Anything But Super – Superking Chinese Buffet

NOTE: This restaurant is closed.

Susan says…

03.05.09

superking-outside1

I am blaming this lunch on Ron.  This is one of the absolute worst Chinese food experiences of my life. 

First Problem: We arrive at about 12:20 and the place is practically empty.  Bad sign.  At a buffet, it is a REALLY bad sign.  If there aren’t a lot of customers, the food isn’t being turned over.  If the food isn’t being turned over, it gets stale, dried out or otherwise overcooked.  Many of the bins showed very little signs of activity.   There were four other occupied tables when we arrived.  By the time we left, there were about four other parties served in addition to those.

The last time I ate at this location, it was under different ownership and the meal was disappointing mostly because The Mongolian Grill was not operational on that visit.  Today I hoped for a better lunch. 

superking-first-round

Their menu claims “The Region Best & Largest Chinese Buffet Restaurant”.  Really?  Are you sure???  Have they been to every other Chinese buffet in the region?  I’ll bet not.  

Supposedly they have over 150 items daily.  If I had seen the takeout menu boasting this fact on the way in, I would have put my beancounting skills to good use and counted all the items.    Maybe if you count each sauce bin and each different type of pre-fab cookie, the free fortune cookie, the soy sauce on the table and the little packets of duck sauce you might get close to 150, but I doubt it.   

The lunch buffet will set you back $6.29.  A competitive price.  But why is the place so empty? 

Round One on the buffet was a dud.  I focused on the section of bins nearest the drink station.  I sampled: Bourbon chicken, fried fish, corn nugget, fried scallop, crab rangoon, stuffed shrimp and a cheese-filled puff pastry.  The chicken had a fatty texture.  The fried fish was fine.  I only ate the corn nugget as an ode to Misty and wondered if she would find this one acceptable.  (I only ate half of it) 

The fried scallop was the oddest textured scallop I’ve ever tasted.  You can see in the close-up photo that it has an equally odd appearance.  I wonder if it is fake scallop like Krab is fake crab.  If so, what would such a product be called? Skallop?

superking-scallop-close-up

The crab rangoon was pretty good.  I prefer the wrapper like the Kanawha Mall China Buffet uses, but this filling was creamy and good.  The stuffed shrimp was okay.  The best thing on this plate was the puff pastry.  Yum-o.  I could have eaten a whole plate of those little jewels.  They probably buy them frozen and simply heat them in the oven.  Is that why it was the best item thus far???

While procuring my nibbles for Round One I noticed that many of the bins showed very little activity.  THe bourbon chicken was all lined up and sliced as if it had just been placed with only a couple slices removed.  Ron and I figured this food has been on display since they opened at 11:00.

superking-round-two

Round Two:  I sampled almost all the “entrees” in the next section of bins.  You know, stuff like pepper steak and chicken with broccoli. 

There were two other bin sections: a salad/fruit section – I never partake of the salad/fruit stuff – and a few items like sushi and chilled shrimp beside the Mongolian grill.   It looked to me like there was California Roll, another vegetable roll and two others.  If it’s not spicy tuna or spicy scallop made fresh, I am probably not interested.   

On Round Two I tasted: orange chicken, black pepper chicken, chicken teriyaki, general tso’s chicken, green beans, edamame and chicken with broccoli.  I would not waste the time or energy putting it on my plate ever again.  Any of it.   This plate caused me to reminisce favorably about Round One.

Round Three: The Mongolian Grill.   The great thing about the Grill is that you pick the ingredients (from a selection) and it is prepared fresh.  Chicken, beef and shrimp offer protein.  Several types of noodles provide starch.  Green pepper, onion, broccoli, mushrooms, bean sprouts, cabbage, and carrots offer the veg.  Pineapple chunks were a pleasant surprise.   To top it off: garlic, chili oil, teriyaki sauce and some other kind of sauce were available.  I added all four. 

The bad thing about the Grill at a not-so-busy buffet is that you wonder how long the raw meats have been sitting there.  I courageously dug down into the bottom of the chicken bin, the coldest part, and piled my plate with my favorite ingredients.  The Grill Guy puts your stuff on a big round grill and slides it around with a long wooden stick until it’s done, just a few minutes later.  The Grill was by far the best part of this meal.  If I am forced to come back here again, I will get the Grill and a puff pastry.  (I am going to look for those at Sam’s.)

superking-round-three

Even though the food was a big letdown, the staff at Superking were friendly and prompt.  The sodas are priced right at $1.39, also. 

