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A Rising Star

31/07/2011,  Source: Asian Resraurant NewsPrint  |  Back

Watch out! A new star, Buffet Star has risen and is shining brightly on Vestal, New York. Having won an award for the Best Buffet in Vestal, and Best Asian Cuisine, Buffet Star has become one of the most popular restaurants in Vestal’s diverse dining scene. Nestled in a strip mall, Buffet Star doesn’t get lost among the neon lights and gimmicky advertising common that some of its competitors use to attract customers. Instead, it outwits the competition by striving to meet a higher standard than anyone else and does this through focusing on quality and providing a wide range of offerings.


The buffet’s concept and the whole setup revolve around the idea of being on a “ship”. Everyone on the staff here works as a cohesive unit, because they know each one of their jobs is vital in terms of keeping the ship on course. Customers will be exposed to this concept through being treated like family throughout each and every meal they have at the restaurant.


Unlike most Chinese restaurants which feature a stereotypical traditional Chinese theme complete with red lanterns and bold red colors, Buffet Star has instead successfully created its own style by mixing sleek and chic together. The remodeled restaurant is unique in its décor, and owner Annie Tung and the management have really pulled out all the stops by adding a huge ship-like decorated buffet bar, which appears to be cruising on the high sea as it sits on a large three inch thick glass panel emitting blue light. The “ship” theme is embodied everywhere including in the pieces of art adorning the wall.


In a space filled with an enticing combination of materials, colors and textures, guests are invited to share the kitchen’s passion for cooking and fine dining. Ideal for throwing a party, holding a banquet, or even a date or anniversary, the 8000 square foot restaurant is easily able to accommodate almost any function. Or, if you are stopping in for a quick meal by yourself, you may want to sit on a wooden stool, savor a cup of tea, and watch the waterwheel spinning around. The serene environment of the restaurant makes it the perfect place to unwind after a hard day’s work.


Start your meal by indulging in the food displayed on the buffet bars. The humongous buffet bar has more than 200 items, including both Chinese delights and Japanese culinary treats. The impressive repertoire of food ranges from tasty appetizers, such as egg rolls, soup, beef, pork to a large selection of seafood, such as shrimp, scallop, mussels, baby clam, salmon and also fish cooked in both the Szechuan and Cantonese styles. For people hankering for Japanese food, sushi, rolls and hibachi grill are a great choice. The beautifully presented sushi on the buffet bar are pieces of edible art that combine color, aroma and taste together in a way that makes some customers exclaim, “I’m not sure whether to eat it or just take a picture!” There are a number of rolls available, but the most popular ones at the moment are the Cucumber roll, Avocado Roll and Spicy Salmon Roll.


Dim sum is also available everyday. While there aren’t any trolleys wheeled around like in some dim sum restaurants, there are still a number of delicious dim sum items at the buffet to choose from. Bamboo steamers filled with shrimp dumplings, Phoenix Claws, Siu Mai, Char Siu Baau, and Lotus Leaf Rice deliver a taste of Canton that customers will never forget. Many customers feel that the dim sum offerings are one of Buffet Star’s strong points and a crowd of diners can be seen enjoying dim sum at all hours of the day.


The fresh fruits, desserts, and the build-your-own salad are available on the other end of buffet bar. Don’t forget Buffet Star’s extensive beverage selection which includes exotic drinks, wines, and liquors which are great accompaniment to the buffet items.


Among a huge variety of buffet items to choose from, perhaps the biggest crowd pleasers are the Chinese style Sparerib, Roast Duck, Roast Pork and Stuffed Mushroom. The unique tasting sparerib is definitely different than what is offered elsewhere as it is grilled in the oven then served sizzling hot to the customers of Buffet Star. Those who try it will find that the homemade sauce that is used to flavor the spareribs really gives it a unique taste that others cannot duplicate. This has resulted in many people traveling from far away to have a bite of the crispy and tender dish.


“I can’t tell you what our most popular buffet item is because just about every dish is popular,” reveals Tung.


The all-you-can-eat buffet is a favorite of everyone from the local community. But, Buffet Star isn’t just known to the people of Vestal. A lot of travelers from elsewhere in Binghamton County stop by the restaurant during the summer months. It has become popular around the region as more and more people find out about its affordable prices and superb mix of both Chinese and Japanese cuisine.


Keeping food fresh is a challenge for restaurants, especially for buffet eateries. Tung knows this and insists on choosing fresh ingredients from a regular trustworthy supplier who knows Buffet Star’s strict requirements well. Shipments of foods are made to Buffet Star on a daily basis, and the professional staff makes sure that everything is up to standard.


“It is really a tough job to do. However, we still manage to churn out great food while also keeping an eye on the buffet bars to make sure that nothing runs out and no buffet items are left out too long. I hope that everyone who likes Chinese and Japanese cuisine and is in the area will stop by to give Buffet Star a try,” says Tung.


Tung is a veteran businessman in the restaurant industry. After traveling around America and China, Tung and his family members have decades of years of experience opening various restaurants across the country. Their wealth of experience gave them solid business ideas. One was opening Buffet Star in 2010. With the collective efforts of the whole family, it has turned out to be a phenomenal success, largely because “we are always in the same boat,” as Tung said.


Stanley Tung, who graduated from college three years ago, will soon be taking over the family business. Annie Tung believes that he will prove to be an expert navigator with the skills needed to sail Buffet Star into a brighter future. 


Buffet Star

 Location: 4089 Vestal Pkwy. E, Vestal, NY 13850

Phone: 607-798-8060

Offers: Buffet, Take-out, Sushi, Hibachi, Dim Sum, Banquet

Cuisine: Asian Cuisine

Signature Dishes: Chinese Style Spareribs, Stuffed Mushroom, Honey Walnut Shrimp, General Tso’s Chicken, Roast Pork, Mongolian Beef, and more

Year of Establishment: 2010