Super China Buffet
How many times have you tried to dine out with a group of people who can’t seem to agree on what to eat? Well, lucky for those living in the City of Brotherly Love, Super China Buffet offers the unique combination of Americanized Chinese cuisine, mouthwatering seafood, Italian cuisine, sushi and Western cuisine all under one roof.
Conveniently located in Imperial Plaza in Philadelphia, Super China Buffet is surrounded with many other stores, which allows customers to have a one-stop shopping experience with a tasty meal to end the trip. With its large array of options—they offer take-out, delivery, a private banquet room and a VIP room—and a 5,000 square-foot spacious interior, it is perfect for every occasion. When entering the restaurant, you will notice that the restaurant is divided into three sections: the buffet bar area, the dining area and the banquet hall.
The décor is a perfect combination of Chinese décor and Western style. With its neatly arranged bright red booths and tables and a buffet area pleasantly lit with an elegant crystal lamp and spotlights accenting the booth areas, the colorful atmosphere improves the mood and entices the appetites of Super China Buffet’s customers. There is also a festive red lantern hanging from the ceiling, and Chinese traditional fans and paintings adorning the walls.
Super China Buffet offers its customers American-style Chinese cuisine in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Although it may look like any ordinary buffet, rest assured that customers with varying tastebuds all will find a bounty of delicious dishes to enjoy.
“I mainly do promotions by providing some specialties to publicize my restaurant,” says Liu.
The specialty at Super China Buffet is decidedly seafood, in particular the Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Crab Rangoon and Seafood Delight. Aside from the seafood dishes, another popular dish is the Chicken with Broccoli, which may seem surprising because it is so ordinary, but nonetheless delights customers with its ordinary ingredients matched with delicious culinary accents.
The buffet offers a great selection of delicious dishes, including American-style Chinese cuisine such as the classic General Tso’s Chicken and Seafood Delight, and Western-style food such as pizza, salad, sushi and even some Italian dishes. For the Chinese entrées, the main method of preparation is stir-frying while the Italian dishes mainly focus on grilling.
Although customers supremely enjoy these dishes, the process of creating them is surprisingly simple. However, each chef puts their own unique touch on the dish, as they all have different concepts when it comes to cooking.
“The customers tell us the dishes are very delicious, which encourages us to do even better, either in the dish-making or service quality,” said Liu.
At Super China Buffet, each dish is matched with the sauce that best accents its flavors. In addition, the restaurant provides white sauce and brown sauce to the customers if they want to further enhance the taste. The chefs at Super China Buffet have even conducted some surveys about the sauce-making and they practice making them to the highest standards before serving them. Even though there are subtle differences in the taste, the chefs always continue to improve the cooking procedures to make it even better.
In addition to great taste, Super China Buffet also offers healthy dishes such as Tofu, Green Beans with Garlic and Mixed Vegetables. Liu says that these dishes are well received among their health-conscious customers.
“Luckily, our restaurant is close to Chinatown, and it takes little effort to purchase and prepare food on a daily basis, thus our food is fresh,” says Liu. “We will also have someone watch the number of diners and provide a certain portion of each dish accordingly, thus we can avoid unnecessary food waste. Owners don’t like food waste and we hope to make best use of food and provide the customers with best and freshest options.”
In this day and age, it is more than difficult to maintain a steady staff. When hiring staff members, especially in the restaurant industry, you can never know really whether he or she is actually qualified for the job until you are able to evaluate their on-the-job performance.
“This used to be a big problem lingering in my mind. I really understand the importance of keeping a low staff turnover,” says Liu. “If the staff kept leaving, it would hurt our business. Luckily, it becomes better now and I appreciate their support and help throughout the years.”
The staff at Super China Buffet takes great care to provide top-notch customer service at all times. In fact, they have established two very clear rules, which include always being polite to the customers, and fulfilling the requirements whenever there is a need. Whether it be an especially difficult diner, a customer’s special request for sauce on the side, or a co-worker who needs a helping hand, Liu requires that all the staff should strictly follow these rules to help create a wonderful dining experience for all involved.
With four staff members always ready to serve you, including two chefs with more than 10 years experience, you will never be wanting at Super China Buffet.
Owner Biqi Liu immigrated to the U.S.in 1989 and worked diligently as a waiter, and then as a chef, to save his money until he was able to open his own restaurant 10 years later.
Liu’s search for the perfect location to open his restaurant lasted several months, visiting many different places in the process. After a while, he narrowed it down to the state of Pennsylvania, as he had some understanding of the culture and eating habits of the area. During his search, he noticed that there were not many Chinese restaurants in the Philadelphia area, thus the competition would not be as tough as some of the other areas he was considering. In addition, it was the only Chinese restaurant in the Imperial Plaza shopping center, and there were already many people shopping in the surrounding stores.
Liu has come across many challenges along the way, but has managed to keep his restaurant afloat among the fierce competition and struggling economy.
“The Chinese restaurants are flowering in the USA landscape, although it is difficult for all the restaurant fellows, I do think our Chinese restaurants will thrive in the USA,” says Liu.
In facing the ongoing inflation, many restaurants have to raise their prices in order to maintain even a thin profit margin. They have had to cut whatever corners they can in order to make ends meet. But Super China Buffet owner Biqi Liu will keep his prices the same, as “the inflation is not only a big threat to us but also to our customers; if I raise the prices of dishes, I’m afraid that they couldn’t afford it.”
The fact that he is aware of and considers his customer’s limitations just goes to show his compassion, good nature and diligence to keep his restaurant going. Liu believes that customer satisfaction and keeping a neat, clean restaurant is the key to keeping his restaurant going over the years. And he is obviously doing something right, as customers keep coming back for more.
Super China Buffet：
Address: 600 Ulster Ave., Kingston, NY 12401
Cuisine: Hunan, Sichuan, Cantonese, Chinese-American
Dining Style: Casual
Capacity: 5000 square feet
Offers: dine-in, take-out
Signature Dish: Sesame Chicken, Seafood Delight
Year of establishment: 1999