You can order takeout from the menu (thumbnails at the end of the post get big enough to read when you click on them).   I don’t think I’ll be doing that, either – the texture of the chicken made me believe it was mostly dark meat and the sauces did not excite me.  When I want a Chinese fix, you’ll find me at the China Buffet about two minutes away at the Kanawha Mall.

I cannot recommend this restaurant.  ONE FORK.

Ron Says..

I got back from a work trip early today, so I offered to take Susan to lunch (eating out of our joint account of course).   Chinese was mentioned and it sounded ok.

Susan really likes the one place in Kanawha City, I don’t know what it’s called but even though it’s ok… their buffet just stinks to me.  So instead I suggested we go to this place.  Afterall they do have one of those mongolian grills (or let’s be serious it’s just a big round frying pan), and I like that.

So we went here instead.  I take full blame.

The place wasn’t busy because everyone was eating at the other nearby Chinese place.  It was clean and we were promptly seated.

I did my normal routine… Egg Roll, Chicken Teryaki Sticks, and Hot & Sour Soup.   I could not find any hot mustard amongst the plethora of items on the buffet.  I even tasted what I thought may be the hot mustard but I think it was only Honey Mustard.   (yes there are people like me who will stick their finger in the sauce to see what the hell it is – remember that’s what labels are for and I shouldn’t have to use my finger and taste buds)

I go back to my seat and no one ever came by to ask me if I needed anything, so I never got my hot mustard.  That’s ok the Egg Roll was just ok, and kind of luke warm.

My hot and sour soup wasn’t too bad, but it was on the mild side.  The Teriyaki stick was ok.

For my second trip I did go to the Mongolian frying pan, but there was no one working it, and I didn’t see a bell to ring… so I quickly perused the offerings.. I didn’t see some of my favorite vegetables – you know those real flat beans (whatever they’re called)  and the bamboo shoots – these were not among the offerings.  So the lack of immediate service and these short comings, I quickly decided to just get something else. (Susan evidently was able to get service promptly)

So I chose a couple of the vegetable / chicken / various high sodium sauce combinations that populate today’s Chinese buffets.  

Were they good?  About as good as any other place I suppose.   Nothing really stood out like at some places, at the same time nothing said “that sucked” either.

I “personally” think Susan’s single fork rating is too harsh, but at the same time I also see why she feels that way.  As I was dining I just felt like the whole establishment was simply going through the motions and that they didn’t care if I was there or not.   Thus, I’m going to give it Two only because they have the Mongolian Frying Pan.  

This place is Ok, but the joint down the road in the mall is a 100 times better.

Two Forks.

Superking China Buffetsuperking-menu-4superking-menu-3superking-menu-2superking-menu-1
6309 MacCorkle Ave
Charleston, WV  25304
304-720-7330 phone
304-720-7338 fax

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11 responses to “Anything But Super – Superking Chinese Buffet

  1. Good to know. We’d considered trying that place as the one by the same name in Parkersburg isn’t bad.

  2. demosthenes.or.locke

    That one is real ass. Chinese food has to be the most disappointing ethnic cuisine in Charleston. You’d think a town of this size would have more good places. There is a mongolian grill at the one in front of target. Their buffet is not especially good but they are always very busy so it is fresh.

    • Demosthense – try Chin’s in Kanawha City. It’s like the area’s only non-buffet chinese restaurant. It’s super good. My family and I have been going there for years.

  3. Who would have thought that I’d agree with Demo? I also think that the Southridge Chinese place is one of the better ones around the Big City.

  4. demosthenes.or.locke

    Main Kwong blows, China Max blows worse. Where do people do delivery chinese in Charleston? Taste of Asia in South Charleston knows my card # by heart. Where else is there?

  5. demosthenes.or.locke

    Ron, being one of the “better ones” around Charleston is a little like winning a gold medal in the special olympics, or being the baddest dude in the retard fight club.

    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2009/03/police-probe-al.html

    Big freaking whoop. In a world of shitty chinese, the place out southridge doesn’t serve cat and dog – woohoo!

  6. The only good Chinese IMO is the china buffet at the Kanawha Mall (we all know how I feel about that one…I am there once a week) and Taste of Asia. I frequent TOA in Teays Valley and I really love it.

  7. It’s funny how they still use the plates with the former name of the restaurant. Four names in two years is not good. I agree that the China Buffet in the Kanawha Mall is much better.

  8. All posters, I agree that China Buffet at KC Mall is the better of the buffet places in town. Non buffet places is Chas that are good are Taste of Asia (So Chas) and CHin’s (Kanawha City).

  9. Pingback: News Nugget – Update on Restaurant Closures « Fork You…

  10. sproston green

    Soon to be El Patron mexican

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