• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
richardv

"Slumming It": Chinese Buffets in New Jersey?

32 posts in this topic

A friend and co-worker of mine is very fond of all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets in NJ, but a lot of this may have to do with her three teenage sons (plus one daughter and one husband). It's a way for them to have enough different foods and not to go broke; apparently the husband eats only the raw seafood, the boys eat the meatier items, the daughter only the vegetable dishes, well you probably get the idea. They actually don't seem to love actual Chinese food that much and were not receptive to the description of the brunch at China 46, as much as they like finding the big, bountiful buffets.

And they seem to be pretty good at it. Their favorites are the "Century Buffet" just off of Rt. 3 in Clifton, the "Dynasty Buffet" in Saddle Brook, and the "Majestic Buffet" in Wayne which apparently just received some rave review in the Star Ledger or something.

I've tried these three, but for me this has to be on a night when I feel like "slumming it". The Clifton buffet was small and claustrophobic, with nothing exceptional. The Dynasty Buffet had an excellent Peking Duck, although when I attempted to eat my body-weight in it they didn't seem all that pleased; but, they also had an endless amount of ginger-and-scallion Blue Crabs (Chinatown Style) the night that I went, and I certainly had my money's worth. The Majestic Buffet was the largest, and the only one that seemed truly dirty - at least the restaurant was; we picked at the food (it was late and there was nowhere else to go) and we were quite happy that there were no ill-effects. They had a large offering of 'dim sum-like' dumplings - siu mai that were coarser and cruder than the real thing, har gao that were just not bad at all, actually, bbq pork buns, and a few other things that were eminently edible.

So, I'd like to show-off to my friend and be able to tell her about any other buffets that eGullet members may know. If you do know any in northern NJ, please post !!!

How she found these, I don't know. Do you all know any others ???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

buffet 23...on rt 23n wayne

very well lit.....

sushi, king crab legs, grill stations, fresh made hot sugared donuts great vegetables skip the Costco desserts get the soft serve :blink:


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not Chinese, but you should definitely check out Minado! You can read about it here...


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I enjoy a good chinese buffet every once in a while and for the record NEVER EVER EVER EVER GO TO BON BUFFET in Lodi by the car wash. It tops the SYSCO truck drivers' list of places to never eat. nuf said

Fink


The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

International Buffet in Bergenfield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
International Buffet in Bergenfield

Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

I'm definitely not saying it's the best, but I think they have really good sushi and a good variety of food for the price and the location. I also like the buffet place in Saddle Brook, but most of the time i don't feel like driving 20 minutes for a buffet and it's also always packed!!! Some people I know have said they think the saddle brook buffet is salty, but i didn't think so. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
International Buffet in Bergenfield

Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

Are there any that you stay and eat at? Any with particular draws of that you like for any reason?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
International Buffet in Bergenfield

Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

Are there any that you stay and eat at? Any with particular draws of that you like for any reason?

The only one I go to is China 46's Dim Sum Brunch on Sundays.

Victor Sassoon, eGullet Society member and reviewer for the Bergen Record, recently wrote a short peice about it:

China 46 in the Bergen Record

China 46 (eG Forums, with photos)

When I was working up in the Ramsey/Mahwah area I went to the one up on Rt. 17, but I forgot its name. It wasn't bad, but then again it wasn't great either.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
International Buffet in Bergenfield

Really? I've walked in there several times and have walked out, not being very impressed with the offerings in the steam tables.

Are there any that you stay and eat at? Any with particular draws of that you like for any reason?

The only one I go to is China 46's Dim Sum Brunch on Sundays.

Victor Sassoon, eGullet Society member and reviewer for the Bergen Record, recently wrote a short peice about it:

China 46 in the Bergen Record

China 46 (eG Forums, with photos)

When I was working up in the Ramsey/Mahwah area I went to the one up on Rt. 17, but I forgot its name. It wasn't bad, but then again it wasn't great either.

I think that one is call Grand Buffet or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids are nutz for the brunch at C46 - the foods' over the top delicious - yet your buds discount the place...?

It's easy to find bad, cheap food - why even discuss it...?

