Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Everyday Restaurant - Dim Sum Weekends
It seems like I've been hearing from lots of people about Everyday Buffet, a Chinese restaurant in Brookfield Plaza in East Lansing (located where the old Chinese Family Buffet used to be). I kept hearing the food is very good, and seems to cater to the Asian crowd. (And their non-buffet menu is full of great looking varieties of noodle dishes, which is a good sign.)
I finally decided to try it on the weekend, when they do a dim sum buffet. I definitely had a good meal out of it. (I don't know how their weekday lunch buffet is.)
The main problem here is the same as all dim sum buffets: not all dim sum is suitable for a buffet. The bao (steamed bbq pork buns) were a little tough and dried from sitting on the buffet. The squid/octopus was very tough for the same reason. The flavors for both were great, though. And there was the usual mislabeling of some dishes. (Like the sweet rice dumplings -- the meat-filled was labelled as sweet bean paste, and the sweet bean labeled as meat. Just remember that the triangle shape is almost always a dessert flavor, and the football shape is meat.)
But there is a lot more on the good side. Because it's a buffet, you don't have to have a bunch of people there to try a variety of flavors. You can have a little taste or a big bowl of the congee as you please. (They had four flavors, plus fried crullers to go with it, and the lightly sweetened red bean dessert soup too.)
You can see in the picture that my plate was piled high. The dark gravy on upper left is from the stewed beef brisket, which I considered the start of the show. Tender and lots of flavor. The greens were Yu Cai, I think, which is a slightly bitter green, but it tasted great with the other ingredients. The water chestnut cake (hidden under the big bao on the top) was very tasty. The turnip cake was good (not as good as Little Panda, but better than Golden Wok). The shiu mai and pan fried dumplings were decent, but not exciting. I really liked the fried taro dumplings, filled with meat (not pictured). Taro looks kind of like a hairy football when fried. And the pie guo - or stewed bits of sparerib in garlic sauce, was very tasty.
They also had a few regular non-dimsum dishes, such a Singapore Noodles and a shredded pork and pressed tofu dish that I have liked at other places. They also had the now usual selection of sushi and fruits on the salad bar.
And... they have a scale, so it appears you can buy take out buffet by the pound. (Always a plus in my book.)
Everyday Restaurant, 1375 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing. (517) 337-1882.