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Aug 11, 2010 08:43 AM

Quality Minneapolis Chinese Lunch Buffet

Any recommendations other than Tea House or Pings?

Thank you,

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  1. My personal favorite is still the New King Buffet in 5927 John Martin Drive, Brooklyn Center - not exactly Minneapolis but close enough.
    Great variety, decent quality and even some more authentic choices thrown in. All around $ 8 with a soda.

    Brooklyn Center Restaurant
    5637 Brooklyn Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55429

    5 Replies
      1. re: maauwi

        Yes. I even hesitate to call NKB a guilty pleasure, aside from the calories. I'm to the point where I have to say they put out a quality product. It is, legitimately, a good restaurant.

        The deep fried almond shrimp in sweet sauce is delicious. The spicy dishes are, gasp, kinda actually spicy. The mongolian BBQ is great if you bypass the curious disks o' red meat.

        The place is packed... Always. Nothing stays under the heat lamp for long. The sushi is terrible, but far, far better (read: safe to eat) than most buffets.

        And, yeah, they charge $8, even though the menu says $11 or something. Same goes for to-go containers.

        1. re: kevin47

          Maauwi or kevin47, how would you compare NKB to C1 buffet across the street? I haven't been to NKB, but have tried C1 numerous times and I enjoy it.

          My favorite for lunch buffet is the Saturday buffet at 98 Pounds in Bloomington. On Saturday, they have dim sum along with the chinese/sushi buffet. It's more expensive at $12 for lunch on Saturday, but I think it's well worth it. Last time I was there, they even had fried oysters on the buffet (hopefully not oil tainted). Regardless, they were delicious - never seen that on a buffet before!

          1. re: TDS1

            I went to C1 once and to be honest it doesn't even come close to NKB for me. It's been a few years so my memory is a bit foggy but variety, freshness and taste were lacking.

            I agree on 98 pounds being an excellent option but it's a bit more of a drive from Minneapolis than the quick scoot up Hwy 100.

            1. re: TDS1

              NKB is quite a bit better than C1, though C1 does to-go boxes by the pound, which can yield a $3 lunch if you play your cards right. Still, the hot and sour soup there is one of the worst things I have eaten.

        2. My family's favorite is Wanderers in Plymouth.

          1. I finally got arround to trying New Kings Buffet thanks to the suggestions above. Actually, I have tried it a couple of times now. There are somewhat less options than some of the other buffets I have been to, but I do agree that there are some unique items that are more restaurant quality than buffet quality. For that reason, NKB has a strangely addictive quality as those items are really really good. The items that I think were standouts were the black pepper chicken (wow - far better than any other buffet that serves it), the almond/coconut shrimp, the "crab" wantons, the boneless pork spareribs, and the spicy shrimp. Those items alone make it a very worthwhile meal (and as mentioned, very cheap at lunch). I didn't see enough "extra" items for dinner that justified the higher cost.
            My negatives - The sushi is poor, and the mongolian grill is average. Also, the restaurant overall doesn't seem as clean as some other places in town, but that could be due to age of building or volume of people. Finally, it's a minor thing, but they charge even for very young kids (most Chinese buffets are free for 2-3 years and under) so if you have very young kids like me it ends up being more than other places.
            In any case, it will definitely go into my Chinese buffet rotation. Some unique dishes make it a worthy destination. It won't knock off 98 Pounds Saturday dim sum lunch buffet as my top pick for the Twin Cities, but is still worth the trip.

            New Kings Buffet
            5927 John Martin Dr Ste 1, Minneapolis, MN 55430

            1 Reply
            1. re: TDS1

              C1 is great, but I think Yummy Buffet in Champlin off of 169 has better seafood. I think the quality of all their food is great, Great Moon Buffet in Maplewood off of White Bear is great too, if you are in that area.

              My favorite in Minneapolis is the buffet across the street from Pings. I forget what it is called, but they feature Chinese and Indian food on the buffet. I got Sesame Chicken, cream cheese puffs, Palak Paneer and Naan all on one plate! It was wonderful.

              Great Moon Buffet
              4029 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421

              Yummy Buffet
              12379 Champlin Dr, Champlin, MN 55316

            2. I tried the new Hibachi Buffet at Lake and 1st on Friday.

              It is a big buffet. Really big. And $9 including tax for AYCE and a drink.

              It has a sushi bar area and a Mongolian BBQ build your own stirfry area. It had a huge salad bar that includes things like kimchee as well as normal American salad bar stuff and desserts. There were a lot of the normal American Chinese dishes like General Tso Chicken. It also had some really good stuff like mussels in black bean sauce and clams and fish. They had a whole area of fried stuff, which I thought was funny to group it all together. There were are least three kinds of soup. Then some bizarre stuff like pizza.

              It was pretty good. Not as good as my favorite, which is 98 pounds buffet, but probably the 2nd best that I've had. Would recommend if you are into Chinese buffets.

              4 Replies
              1. re: churchka

                Thanks for the review. Always fun to try out new places. Do you have the street address of Hibachi buffet? Did you go for lunch or dinner?

                1. re: TDS1

                  I can't find the address, but it is right on the south side Lake St., between Nicollet and 35W, east of the Kmart. It was a rotation of sports bars over the years if my memory serves. Head down Lake St. from uptown and it is on your right hand side.

                  I went this week after Churchka mentioned it. I found mussels, clams, baby octopus, walleye, salmon, and black pepper chicken along with many of the usual Asian buffet suspects. Large fruit and desert area. About 6 types of very standard sushi rolls being cut as you go, so never more than a few pieces out. They have a Mongolian BBQ (the hibachi area) with decent sized shrimp available as well as the usual meats and veggies. And as Churchka mentioned, a sort of odd, small section I would say is catering to kids -- big poofy pizza, garlic bread, french fries, etc.

                  $9 for lunch includes soda and tax. Kid discount based on age. It is a large space, and was about half full on a Monday at noon.

                  1. re: Lincster

                    Sorry to not get back to you sooner. Yes, as Lincster says, right on 1st and Lake, so the address is probably 100 E Lake Street, but I'm guessing. Could be 101 E Lake Street. It used to be a Blockbuster Video store.

                    1. re: churchka

                      Finally was able to give Hibachi buffet a try today. You are right, there is a fairly large amount of choices, but not enough unique items. The place is really clean and new, which is a huge plus. The sushi options are well below the offerings at 98 pounds, but that isn't really surprising. The hibachi grill was decent, but there didn't seem to be the sauce offerings that other places with a Mongolian grill have - so not as flavorful. There is a large fruit choice and salad offerings, which seem to be a strong point. There were several shrimp dishes at lunch. Didn't care for the Sesame Chicken or General Tso's, although it isn't very good at most buffets. I didn't see black pepper chicken or clams, so perhaps they are dinner only. Anyway, it is always fun to try a new place, but it doesn't break into my top 3 in the Twin Cities, which currently are:
                      1) 98 Pounds - For the sushi and Dim Sum
                      2) New Kings Buffet - For the Black pepper chicken, shrimp dishes, and crab rangoon
                      3) C1 Buffet - For the Mongolian Grill

                      New Kings Buffet
                      5927 John Martin Dr Ste 1, Minneapolis, MN 55430

              2. I like Peking Garden in Midway SC of St. Paul.

                Peking Garden
                1488 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104