Thursday, January 2, 2014

Royal Buffet - A lot like Mr. Stirfry

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I went to Royal Buffet and must say, it's a lot like Mr. Stirfry.

Even though there are many similarities, like the sauteed green beans, dessert and fruit bar there are many differences I noticed, as well.

I went to Mr. Stirfry on an almost regular basis because my husband, Ryan, loved it so I remember a lot about it and was able to compare the new Royal Buffet with the old, Mr. Stirfry.

One difference I noticed what that instead of serving the white rice in a steamer, separate from the actual steam tables where most of the food is heated, they put it on the buffet with the rest of the items. This is a bad decision, I think. When the rice sits in the steam table it becomes chewy and inedible -- unlike when it's in its own personal rice steamer. I wasn't happy with this change, although very minor, it affected my dining experience in a negative way.

The crab Rangoons are much better because they have more flavor. They definitely look different and the way they taste are much better than many other Asian buffets around town. They reminded me of the money bags at Tuptim Thai, little fried pockets of seasoned cream cheese. I couldn't tell if there was anything added but the filling seemed to me to be sweet, unlike others that are crabby. Maybe they aren't technically "crab Rangoons" but that's what I call them.

Another positive change was the vegetable lo mein. Back when it was Mr. Stirfry, it was like they used spaghetti noodles and not many vegetables. At Royal Buffet, they use the flatter noodles that are usually associated with lo mein, and used plenty of vegetables. The noodles were cooked al dente, whereas in the past they seemed to be mushy and old. They were saucier and I could put them on my white rice and let the rice soak up the extra sauce.

The beef and broccoli was much better than before. Before, at Mr. Stirfry, it was chicken and broccoli and very peppery. My only complaint was that the broccoli wasn't cooked enough for me but I realize they cook them that way on purpose, assuming they will be sitting in a steamer for some time, which ends up cooking the food more. I must have gotten a fresh batch because my broccoli was still pretty crunchy.

I didn't try the hibachi but it seemed to be just like it was before.

Their ice cream machine was out of order and instead they served little containers of ice cream. It was good, nothing special.

Overall, I felt like the food was more appealing, fresher and tastier at Royal Buffet than it was when it was Mr. Stirfry. The owners are different than the owners of Mr. Stirfry and Royal Buffets can be found in Wichita and other states in the Midwest.