Best way to take a Chinese buffet to the cleaners?

I often frequent a Chinese buffet in my area for a lunch buffet as it seems like a good deal at $5.50. Lately, though, I’ve got a suspicion that there’s no way I’m eating my money’s worth. Can anyone tell me what the most expensive thing I can eat at an average Chinese buffet is so that I can eat without feeling like I got ripped off so badly or maybe even break even?

I’m not saying that yours is a bad question, but let me see if I understand you. You wish to eat something other than what you want at a buffet, in order to ensure that someone else is making less money?

Well, I don’t know about monetary loss, but a friend (their family owned a restaurant) told me they get upset when they see wasted egg rolls since they’re a lot of trouble to make. I don’t see why this principle couldn’t apply to certain other dishes or items. To sum it up, while they may be making a decent profit, there is a lot of skill involved in the cooking of the food in question that, IMHO, is well worth the $5.50 they ask. To answer your OP (original post), though, perhaps if you loaded up on the seafood would you then start to eat the profit. I’m sure, however, that they think beforehand as to what to put out there that is “cheapish”.

My uncle once was told by the management that he couldn’t take anymore from the buffet once. I don’t know if it was Chinese though.

Welcome to the board, by the way. :slight_smile:

Isn’t eating a decent meal and leaving with a full stomach enough to make you feel like you’ve broke even? You could always just be gluttonous and eat way more than necessary. Also, eat expensive things like beef as opposed to chicken. I’d imagine they get their vegetables cheap, so steer clear of those. You’d have to drink a lot of soda to make them feel the pinch (provided they give free refills), but hey, it’s a thought. Stick it to the man, I guess. :rolleyes:


Come see Bottomless Pete: Nature’s Cruelest Mistake!


Redundancy at its best. :rolleyes: Happens when I write from recollection.

I have to agree with everyone else. There is absolutely no way I can imagine that you’re not getting your money’s worth if you leave a restaurant full and it only cost $5.50!

And buffets are a risky business venture. Sometimes they make a killing, sometimes they cause a place to go belly up. So if your just looking for a way to reduce their profits may I officially nominate you for the Biggest Douche in the Universe award! :slight_smile:

As the apparent intent is to consume the most costly items, then I think you need to look no further than the dishes.

A small bite out of several of the plates and cups should not be too filling, and is likely to be pretty expensive for the buffet owner.
And don’t forget any special ladles. A set of teeth marks on the coffee machine might do the trick also.

The meat is probably the most expensive item at a Buffet, and I’d guess things like clams or shrimp would cost the restaurant more.

Go for the protien, that’s the most expensive. And when I say go for the protien, skip the rice and noodles. If you feel you must have rice, put a thin layer on the bottom of the plate.

Besides that, I have to know if a soft drink is included in that price. I’m thinking it is not. If not, drink water, as the mark up on pop is eye-'pop’ping. If it is, don’t drink it either as you will take up valuable room for more food.

Of course, after eating a stomach full of greasy meat and fried seafood, you’ll feel real good on that evening jog! :slight_smile:

If you really really want to maximize the pain you inflict on the restaurant, watch to see what they only put out a little of. In one place, the fried won-ton with shrimp and cream cheese puffs were put our sparingly. Wait till they bring some out and then make a run on them.

Good Luck,

p.s. For 5.50 you can eat like a king at taco bell, that’s like 6 tacos!

I just looked at a Chinese takeout menu, and the shrimp and scallop dishes are clearly the most expensive, at least a dollar more than anything else. And when you order the dishes from a restaurant ala carte, they carefully give you a certain number of shrimp. On a buffet you could only take the shrimp and leave the vegetables. Noodle and rice dishes should be avoided entirely. Especially the white rice. Those calories are very cheap.

“Sign say ‘all you can eat.’ That all you can eat. You pay, you go home now.” I’ve got a very, very large friend who has a very, very large appetite, and I’ve witnessed this being told to him on more than one occasion.


I thought you were gonna ask what you could get the most of into your belly. That’s what I wanna know. I go into these places ready to eat a horse and then pay $7.50 (at lunch :eek: ) and mysteriously get full after half a plate of slop.

Do buffets (especially Chinese) really put things in the food to fill you up faster?

OMFG! aahala, that’s the first belly laugh I’ve had in a while, thanks, so much.

My mum has always said that they encourage you to partake of their free soft drinks as the extra sugar will make you feel fuller faster.

And my mum knows everything! :wink:

Is there any duck? When I worked at a Chinese restaurant, duck was one of the most expensive items, and it took forever to cook.

I haven’t seen duck on the buffet at any restaurant I went to.

I think most chinese buffets are reasonably priced. I go to other types of buffets and they are usually more than the chinese buffets. (American style buffets sometimes cost almost $10 for dinner). Plus, I like chinese buffets in that most of them are self served and you don’t have to deal with a waitress and all that tip business.

What I do sometimes is order takeout from the chinese buffets that give you a box and lets you pick what you want…then you pick all the meat stuff and no rice or noodles…you bring home the box and cook your own rice. I can usually spread out the amount I get over 2-3 meals.

I love those cream puff thingys. I always grab a bunch of those.

This is antisocial behavior which hurts the rest of us. What about if you don’t like the place you just stay away from it?