Location: 2641 Maple Point Dr, Lafayette (map it)
Phone: (765) 446-0888
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, American
Today I drove over by the mall to try out the newest buffet in town. It’s located past the mall, on Maple Point Drive, close to the Kittles Furniture store. I really have no idea what was in that location before Teppanyaki. I’d be interested to know, because I don’t remember a restaurant being in that area.
We got there at 11:30, and it was really busy. And it only got busier as we dined. The word on Teppanyaki must have already gotten out, because it was packed by the time we left. The place is huge inside, with plentiful seating areas and many, many buffet tables. I was really surprised with how expansive it was.
We were greeted immediately by who I would guess to be the owner, but I don’t know for sure. He was really nice and really funny, as he seated us. The restaurant itself was, to my eye, very clean. Sometimes with buffets you get that not-so-fresh feeling, but this was very nicely done and very clean. Even when I glanced back into the kitchen area it seemed very clean.
The buffets were unreal. There’s a bit of an identity crisis here, because they had nearly everything. There was your standard Chinese fare: beef with broccoli, chicken with broccoli, fried rice, general Tsao’s chicken, lo mein, fried rice, egg rolls…. I could go on, but then you’d get bored. There was a lot of Chinese food. Then there were buffets of American food. Mac and cheese, pizza, pasta, and something called a beef pie that was really intriguing but I didn’t have the opportunity to try, mashed potatoes, french fries, even a few Mexican items. Then another area had seafood items like stuffed shrimp, peel and eat shrimp, tilapia.
Add in another buffet for salad bar, one for fruit, and another for desserts, and you have a pretty extensive menu. But wait, there’s more! In the back there was a sushi buffet and a Hibachi buffet.
It was slightly overwhelming with so many options, so I grabbed a plate and loaded it with as many items as I could get. I started with Chinese and tried a variety of the food on the buffet. It was all pretty good. Definitely better than Fortune House, in my opinion.
After I finished the first plate, I decided to try the hibachi buffet. This is where you pile your plate with frozen meats, fresh veggies, and noodles or rice and hand it over and they cook it for you. This is generally hit or miss for me. The thing is that while I’m a decent cook, I have never been able to make up my own recipes. So when it’s time for a hibachi buffet, I throw in stuff I like, but it doesn’t always come out that great. I don’t blame the cook, he’s just grilling the food I handed him. But it was okay, no complaints.
Next I went to the sushi buffet. I’ve said on here before I’m not an experience connoisseur of sushi. I like it okay, I’ll eat it if I’m out, but I really just prefer my meals to be hot. So I ‘m no expert. None of the sushi items had labels, so I also had no idea what I was picking. There were several plates of sushi, but only two tongs so you had to wait in line to have access to any of the sushi. (Not to mention the guy that was piling his plate three levels high with sushi and not giving anyone a chance to get anything.) I finally got some sushi and headed back to my table. And the best I can say is “meh.” I’ve had better sushi. Maybe if I knew what it was I could tell you more, but again, it wasn’t labeled.
Finally, we headed over to the dessert buffets. One thing I really liked was that their ice cream bins, instead of having the large tubs of ice cream and bowls, had individual servings of ice cream in little containers. I like that for a number of reasons, but mostly because it’s really hard for me to get ice cream out of those big tubs because I’m not very tall. The desserts were unlabeled like the sushi, although most of the other items on the buffets were labeled. I grabbed a few things and went back to my table. Overall, I was unimpressed with the desserts. Of the ones I tried, none were really that good.
I should state that I’m just not the kind of person who is going to get the most bang for my buck out of a buffet. I can’t eat 17 plates of food, and I was really struggling to try as much as I did. One plate of food is generally plenty for me. I ate more for you, my dear readers.
Overall, my experience was pretty good. The food was pretty good buffet food, the place was clean, the price was right. Aside from the sushi and dessert, the rest was fine. I’d go again.
Kid Friendly: Yes.
Price: Very reasonable – lunch buffet was just over $7.