I am a long-time patron of East Chinese Buffet and have been to all of their New York locations over the years. It has, over time, been one of my family's favorite places to eat because of the consistently good quality and broad selection.
We went to the Flushing location about two weeks ago and were very disappointed. East has been running a half price special (unbeknownst to us) in order, I assume, to drum up business. The competition has increased sharply in recent years in terms of both quantity and quality and they are probably suffering a bit. Be that as it may, buyer beware.
We showed up at about 8:30 pm, about 1.5 hours before they were slated to close up. The long and short of it is that there were too many people and simply not enough food which at a buffet, is absurd. I was lucky to get one of the last steaks in the building. When I went back for seconds there was no more to be had. Peking duck was being rationed out forcing those of us that wanted some to stand in line for 15 minutes. At one point, there were no bowls to be had for the soup and somewhere along the line, my favorite house soup got cut from the menu and seems to have been replaced by something with less flavor and fewer herbs. As fast as it was made, the sushi disappeared since there was little else fresh being put out. Fresh cooked shrimp were served in twos and threes by one of the waiters so there would be enough to go around. And the desert table looked nearly empty.
Seems to me they cut price but tried to make their traditional profit. In doing so, they totally screwed up my dining experience. I will go back perhaps once more but if I see half price, I will probably go someplace else. Very disappointing.
For what it is worth, I think that their Huntington location is not involved in the 50% off promotion so it may still be worth visiting.
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