Look, if all they've done is 'read/heard a description' they ought to give China 46 on Sundays a try.


~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Look, if all they've done is 'read/heard a description' they ought to give China 46 on Sundays a try.

We're really not talking the same language here. China 46's Sunday brunch doesn't have a salad bar, or veal parm or pasta, or peel-and-eat shrimp with coctail sauce.

When I told her that we had tried one of her places and made a very happy meal out of ginger-scallion Blue Crabs, Peking Duck, and a chinese green vegetable, she actually said "they have those things?"

And so based on the family dining stories I hear, I really don't think China 46 is for them. Not the least of which is that they need a place for dinners, and a place that will fill up the teenage boys at night. Now, if they lived in Las Vegas, I think they'd be in heaven.

As for me, I definitely agree with the statement somewhere here that "now and then the good Chinese buffet has its place", and while I walk out of many of them, I'm still intrigued by them. And for the idea of eating a variety of things and picking "one last taste... make that two" of something that was good, I can get into them now and then. I did call it "slumming it" when I started the thread, you know, and that has its place. After all the Per Se and Babbo dinners, slumming it sometimes hits the spot, especially if you're not sure what you want to eat, and the grazing fills you up. And so when this particular friend tells me of her latest finds, I file them away check them out when I'm in the area.

Incidentally, are there non-Chinese buffets in Jersey, like you find in the south? (I may be thinking heavily of Orlando.) I'm sure she would love those, but I've never heard her mention them at all, and I've never seen any either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Majestic Buffet. It's my new favorite, even though it's a bit more expensive than the others. Others that I know of:

Bon Buffet in Maywood - The original "all inclusive" buffet in the area. They used to be great, but they've gone dowhill in recent years. Still one of the better places. (Edit: Just saw Fink's post on Bon Buffet. I agree they've gone way downhill but I still thin they're OK. )

Pu Pu Inn in Elmwood Park - The original Chinese buffet, they've been around forever. Very limited selection, no desserts or anything like that, but very cheap $4.95 for lunch, $6.50 for dinner. The prices haven't changed since I was a kid (going back to the early 80s, when my mother discovered the place. )

Grand Buffet in Ramsey - Very good buffet, but I like Majestic better.

Dynasty Buffet in Saddle Brook - Been here a few times. Decent food, but the place always seems to be insanely busy.

Green's Court in Little Falls: So-so. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

There's a huge buffet in West Orange in the Essex Green shopping center which is very popular also, but the name escapes me. They're very good too.


Edited by zhelder (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for the Grand Buffet on Rte. 17 in Ramsey. When I was back east visiting family a couple of years ago, several of them recommended this joint, which was just a mile or two away from my motel. I thought it was pretty decent for a buffet-style Chinese restaurant. Busy on a weeknight, but not obnoxiously zoo-y.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe no one has listed the Royal Buffet Rt 10 West in east Hanover. The dishes were similar to Majestic but I found them to be much more flavorful at Royal. Just my $.02


President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't believe no one has listed the Royal Buffet Rt 10 West in east Hanover.  The dishes were similar to Majestic but I found them to be much more flavorful at Royal.  Just my $.02

Yes, I remember this place when we lived there back in 2000. Rachel and I went there a number of times, it wasn't bad.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saffron, Saffron, SAFFRON. East Hanover. Best Indian buffet I've seen...for $9.95pp!!

Link is here.


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JP Lees in Millburn is Mongolian Barbeque but also have a Chinese buffet. I always say it is quantity over quality but the food is decent and the place is clean. The Mongolian side is actually good because you put your own meal together. Price is about $14 pp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a non chinese buffet there is a place around the corner from me called Town Tavern its only open thursday friday saturday they have a real menu but why bother.

