshly-grilled meats, tofu skin rolls, pan-fried dumplings, skewers of shrimp, and hunks of grilled fish. Most of this is very good. The duck is fatty and not crispy enough. In the middle are three long steam tables, with platters in the middle of freshly fried stuff, such as calimari, lobster/shrimp balls, frogs legs (which are terrific). There was an enormous sea bass with a sweetish sauce that was quite good. The traditional stir fries are awful, but anything that is somewhat offbeat is quite good. The spring rolls are terrible, and I didn't have the courage to try the raw bar, but the simple steamed clams are fine. I didn't have the energy to try the various crab offerings (looked like snow crab legs and some sort of Jonah crab hunks). This is definitely a good option if you are in the area alone and want a variety of food for not much money.

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  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have been curious about this place.

      1. What is the name and location of this place?

        1. I think it is called "Royal Buffet" right across from the shopping center (Acme, Lord and Taylor, etc.) on City Line.

          Almost EVERYTHING on the grill is cold. There are some tasty little breaded crab thingies there that are OK.

          You can get a pretty nice variety of Sushi here that is easily worth the price of admission. Wasabi is not genuine, but that is par for the course except high-end-parlors.

          The tempura stuff (veggies as well as calimari) are a good choice. Lo Mein, and standard Chinese stuff are as good as most. Baby garlic Eggplant is a nice dish. American stuff (pork chops, fresh mashed potatoes, chix wings) keep the kids happy.

          For the price, in this neighborhood, it is worth a few trips to find what you like and stick to it. Very nice service.

          1. From their business card: "Royal Buffet & Grill, 4504 City Ave." They're directly across from Lord & Taylor in the "Bala cynwood Shopping Center."

            Lunch is 6.95; Saturday "brunch" was a dollar more, plus 1.29 for coffee. None of the food was outstanding.

            1. Who looks for "outstanding" at a Chinese buffet? I went there for dinner last night with spouse out of town -- pretty much stuck to the seafood and veggies, and left quite full and satisfied. The "bamboo rolls" on the grill weren't hot enough, but still good. They actually had small packets of sticky rice and pretty good shu mai. The frogs legs are still my favorite thing there -- along with the salt/pepper shrimp, the steamed sea bass, and they had simply stir-fried baby bok choi, green beans in a garlic sauce, and tempura baby eggplant. I tried some crab clusters and was very disappointed -- nothing but mush inside. They were out of the steamed clams (I went pretty late). The grilled slices of fish were good and also warm (depends on how recently they were put out). Certainly worth the money and provides lots of variety for a lone diner. I think it is BYOB - there is a cooler with sodas and such, but no bar.

              1. Update on the Chinese buffet on City Ave - last time I went, at around 6:30 pm, the place was 3/4 filled, and half the tables were occupied by Asian families (a good sign). They were all out of the giant sea bass (which seems to be a frequent problem - obviously, it's been discovered as their best dish and apparently they do only one per night), but again the frogs legs, salt/pepper shrimp, and simple veggie dishes are very good. The duck was better -- less fatty. They actually have two versions of duck - the crispy duck at the grill stand and cold marinated duck on the salad table (which actually is a bit better).

                1. I went a few weeks ago and found that it was a good value. $12 (I had a coupon from val-pac) each is a great price for salmon, shrimp, sushi and lots of other things. I just stuck to the seafood, sushi and veges and found that, while nothing was monumental, things were very good, epecially for the price.

                  The salmon on the sushi had dried out so that it was rubbery, but I just didn't eat it and moved on to peel shrimp, which were good. I really liked their string beans in sauce as well. For the culinary wasteland of an area, it is definitely a great place to go.