I had an hour to kill before a business thing in Deerfield so I was looking for a lunch spot when I passed the Peking Tokyo Buffet. I always drive by on my way back from someplace else and I always think that I should try it. Today was the day.jump-->
The first thing I noticed was the lunch price: $6.99. Less than a cup of soup at most place. Can't go wrong for that.
Service started off badly as it does in most of these asian buffets; if you're by yourself they seat you at some oddball table even when the restaurant is 80% empty. I don't really care with a buffet as i'm up and down constantly so the ambiance is limited regardless. I ordered an iced tea with lemon; "Lemon on buffet" my service snapped. Ok, so I went over to check it out.
The buffet was much larger than I expected for the price; it was as big an any of the places not in Las Vegas. Up front is a very extensive salad bar. But I don't come to a buffet to eat a salad.
Walking around, it was clear that this was a Chinese/American buffet with a sushi counter; Sushi was the only thing Japanese here.
Interestingly, there was no lemon on the buffet; just limes. So why did she tell me there was lemon? I filled a plate and went back to the table.
Peking Buffet Pot Stickers, stuffed Clams, Ribs, Chicken Wing
A big, breaded chicken wing, potstickers, "skewered" chicken, BBQ ribs and stuffed clams. The clams were awful with some kind of pungent filling and hardly any clam; the wing was fine. The chicken was WAY overcooked and the rib was clearly left over from last night (or the night before). There's actually a sign that says "dinner only" over the ribs. I didn't like filling in the dumplings; it was sort of a shredded pork but it didn't have the usual dumpling asian flavors.>
I'd also grabbed a cup of hot and sour soup.
Peking Tokyo Buffet Hot and Sour Soup
Not hot, not sour but not terrible. Sort of a mushroom, tofu soup with lots of mushrooms. Time for another round.
Peking Tokyo Buffet. Shrimp, Salmon, Chicken Teriyaki, Sushi.
While it looked like a rib; it was teriyaki chicken; some sort of meat marinated in teriyaki sauce for way too long. Inedible. The salmon was overcooked and sauced with something that made it so that without the sign; I never would have identified this as salmon. The shrimp were the typical unseasoned boil shrimp that weren't de-veined but the coctail sauce was so bad that I only ate 1. The spicy tuna roll was a red paste that didn't resemble tuna in texture or taste; the crust on the fried fish was so hard that I was concerned that I might break a tooth. The salmon nigiri was fishy; I decided that I didn't trust the sushi here and passed on trying anything else.
Service was horrific to the point of comedy. An empty iced tea glass was of no concern until I asked for my bill. I was literally yelling at my server and she didn't even turn her head. Unbelievable really.
Time for another round. I was hungry so I thought about a salad. I sampled the blue cheese and it tasted like a bad, jarred rendition. No salad for me. I grazed a bit and tried some more of the Chinese stuff.
Peking Tokyo Buffet Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Pepper Steak
The pepper steak in many ways sums up the entire experience. The peppers and onions were cut into such large pieces and barely cooked beyond raw, while the beef was waterlogged from mass marination. The effort put into preparing the food was non-existent. The chicken was also mush. The calamari ring, taken from the "Seafood Delight" which had a few pieces of Krab in it was pure rubber. Mushy fried rice; the lo mein wasn't bad.
Peking Tokyo Buffet plate: Tilapia, green beans, mac & cheese, tempura shrimp
I'm not a fan of tilapia so I'm not sure why I tried it; the beauty of a buffet. Shrimp "tempura" was dried and inedible inside the puff. Green beans were badly overcooked. They had some comfort food out; pigs in a blanket, mac and cheese. The Mac and Cheese was mostly sitting in a puddle of milk and tasted like it was made with cottage cheese. Leave it to these guys to make Mac and Cheese taste bad. The Pepper Chicken didn't look or taste like chicken; I suspect it wasn't.
I was looking at the desserts thinking I'd pass; a sheet cake with tannish icing reminded me of my grade school days, some cookies. Then I spotted the ice cream on an unmarked part of the table. They had all of the regular chinese ice creams; I went with a bit of green tea and chocolate.
Peking Tokyo Buffet Ice Cream.
Typically good. I'm sure they don't make their own ice cream.
Overall, this buffet could be good but it isn't. At 6.99 I could say that its a good value anyway, even if you just have a salad and bring your own dressing. But eating bad food isn't enjoyable, particularly with cold, indifferent service. I wouldn't waste gas on this place, even if I lived nearby.