Location: 3500 E. Indiana 38 Lafayette, IN (map it)
Phone: (765) 838-1975
I had a lot of people recommend Fortune House as a place to try, and everyone on Facebook was very complimentary so I decided to head out there today to check it out. It’s located over where the Old Country Buffet used to be, by Michaels and Staples and Petsmart. I was skeptical at first, because a number of restaurants have tried and failed in this location.
Upon entering, we were directed to our table and had our drink orders taken. The place is pretty nice inside, with large buffets arranged in the buffet area. The restaurant is clean with lots of tables and there were plenty of people there for lunch.
Our drinks arrived and then we were left at our table with no directions or instructions about how everything works, so we eventually just got up and started wandering around. I wasn’t sure when we got there what the cuisine type was – Chinese? Japanese? Mongolian? And apparently, the answer to those are yes.
The first buffet table was sushi, and I was happy to see two sushi chefs behind the counter, making the sushi and dishing it out. There is nothing less appealing to me than a sushi buffet with who knows how old sushi sitting on a cold plate. At least here, you could tell it was being made fresh and put out for you to try.
There were also several buffets of mostly Chinese food. You had your regular fare of lo mein, chicken with broccoli, and sweet and sour chicken as well as some other options that were new, such as Hong Kong Chicken, Mongolian Pork, and a lot of sea food options as well.
Then the last buffet was a raw meat and veggie station where you can get your stir fry cooked to order.
After wandering around, I chose to start with the Chinese fare and got a plate of that. It was just okay. While I was impressed with the selection, the food itself was nothing spectacular, and the lo mein noodles were really not good at all. I was underwhelmed with the Chinese food.
Next I hit the sushi buffet. It is well documented here that I am no connoisseur of sushi. I always try it, and often like it, but it’s never my first choice and my palate is not very discerning. I got a plate of various choices and they were all okay. Again, nothing spectacular, but nothing bad either.
Finally, even though I was getting very full, I needed to try the Mongolian stir fry area. I had to ask another patron for the procedure here, because there were no instructions. Just a bar of raw meat and veggies and a guy with a grill. So the basic premise is that you fill up one plate with your meats and veggies that you want stir fried, then another plate with your rice or noodles. Then you take them over to the grill and set them down and the grill guy cooks it all up for you. Some people stood and watched, others went off to get other food and come back. I watched him cook. It was cool. He asked if I wanted spice, and I said a “little” and wuhoo, was it spicy. It was good though. As far as the food I ate, that was the best part.
They also had salad, fresh fruit, and desserts as well. There was definitely a lot of everything as far as selections go.
It doesn’t stand out as best sushi, or best Chinese, but if you can’t decide what you want, or have a group that wants different options, it will definitely fit the bill.
Friend’s opinions: From @kristenrielly, “fortune house – 1st Chinese buffet but thought it was good, chicken & steak were tasty. Will try the ‘make your own’ next time.”
Kid Friendly: Yes. There were french fries and other kid friendly items on the menu.
Price: Lunch buffet ist $6.25 – full pricing on their Facebook page.