Back to Peking Buffet, Williamsburg, VA

A number of years back in 2007 the Peking Buffet was our first "Best Asian Buffet". They still have the certificate framed in their door's entrance way. It is also listed on their website. This was always a buffet that we looked forward to going to whenever we were in this area. Then about four or so years ago, they added some things and made some changes to what was served on the buffet. I am sure many will like what they added - a section of Thai food and also a Sushi Train. Many will also like the changes to some of the dishes on the buffet toward hot and spicy. We don't really like hot and spicy - and most of the Thai food that is on its own buffet section is also spicy - so the appeal for us to come here was reduced a bit. Where we would have come back more than once, it has become a maybe visit once. It is however the only Asian buffet of any significance remaining in this immediate area. Others that we have been to in the past and have written about are now gone.

So - w were there recently and we went back. My experience this time was more positive as I found some entrees on the Vegetarian section of the buffet that are favorites and while I am not a vegetarian, these dishes and a few others made for a very satisfactory meal.

One of the things that has remained here is an extensive selection of soups - and with this there is a noodle section at the grill counter where you select one of several different types of noodles and a soup will be created for you by the chef behind the counter consisting of ingredients of your choosing.  We both had Vietnamese pho noodles with cilantro in broth. It was very good - it always has been.

I have written about the Sushi Train before and you can look up any of my other articles in the past few years about this buffet. Let's just say that if you want to stand and watch unlabeled plates of sushi move past you on a track and "have to" take each single piece with its plate, and try to carry more than two or three back to your table - and you like spicy sushi - you will love this. I don't bother with it any more. It may work in Tokyo where you sit at a counter with this going by in front of you - it does not work in a buffet.

The two dishes that I found on the Vegetarian section were vegetable chow mein and vegetable moo shu.  I wish other Asian buffets would add these two simple dishes. I like chow mein. I like moo shu. I admit that to the chow mein I added chicken from the chicken and broccoli tray as I walked back to our table. I also went to the Mongolian grill - they still have the large round domed grill that was very popular at many Asian buffets a number of years ago - and have now been replaced by small hibachi grills.  At his grill, it is the usual choose your meats and vegetables - then pour over that sauces - and hand this to one of two chefs who move your selections around the circumference of the big grill with sticks until it is cooked. The sauces are spicy or sweet. I put none on mine and added soy sauce when I got back to the table and this made me happy.

While we were eating a family of four came in. The couple had a toddler age boy and girl. They decided that they were ordering from the menu - which you can do here if you don't want the buffet. They ordered sushi rolls for themselves and fried rice and lo mein for the kids. What came were two huge platters of fried rice and lo mein. Enough in each platter to feed four hungry adults. All of this was on the buffet (except perhaps the specific sushi rolls that they ordered). The kids each ate about five spoonfuls of the fried rice and noodles. The parents did not take any. All of this was still on the table when they left. It was not that they did not like it - they seemed very happy while they were eating, but it was way too much. They must have paid more for this than if they had ordered the buffet - for the size of these platters and what the sushi ordered this way costs, they had to have. They should have just ordered the buffet. Even the waitresses who cleared the table after they left were amazed at how much food was left untouched.

There is a lot to eat here if you like what you find and if you can eat what is here. Everything is tasty. The food is good. Service is good. The price is also very reasonable at $12.99 for dinner. I am hoping that when I have an opportunity to go back, they will have the chow mein and moo shu again - not spicy.

If you are in this area and want to have all you care to eat Asian, try it. I am certain that anyone who does not mind hot and spicy Asian foods will find much, much more than those of us who would like to eat it but just can't - but still we found enough to eat to end the meal full.

The Peking Restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia is located at 120 Waller Mill Road in the Big Kmart Shopping Center. (Kingsgate Green Shopping Center – Bypass Road (Rt.60)). The phone number is (757) 229 - 2288. There is a website and that is listed at the side of this page.