Just get the seafood lovers ...or loveboat or something 23.95 walk past the salad bar (just kidding) to the chilled king crab claws and shrimp and clams...1st plate, then hit the steamed crab legs fried shrimp steam clams stuffed clams 2nd plate, you could just keep repeating this or move on to carved prime rib, ham or turkey then there is the regular hot buffet stuff, ribletts pasta vegetables meatballs 'taters.

but leave room for 2 plates of above average commercial desserts and they have a full bar

town tavern

macopin rd

west milford

edit to add

they have a private room here which we had for a club Christmas dinner for 30, great for that type of event everyone found something they liked ...like the family in the original post


Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Green Jade on Franklin Ave. in Nutley. It's pretty much the only place I go for Chinese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second the Green Jade. The food there is really good and they do have other selections other than chinese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Addressing a post earlier:

In West Orange in the Essex Green shopping center the Buffet is called "The Essex Grand Buffet." His prices are 9.95 for a weeknight dinner and a bit more on Friday and Saturday nights. I am good friends with the owner Kevin.

The Majestic Buffet by Willowbrook is owned by Kevin's uncle who used to be partners with him at the EGB (above). His name is David. I am not impressed too much with the food and the decor of the old Chuck - E- Cheese. I think the waitresses look like flight attendants and they are way too pricey for that area.

There was a buffet on Rt 10 East Hanover in a strip mall, may have been the one mentioned but that has closed. It is across the street from McDonald's and Bill & Harry. I think half of it is now a Nextel store.

I was in the Buffet on 17 in maybe Ramsey and we saw a cockroach run across the floor. So much for that place. That one is also in a strip mall on the south side of Rt 17.

Kevin's family also owns a buffet in Mt. Olive in the ITC. It's by the Sam's Club store on the lower level. It's smaller but decent.

Re: Pu Pu in I remember going to the one they had on Broad Street in Bloomfield, there was also one on Rt. 46 in Totowa (Little Falls) behind the Pizza Hut. The one in Bloomfield was called Bo Bo Inn and the one in Totowa was called PuPu as well. A smaller buffet in the back with a window to the kitchen and the window would open up and the guy would dump out whatever into the appropriate container on the buffet. Where in Elmwood park as I would definitely go check it out?

I think the buffet in Clifton by the Costco is nasty. We weren't impressed maybe it was the clientèle.

Greens Court on Rt 46 is alright. I like the peanut butter chicken. I also have a card for 10% which is nice.

The buffet on Valley Road and Hamburg Tpk in Wayne is decent. I meet my mother there for lunch sometimes as she works across the street. The name and ownership has changed a few times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the peanut butter chicken at Green's Court on 46 in Totowa is great. They have a handful of other decent dishes too. And for an additional $1 you can get a plate of snow crab legs (used to be included in the buffet).

I have been going to Quing Feng in Linden lately since their food is also decent and the 9.95 price includes the crab legs. I usually eat plate after plate of the crab, and nibble on some other items. Once you figure out the decent items (they too have a really good peanut butter chicken) the fact that the rest are pretty sucky doesn't seem to matter.

Quing Feng Chinese Restaurant

25 W ELIZABETH AVE (at Wood Avenue)

LINDEN, NJ

07036-4223


"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love Majestic Buffet. It's my new favorite, even though it's a bit more expensive than the others. Others that I know of:

Bon Buffet in Maywood - The original "all inclusive" buffet in the area. They used to be great, but they've gone dowhill in recent years. Still one of the better places. (Edit: Just saw Fink's post on Bon Buffet. I agree they've gone way downhill but I still thin they're OK. )

the quality may be ok, but delivery drivers see a lot of kitchens and I had three tell me they would never eat there based on the sanitation.


The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, where I live, is sugar central for the country. Over two-thirds of China's output of sugar is grown right here, making it one of the largest sugar production areas on the planet. I have a second home in the countryside and it is surrounded by sugar cane fields.

      Much of this is produced by small time farmers, although huge Chinese and international companies have also moved in.
       
      Also, sugar is used extensively in Chinese cooking, not only as a sweetener, but more as a spice. A little added to a savoury dish can bring out otherwise hidden flavours. It also has medicinal attributes according to traditional Chinese medicine.
       
      Supermarkets have what was to me, on first sight, a huge range of sugars, some almost unrecognisable. Here is a brief introduction to some of them. Most sugar is sold loose, although corner shops and mom 'n pop stores may have pre-packed bags. These are often labelled in English as "candy", the Chinese language not differentiating between "sugar" and "candy" - always a source of confusion. Both are 糖 (táng),

      IMPORTANT NOTE: The Chinese names given here and in the images are the names most used locally. They are all Mandarin Chinese, but it is still possible that other names may be used elsewhere in China. Certainly, non-Mandarin speaking areas will be different.

