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Chinese buffets


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Here is another Chinese budding idea (in addition to laundry by weight) that has bloomed around the world but still does not seem to catch on in China outside of fancy hotels.

There is one buffet restaurant in the southeast corner of Tiananmen Square (Qianmen district of Beijing) but the food there is cheap and awful.

Will we ever see good Chinese buffets in China like those that are so easily found in American metropolitan areas? When Chinese delegations visit America they are so impressed with this phenomena but none of them seem to be ordering this idea "to go"

(It was either this or a fortune cookie topic, please be patient with me)

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IMHO, Chinese food is not suitable for buffet.

Chinese food emphasizes on "wok qi" and is best eaten within 10 minutes after it is put on the table. But for buffet, the food items are constantly warmed up which makes the gravy on Chinese dishes ultra-sticky.

There are many Chinese restaurants in my town specializing in buffet which I seldom frequent.

Even in HK, hardly any Chinese restaurants serve buffet. Rather they prefer to serve all-you-can-eat-if-you-order.

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Huoguo is quite a good way to do buffet, when I was in Lhasa I paid Y20 for a huoguo (hotpot) buffet. The food wasn't as bad as you may think, and we had some "蟹柳", tons of fresh vegetables, and lots of dead meat. We just ignore the meat and served ourself as vegetarian, which was really good. The soup in hotpot was mala (Sichuanese style).

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The only buffet I've seen (apart from Western ones) are hot-pot ones, but then the food isn't cooked and won't go cold / congeal.

I object to hot-pot on principle though. If I'm going to pay for food I want it cooked by a professional, not dropped into a bowl of hot soup and poked at with chopsticks till it's ready.


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A hotpot buffet!? Not only do they not cook the food, they don't even bring it to your table! (do they provide a table? or are you supposed to bring or make your own?)

MOngolian barbecue is pretty big in Taiwan. Nothing Mongolian about it, totally Taiwanese. You pile meat, veg, sauce into a bowl and a bloke in wellingtons fries it for you on an enormous hotplate.

There are also vegetarian buffets. They're OK but the food just sits there till it gets cold so you have to go early. Also, they're not chi-dao-bao: you pay for what you take by weight, rather like a Hong Kong laundry.

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