This is one of those times where I wrote something, liked it, and thought, why not put it in my suitcase?
So without further ado… my first food review.
I grew up eating at, and loving, the Home Town Buffet on Shaw in Clovis. It was always a family favorite, so I was more than a little disappointed to see that HTB was closing its doors, in the fall of 2016.
But when Arirang Mongolian moved into the neighborhood, I was glad to see that it was carrying on the buffet tradition.
I’ve eaten at Arirang twice now, and both experiences were nothing short of wowing.
This is the Disneyland of buffets.
First, let’s talk ambiance. Flickering lanterns line the entry wall, and a beautiful purple geode behind the front counter welcomes prospective diners into the restaurant. Plus, during lunch today, beautiful lyrical mood music swept the airwaves overhead (and each table was equipped with a trusty bottle of soy sauce).
On the other hand, if TV is more your jam, there are several installed around the restaurant. And speaking of entertainment, one of my favorite parts of the meal, the rolled ice cream, is a show in itself. I don’t know all the technical terms, but the chef pours a syrup across a flat stone surface, smooths it into a beautiful circle, and waits for the syrup to solidify. Then, she scrapes the ice cream into beautiful roll shapes. The only time I’ve seen this ice cream before is on a YouTube video, and I didn’t know people performed this method in the U.S. So cool!
There are also chefs who prepare the hot pot (which you can get for an extra $20 for the whole family with buffet purchases) and shish kebabs before your very eyes. Like I said, amusement park status.
Since we’re on the topic of food, let’s talk about Arirang’s fantastic selection. Whether you’re in the mood for shish kebabs or spring rolls, salad or steamed buns, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for.
Today, I dined on garlic bread, orange chicken, onion rings, pizza, ice cream, a cookie, doughnuts and potstickers. And that was with me holding back because I wanted to focus my energy on potstickers (because WHERE IN THE WORLD can you find all-you-can-eat potstickers for $6.99? Most places charge six bucks for an order of five or six.).
In addition to the foods I had today, the buffet also boasts an assortment of seafoods, a salad bar, four types of soups, various soft drinks, the aforementioned hot pot, and a fantastic dessert selection. Kids will love the colorful array of candy ice cream toppings at the dessert counter (chocolate chips, sprinkles, skittles, gummy bears, and gummy worms, among others), and parents will love the fruit choices (kiwi, strawberries, bananas with a red sauce) in the same area. In addition to the rolled ice cream, there’s soft serve, as well as chocolate, caramel, and strawberry sauces to top it. And pastries. (Like the potstickers, the dessert offers major savings. $6.99, the lunch buffet price, is just a little over the cost of froyo, and you don’t have to weigh the toppings, here.)
So if you, like me, have a sweet tooth to accommodate, Arirang is the place to be. Even if you’re not that into Mongolian foods, the potstickers and the ice cream alone are worth the price (I repeat: $6.99 includes all you can eat potstickers). Plus, for the finicky eater (read: four-year-old who doesn’t want to broaden his horizon, or 44-year-old who just loves his chicken nuggets), there are more familiar options: the nuggs, pizza, garlic bread, French fries, onion rings… a dish of candy (Yes, I did grab a bowl of gummy worms with the first course).
Oh, and top of all that, when you buy the $6.99 lunch buffet ($6.99!) you can also order anything you want off of the supplemental menu. That’s where the doughnuts came in for me, and they were delicious.
And the service? That’s pretty great, too! Mindy has waited on us both times, and she’s kind, efficient, and gives good dining
So, to recap, all the lunch you can want…for $6.99.* Potstickers. Full ice cream bar (soft serve or ROLLED). Salad bar. Supplemental menu. Shish kebabs. Seafood. Soup. Plus awesome service.
Ambiance included 🙂
*There is an extra charge if you can’t finish what you plate, but we haven’t incurred this charge, so I’m not sure if its extent.