A special focus on variety and service sets China Buffet apart

Ivan Markovits (left) is welcomed by Johnny Tang as he brings in a new friend to try China Buffet.

China Buffet Owner Johnny Tang has taken the classic Chinese Buffet dining style and spiced it up to entice a whole new type of foodie to the family-style restaurants sprouting up throughout Florida.

“We learned the restaurant business from my grandfather in China and have expanded it for a whole new market of diners,” said Tang. “It is a new style of buffet focusing on service and variety.”

In addition to the classic lunch buffet items of steamed vegetables, Lo Mein noodles, sweet and sour chicken, pork dumplings, fried rice, egg drop and miso soup, lots more entrees and side dishes, as well as a full fruit and dessert bar, China Buffet, 13605 S. Dixie Hwy. in the Colonial Plaza Shopping Center, offers excellent service for the buffet dining experience.

“Our buffet concept is why our restaurants in Daytona, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale have been so successful,” said Tang. “We make it a comfortable experience with more proteins, vegetables and desserts included. You can order by the weight and we have options for the health conscious, too. The dinner buffet is our specialty and one of the favorite options of our regulars who keep coming back.” For waist line watchers, there is a range of steamed vegetable options without sauce, oil, salt or cornstarch. Seafood and vegetable entrees like Steamed Seafood Delight and Scallops with Broccoli are part of the healthy dining options as well.

“In addition to our dieter’s menu, for dinner we have snow crab, oysters, salmon and other seasonal seafood items as well,” said Tang. “We offer a full sushi bar for lunch and dinner and it is very popular. We try to constantly change the variety and menu options so we can please customer tastes and preferences and still provide reasonable prices.”

After more than 15 years as an apprentice working with his uncles and developing his own style of presenting popular Chinese dishes at affordable prices, Tang has recently taken over the family restaurant in Pinecrest that his parents established.

“I am raising my family here because this is the best country to be free to work and raise a family,” said Tang. “My third child is due next month and my wife and I are happy to live here with our two little girls.”

Florida is very similar in climate to Fujian, the large southern China city that Tang emigrated from when he was 15 years old.

“When I came here, it was very hard and I struggled with the language in upstate New York where I first settled with my family. Here in Florida we are one of many cultures and I am happy to bring some of my culture here and call Pinecrest home.”

Regular client Ivan Markovits of Kendall sees China Buffet as a home-style restaurant that he frequently visits. He says there are several reasons that keep him coming back.

“The variety, price, quality and service are the best,” Markovits said. “And the sushi is my favorite.”

China Buffet is open seven days a week, serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The lunch buffet is $6.75 and $7.25 on Sunday. The dinner buffet is $10.65 and $11.75 on the weekend. Children’s menus and carry out buffet are sold by weight. Beer and wine are available.

For information, call 305-235-4331.

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