      By the far the simplest way to get your sugar ration is to buy the unprocessed sugar cane. This is not usually available in supermarkets but is a street vendor speciality. In the countryside, you can buy it at the roadside. There are also people in markets etc with portable juice extractors who will sell you a cup of pure sugar cane juice.


       
      I remember being baffled then amused when, soon after I first arrived in China, someone asked me if I wanted some 甘蔗 (gān zhè). It sounded exactly like 'ganja' or cannabis. No such luck! 甘蔗 (gān zhè) is 'sugar cane'.
       
      The most common sugar in the supermarkets seems to be 冰糖 (bīng táng) which literally means 'ice 'sugar' and is what we tend to call 'rock sugar' or 'crystal sugar'. This highly refined sugar comes in various lump sizes although the price remains the same no matter if the pieces are large or small. Around ¥7/500g. That pictured below features the smaller end of the range.


       
      Related to this is what is known as 冰片糖 (bīng piàn táng) which literally means "ice slice sugar". This is usually slightly less processed (although I have seen a white version, but not recently) and is usually a pale brown to yellow colour. This may be from unprocessed cane sugar extract, but is often white sugar coloured and flavoured with added molasses. It is also sometimes called 黄片糖  (huáng piàn táng) or "yellow slice sugar". ¥6.20/500g.
       


      A less refined, much darker version is known as 红片糖 (hóng piàn táng), literally 'red slice sugar'. (Chinese seems to classify colours differently - what we know as 'black tea' is 'red tea' here. ¥7.20/500g.


       
      Of course, what we probably think of as regular sugar, granulated sugar is also available. Known as 白砂糖 (bái shā táng), literally "white sand sugar', it is the cheapest at  ¥3.88/500g.



      A brown powdered sugar is also common, but again, in Chinese, it isn't brown. It's red and simply known as 红糖 (hóng táng). ¥7.70/500g


       
      Enough sweetness and light for now. More to come tomorrow.
    • By Dejah
      [Host's note: This topic forms part of an extended discussion which grew too large for our servers to handle efficiently.  The conversation continues from here.]
       
       
      Supper: Yeem Gok Gai:

      Mock Fried Rice - grated cauliflower

      Baby Shanghai Bok Choy and ginger

    • By liuzhou
      eG member @Carolyn Phillips has just published her ten-year-long-gestated Chinese cook book, All Under Heaven. 500 pages on China's 35 cuisines. Gathering rave reviews. I've ordered my copy. Can't wait.

      Simultaneously, her "Dim Sum Field Guide is published.
       
      She hasn't posted much here recently, but who would or could while writing two books at the same time - one of them a huge tome?

      Congratulations Carolyn.

       
    • By liuzhou
      A few weeks ago I bought a copy of this cookbook which is a best-selling spin off from the highly successful television series by China Central Television - A Bite of China as discussed on this thread.   .
       

       
      The book was published in August 2013 and is by Chen Zhitian (陈志田 - chén zhì tián). It is only available in Chinese (so far). 
       
      There are a number of books related to the television series but this is the only one which seems to be legitimate. It certainly has the high production standards of the television show. Beautifully photographed and with (relatively) clear details in the recipes.
       
      Here is a sample page.
       

       
      Unlike in most western cookbooks, recipes are not listed by main ingredient. They are set out in six vaguely defined chapters. So, if you are looking for a duck dish, for example, you'll have to go through the whole contents list. I've never seen an index in any Chinese book on any subject. 
       
      In order to demonstrate the breadth of recipes in the book and perhaps to be of interest to forum members who want to know what is in a popular Chinese recipe book, I have sort of translated the contents list - 187 recipes.
       
      This is always problematic. Very often Chinese dishes are very cryptically named. This list contains some literal translations. For some dishes I have totally ignored the given name and given a brief description instead. Any Chinese in the list refers to place names. Some dishes I have left with literal translations of their cryptic names, just for amusement value.
       
