When it comes to buffets, it’s hard to go wrong with the ubiquitous Chinese buffet. But what if you’re in the mood for something different? Something spicier? Well my friend, have I got a good option for you: Thai China Buffet in Durham. I had been to this place years ago but finally decided it was time for a lunch visit and a bit of spicy Thai flavor again. So on a cold and rainy day, I head on over for a quick meal!
Located in a very busy strip plaza, Thai China Buffet sits far in the back corner, so you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to find it. Inside Thai China Buffet, you’ll find a very simple and humble interior fronted by a short buffet island to the right. The space is small, seating maybe 40 or so people so the the place fills up quickly for lunch, given its popularity. I get lucky on a quiet Monday afternoon, order up a diet Pepsi and it’s time to dig in and eat!
While the lunch buffet is a bit small with only about 20 items, at $9.95 it’s a pretty good deal. Thai China Buffet lives up to its name serving up a mix of Thai and Chinese on the steamers. I spy pad thai, spring rolls, lo mein, orange chicken, broccoli beef, tempura fried shrimp, pea pods, chicken wings along with some curries and fried rice. I load up my plate with pad thai, spring rolls and more. Drinks are brought quickly to the table while I’m preparing my little feast!
Overall, all the flavors on this buffet are solid. Enjoyed the red curry with chicken, pad thai, spring roll and orange chicken. The pad thai has the sweet-sour flavor combo that I usually look for even if it’s a bit sparse on the extras (egg, peanuts). Cooked veggies here (green beans and pea pods) are fresh and retain a bit of crisp, given the quick turnover on this buffet. And the orange chicken is well-fried with a nice mix of crunch, sauce and flavor. While Thai China Buffet’s lunch-time eats are not outstanding, for a buffet it’s all pretty good! Thai China Buffet also does a standard dinner service but it seems as if the majority of the traffic for this restaurant revolves around lunch.
To sum things all up, you come to Thai China Buffet for the food and a lot of it. Don’t expect ambiance, great service or exquisite food or even a website! The room and decor is a bit worn down, the buffet is on the smaller side and still this place brings in a good lunch crowd, regularly. Because the reality is that it’s VERY rare to find any sort of buffet when it comes to Thai food so while Thai China Buffet won’t dazzle you, it does things just well enough to keep you happy and well-fed.