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Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant

This entry is part of a series, Restaurants»

Fortunes

My father-in-law and I made a run to the Big City for “parts.” (That’s code for, we’re going stir-crazy in this ol’ Ranch house with all the kids and dogs and leftovers.) We had a few legitimate chores, but naturally we took the opportunity to eat out.

It’s our civic duty, of course. And we’re not ones to ever shirk our civic duty.

Since we were nearby, I suggested we stop at Fujian Grand China Buffet. I wrote a review on this eatery when they were newly opened, and I was curious how well they’d taken my findings to heart.

I expected to have to deal sternly with the management if they had failed to correct any deficiencies, of course. After all, I’m a respected and globally known restaurant reviewer in central Texas. Well, I have written nearly a half-dozen reviews here on the Underground.

That should count for something, right? RIGHT??

I’m pleased to report they have made some nice progress…

We aimed for a late lunch, but by the time we’d completed our errands and fought the big-city traffic it was early dinner. What’s the difference? About $3.50 a head, as it turns out. We missed lunch seating by nine minutes. No problem, dinner has a lot more seafood out, and my father-in-law enjoys that.

Everything was still nice an clean, and the greeters were friendly. They’ve gotten used to their administrative operations, and we were fleeced and released paid quickly and were shown to our table. Drinks arrived in short order. Annie was our server, with a nice smile. (Still no chopsticks.)

I suspect the service has gotten less hectic as everyone has learned thier roles; of course, we were there when the shop wasn’t running at capacity, although there was still a nice crowd, maybe 2/3 of the tables occupied. Many folks away from work for their Holiday break, as near as I could tell. Rather like the two of us, now that I think about it.

The sushi stand had plenty of choices, all colorful and varied. I headed for the soups (of course) and found the quality as good as before; not the absolute best, but as good as I get at other buffets.

I immediately noticed that the buffet tables had professionally made signs for the food. This was a “downtick” I gave them earlier. There were still some items unlabeled, but very few.

I sampled the deep-fry items, and their quality was also improved. Still some room to get better, but again, up to expectations for most buffet situations in the late afternoon, before the big dinner crowd. At least they weren’t cold and hours-old!

There were some new, tasty dishes. Ma La Chicken and a Shredded Chicken with Jalapeño Slivers (Szechuan Style) were my two favorite finds, this trip. Ma La Chicken (Ma La Tze Gee) is formally Malaysian, but of course it’s Chinese style. And very tasty, with a good bit of zing this time.

Apparently they heard me when I mentioned last visit that the spicy dishes weren’t that spicy.

I didn’t do an official count, but it seemed to me that there were a few more zesty entrées than before. Suited me just fine! I pigged out tasted a variety of these pungent delights and enjoyed them all.

My father-in-law was drawn to the Mongolian grill station, and he was amazed at how quickly they could cook the dish he concocted. Then he was amazed again at how great it tasted. He decided that was his favorite part of the visit, although I did notice quite a pile of seafood disappeared.

In all, I found the experience at Fujian Grand China Buffet improved quite a bit, and I’ll move their rating up to 6-7 chiles (out of 10). (We couldn’t decide on 6 or 7, and I don’t want to get too analytical here.)

I finally had to restrain myself, passing on any more than thirds. After all, I didn’t want to fall asleep on the way back to the Ranch, I was driving…

Fujian Grand China Buffet on Urbanspoon

Enjoy the (Grand China Buffet) Heat!

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Entries in this series:
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  2. Restaurant Review: Gumbo's Louisiana Style Café
  3. Restaurant Review: Chola Indian Restaurant
  4. Restaurant Review: Fujian Grand China Buffet, Austin
  5. Restaurant Review: Casa Garcia's Tex-Mex Restaurant
  6. Review: Mesa Rosa Mexican Restaurant
  7. Restaurant Review: Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House
  8. Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant
  9. Restaurant Review: Pho Viet Restaurant
  10. Sunday Brunch Anniversary Celebration: Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar and Grill
  11. Late-Lunch Steaks at the Blue Oak Grill
  12. Mama Roux: So Good There's A Song About It, Sort Of...
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  14. Easter Sunday Dinner: A Poor Experience at a Usually Reliable Locale
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3 comments to Restaurant Review Update: Fujian Grand China Buffet Restaurant

  • Postscript: I read all the comments I could find concerning this restaurant that have been left on “user review” sites, like Chowhound. Uniformly, they’re drecklich.

    I also noted that these comments seem to be from the same three people, with cut-and-paste in hand, who all went when things were crowded beyond reason (and other problems). I only saw one comment that distressed me: Meat in a vegetarian dish. (That’s not very nice.)

    Some were concerned that it wasn’t “Fujian” or even “Chinese.” Come on, folks, this is American Chinese Buffet! Recalibrate your standards, or eat other stuff. It’s never gonna be “like China.” I know, I go over there several times a year.

    Nobody mentioned any Austin buffet places they liked better, within the price range or for more money. (In my opinion, the Buffet Palace outlets are better, for about the same $; China Star’s not really any better; there are may truly forgettable options.)

    The Taste of China in Seguin is better, in my opinion, and a bit cheaper; but the drive’s a killer if you’re in north Austin. I also get to practice my broken Chinese there, so I may be biased.

    In any case, I don’t expect any of these to be “authentic.” They’re not…

  • Brian

    Please! This place is AWFUL. You must have gone to a different Fujian (which is not possible because there’s only one). The service was terrible. It was extremely crowded and noisy. Last but certainly not least, the food was disgusting. I took three bites of the things I sampled and promptly pushed my plate away. If that’s not enough, the little food I did eat got me extremely sick. You are a terrible restaurant reviewer if you thought this place was anything but detestable.

  • Brian, I’m sorry you feel that way. By the way, there’s no such thing as “terrible reviewers,” only the ones you disagree with. (Big Grin) Diferences of opinion is what makes a horse race or a business success.

    As I said in my postscript, they’re apparently not much different than what’s available generally in Austin.

    What’re your alternatives, by the way? (I go for pho at Pho Hoang when I want East Asian.)

    If they’re that bad, this down market will kill them off (and it should). All we have to do is wait and see…