      I am not happy with some of the "translations" and will work on improving them. I am also certain there are errors in there, too.
       
      Back in 2008, the Chinese government issued a list of official dish translations for the Beijing Olympics. It is full of weird translations and total errors, too. Interestingly, few of the dishes in the book are on that list.
       
      Anyway, for what it is worth, the book's content list is here (Word document) or here (PDF file). If anyone is interested in more information on a dish, please ask. For copyright reasons, I can't reproduce the dishes here exactly, but can certainly describe them.
       
      Another problem is that many Chinese recipes are vague in the extreme. I'm not one to slavishly follow instructions, but saying "enough meat" in a recipe is not very helpful. This book gives details (by weight) for the main ingredients, but goes vague on most  condiments.
       
      For example, the first dish (Dezhou Braised Chicken), calls for precisely 1500g of chicken, 50g dried mushroom, 20g sliced ginger and 10g of scallion. It then lists cassia bark, caoguo, unspecified herbs, Chinese cardamom, fennel seed, star anise, salt, sodium bicarbonate and cooking wine without suggesting any quantities. It then goes back to ask for 35g of maltose syrup, a soupçon of cloves, and "the correct quantity" of soy sauce.
       
      Cooking instructions can be equally vague. "Cook until cooked".
       
      A Bite of China - 舌尖上的中国- ISBN 978-7-5113-3940-9 
    • By liuzhou
      Introduction
       
      I spent the weekend in western Hunan reuniting with 36 people I worked with for two years starting 20 years ago. All but one, 龙丽花 lóng lì huā, I hadn’t seen for 17 years.  I last saw her ten years ago. One other, 舒晶 shū jīng, with whom I have kept constant contact but not actually seen, helped me organise the visit in secret. No one else knew I was coming. In fact, I had told Long Lihua that I couldn’t come. Most didn’t even know I am still in China.
       
      I arrived at my local station around 00:20 in order to catch the 1:00 train northwards travelling overnight to Hunan, with an advertised arrival time of 9:15 am. Shu Jing was to meet me.
       
      When I arrived at the station, armed with my sleeper ticket, I found that the train was running 5 hours late! Station staff advised that I change my ticket for a different train, which I did. The problem was that there were no sleeper tickets available on the new train. All I could get was a seat. I had no choice, really. They refunded the difference and gave me my new ticket.
       
       

       

       
      The second train was only 1½ hours late, then I had a miserable night, unable to sleep and very uncomfortable. Somehow the train managed to make up for the late start and we arrived on time. I was met as planned and we hopped into a taxi to the hotel where I was to stay and where the reunion was to take place.
       
      They had set up a reception desk in the hotel lobby and around half of the people I had come to see were there. When I walked in there was this moment of confusion, stunned silence, then the friend I had lied to about not coming ran towards me and threw herself into my arms with tears running down her face and across her smile. It was the best welcome I’ve ever had. Then the others also welcomed me less physically, but no less warmly. They were around 20 years old when I met them; now they are verging on, or already are, 40, though few of them look it. Long Lihua is the one on the far right.
       

       
      Throughout the morning people arrived in trickles as their trains or buses got in from all over China. One woman had come all the way from the USA. We sat around chatting, reminiscing and eating water melon until finally it was time for lunch.
       

       
      Lunch we had in the hotel dining room. By that time, the group had swelled to enough to require three banqueting tables.
       
      Western Hunan, known as 湘西 xiāng xī, where I was and where I lived for two years - twenty years ago, is a wild mountainous area full of rivers. It was one of the last areas “liberated” by Mao’s communists and was largely lawless until relatively recently. It has spectacular scenery.
       
      Hunan is known for its spicy food, but Xiangxi is the hottest. I always know when I am back in Hunan. I just look out the train window and see every flat surface covered in chilis drying in the sun. Station platforms, school playgrounds, the main road from the village to the nearest town are all strewn with chillis.
       

       

       
      The people there consider Sichuan to be full of chilli wimps. I love it. When I left Hunan I missed the food so much. So I was looking forward to this. It did not disappoint.
       
      So Saturday lunch in next post.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.