Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Kinda Like Old Times
I went out to dinner with Jeremy and his dad (Stuart, my ex-husband) recently, to the Chinese buffet at Asia City Restaurant which Jeremy had been raving about since he'd eaten there a week earlier. I invited Stuart to take us out so I could try it -- wasn't that congenial of me??? -- and he happily obliged ... or, at least, he agreed to do it. We get along very well, so it wasn't an issue at all. (And God knows he owes me FAR more than just a dinner -- he'll admit it himself -- so he got off easy!)
It was quite the experience to walk in, as you're greeted by waterfalls and enormous koi swimming around in ponds, and even a small village interspersed among the rocks overlooking the fish -- it's quite a spectacular array.
The hostess asks if you want the buffet or the menu, as they try to keep the two groups separate; I can see that it's easier for the staff to do this, but if one or two members of a party wants one option while others prefer a different one, that's a bit inconvenient and potentially awkward as each side tries to sway the other. We were all there for the buffet, though, so we were seated in a large dining area next to the room that held the array of food.
And what an array it was!!! Row after row after row of sushi, handmade before your eyes ... soups and noodles and dumplings and egg rolls and spring rolls ... chicken and pork and beef and fish and vegetables ... crab legs and shrimp ... a salad bar ... kimchi (another food, along with sushi, that I cannot eat) ... ice cream ... and a dessert assortment that included almond cookies, which I love.
Since I've been staying at a friend's apartment with a kosher vegetarian kitchen, you can well imagine my giddy joy at finding so many varieties of beef (spicy or not, with or without vegetables), chicken (breaded or plain), duck, pork (on skewers, immersed in sauce) ... I'm pretty sure I tried one of each and every option and enjoyed it all immensely! But I was also good and ate my vegetables, from the braised bok choy to stir-fried green beans. Never underestimate my ability to eat!
I've been to buffets that were -- shall we politely say? -- less than stellar, in quality and in cleanliness. Neither was an issue at Asia City, as the staff was very friendly, the food was replenished frequently and was very good, and everything was immaculate. And they even offered chopsticks, which I prefer to use but which aren't always available. What's not to love???
The next time Stuart is feeling generous -- or the next time he can be persuaded to feel so! -- I will happily return to Asia City's buffet to enjoy the wide variety of food and the congeniality of a meal with my family, however odd our little family of three might be.
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