When the coupon came in the Valpak mailer, I mentioned to my wife that we hadn’t been to Sino American Cafe in some time. We decided that $9.99 for the self-described largest international buffet In Richmond was a pretty good deal. And knowing that there was a sushi bar was an added bonus for the 12-year-old that tags along with us.
Inside the restaurant, located near Powhite Parkway and Midlothian Turnpike, the atmosphere seemed updated and the restaurant larger than we remembered. Apparently the restaurant had a grand re-opening last fall, so maybe that’s when they made the improvements. We didn’t get to sit next to the large fish tanks, but the some of the fish seem to have retired, or at least disappeared. But we realized we’d never taken the younger son there. Did I mention that he was twelve?
Since we got there pretty early on a Sunday, it looked as though the buffet had just been set up. So the Japanese sushi bar was pretty impressive. The same could be said for the cold seafood bar featuring shrimp, crawfish and oysters. A chef will also cook up a special stir fry for you after you choose the ingredients.
Sunday also meant that we missed out on steak and crab legs, but there were plenty of choices.
As you might expect from an Asian buffet, there was a wide selection of entrees including General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Broccoli and Chicken…wait that sounds like a lot of chicken. But there were beef and seafood choices as well.
While there were a few American choices, the majority of the food was Asian. But I suppose the pizza and tacos rounded out the international part.
The salad bar was okay, but nothing special. I don’t get too excited when the only choice is iceberg lettuce. But at least there was salad. The fruits were peaches and pineapples which obviously came from a can, but they were presented nicely along with the jello.
I sometimes wonder about the desserts on buffets such as this. There was a selection of various flavor cakes, cookies and coconut macaroons. And something that looked like it might have been an attempt at banana pudding. It didn’t look bad. It just didn’t look like banana pudding.
Back on the main buffet, the spring rolls and the Chinese donuts were both fresh and good.
Am I going to scream that I’ve found the best international buffet in Richmond? No, not really. But the food was decent and the price was right. In fact the price was right enough for the Sunday buffet at $9.99, so we didn’t need to use the coupon.
Maybe we’ll go back and use the coupon in the evening and check out the steak and crab legs.
And, if you’re a fan of “A Christmas Story,” they’re open on Christmas Day.