Are Chinese buffets a thing of the past?

By on June 10, 2009

Latest visit to New World Buffet…

I have noticed that over the years Chinese buffets in Tulsa have been getting worse. I don’t know if it is objectively related to the lost quality of such buffets or I myself have been getting pickier about food and décor lately. Nevertheless, it has become difficult for me to enjoy any of the Chinese buffets you can find in Tulsa. My last trip to New World Buffet on 71st & Mingo was anything, but enjoyable. Our business ( is located not very far and we go to different places for lunch and dinner in a 3 mile radius all the time.

It was lunch time and it was raining that day. My wife and I were hungry. Since we had not been to any buffets for a long time we decided to go to New World Buffet. The restaurant was relatively full of people filling themselves with food. A hostess took us to a table which was freshly wiped and therefore its surface was still wet requiring a few dry napkins to make it feel like a clean table again. We ordered ice water and went to get the food. And, that’s is where a big surprise was awaiting. The floor around the tables with food was completely wet. People were walking around very carefully, some were slipping and no signs ’Wet Floor’ were observed. Since we had never seen anything like this at a restaurant we had to ask why the floor was wet. The answer was: ’They are always wet when it’s raining’. Because we were inside the building I was so stunned by this curious explanation that I forgot to ask ’How have you been avoiding people slipping and falling down on it all this time?’ I thought about it later, when I was trying to digest my food that was obviously so salty (or contained so much MSG) that I had to drink five or six large glasses of water during the remainder of the day. How the heck could they avoid being sued?

I have to be honest and say that the Mongolian BBQ was OK. It was something I personally enjoyed. As for the rest of the food, it was questionable, to say at least. We tried Sushi which was obviously a Chinese version of this dish and had nothing to do with its Japanese namesake. Deserts were pretty good combined with some fresh fruit. However, I don’t know anybody who would go to a Chinese buffet for the deserts. We finished our meal and wholeheartedly agreed to never come here again.

Sorry that Tulsa has lost its grounds in Chinese restaurants. Let’s hope that someday we will be able to enjoy good Chinese cuisine again, and plenty of it!

New World Buffet

10808 E 71st St
Tulsa, OK 74133
(918) 250-5666

New Buffet World on Urbanspoon

Review Submitted by Taras

About Staff was founded 6 years ago by Brian McCullough because he had a love of food. What started as a blog where normal everyday people dined out and posted about their experiences has grown into a legitimate food publication with professional chefs and writers, each with a unique culinary and educational background to pull from.


  1. Nickolia

    June 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I don’t think anyone goes to a buffet expecting to get a gourmet meal. This isn’t excluding any buffet either. It’s usually the case that you are going for convenience, price, and quantity not quality. If you are wanting a good Asian meal you have to go to an actual Asian restaurant.

  2. joiei

    June 11, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Tulsa needs to get away from Chinese buffets. Real Chinese restaurants are not buffets, you order from a menu. I miss the terrific restaurants I used to dine at when I lived in San Francisco and Portland. Buffet food is gloopy and not truly representative of quality Chinese Food. It is cheap for a reason, low quality ingredients. Where is the Hunan, the Sezchuan, the Manderine and the other styles of Chinese foods to be found in Tulsa?

    • Steve Loves to Eat

      January 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm

      When I lived in Monterey Ca in the early 1970′s we ate at a Chinese restaurant in SF regularly (just across and over from the Pyramid). It had three stories to it, with the first floor being basically filled with tourists, the second floor having more Chinese patrons, and the third floor (where we were seated twice, being recognized as regulars) was mostly for Chinese families. A large table inside of a generously sized cubicle made for very private dining…No menu, we just ordered…and it was wonderfully prepared, nothing like the Americanized dishes on the first floor, and even better than the second floor. It was an honor to be seated on the third floor, and I will always remember the experience, even if the name of the restaurant has long since disappeared from my memory.

  3. James

    June 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    I totally agree with your blog post. Tulsa used to have alot of really good Chinese buffets like Tast of Chine, Golden Dragon, and more. But its such a gamble on whether any of the food will taste good. These days I find I have to go to Pei Wei or PF Changs to get decent tasting chinese food. I’d love to try other decent Chinese food but its just one crappy buffet after another.

  4. debbie strauss

    June 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    The only great buffetts are in vegas anymore ;)

  5. lauren

    February 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Chinese buffet is horrible for you – the best chinese in tulsa is at Chopstix – 61st and Sheridan area.

  6. George

    June 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    East China at 131st & Memorial (Bixby) is not bad.

  7. blackmoon

    December 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    actually, there are some really affordable chinese places with great food , golden gate off of the ba ( best egg drop soup in the usa / canada ), and guang zhou on 15th both have fantastic food at a good price. but on buffets, over the last few years it has become hard to find a real ” chinese ” buffet , most of them now serve more american food or mexican food than they do chinese food ( clue: if i wanted halepeno chicken or chicken nuggets, or french fries, i would have gone to mc doggies : ( ) , so far there is a decent chinese buffet in joplin, and okc has a really good chinese buffet, and the china king on 71st has the only seafood egg drop soup ive run into ; ), as well as a good variety ( unfortunatly including some amaerican ) and good service, so i eat there a lot ; )

  8. Steve Loves to Eat

    January 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I used to eat at Loi’s Golden Dragon at 41st and Memorial for 25 plus years…But they retired about 6 or 8 years ago, and I have been on a quest ever since to find a GOOD Chinese Buffet in Tulsa.

    I like the variety, I like to see the dish before I decide to take it, I like a Buffet for those reasons.

    Too many of the Buffets in Tulsa are just Mass quantities of somewhat OK food, and that’s it…and the old Loi’s location is now a BarBQ ! !

  9. Steve Loves to Eat

    January 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    There is a small Chinese Buffet in Bartlesville, across from the hospital, Ocean China. Limited selection, but everything is Excellent, especially the Hot and Sour Soup.

  10. Deb L

    February 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Royal Dragon in the Fontana @ 51st & Memorial is our favorite Chinese buffet! And, we had a friend that delivered their meat and said the kitchen was the cleanest he’d ever seen in a restaurant! It IS a buffet, so don’t go expecting gourmet!

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