At China King on Court Street, simplicity is the key to success. The small Athens restaurant wins numerous food awards from local newspapers every year. At first one is probably not impressed with the unassuming little joint. There are certainly larger buffets in town. But there’s a charm that brings people back again and again. With its central uptown location, China King is easily among the most visible places to eat for college students, and its large international student following implies it brings many from the Far East a little taste of home.
The buffet offers a grand total of around 40 dishes of various types in addition to a smaller desert bar. The deserts are nothing special, but by the time you are done with the rest of the food, you won’t have room. Among the many good dishes the restaurant offers are pepper chicken, crab Rangoon, sweet and sour chicken, dumplings, stir fried vegetables and egg drop soup. All are staples of American Chinese food restaurants but they are all just consistently delicious. China King does chicken well, and a number of chicken dishes are usually available, fried, grilled or roasted.
A surprisingly large variety of foods can be found at China King’s bar. The prominent chicken is equaled by a number of other interesting foods, from dumplings to stir fry. A number of seafood options are available seasonally, such as crawfish and crab or shrimp. The exact dishes at the line differs from week to week. It keeps things interesting. A number of tasty appetizers, such as egg rolls, crab Rangoon, and soups are available to compliment the outstanding meats. Both steamed and fried rice options round out the meal and by the time you give everything a try, you’ll be out of room.
There are a large number of international students who frequent the restaurant. Some eat the Americanized offerings, but many also order from a specialized menu of decidedly more ethnic things. Either way, service is excellent and you’ll find your water being frequently refilled and waitresses constantly checking that your meal is just right. An excellent job.
Even nicer is the convenient location of the restaurant uptown. With a nice view for people watchers and a pleasant atmosphere and service to match, it is really very difficult for me to find fault with China King. Even vegetarian friends I know have been thoroughly satisfied with the assortment of stir-fry vegetables (and one or two tofu dishes) available. If you spend any appreciable amount of time in Athens, and especially if you are a student at the university, China King is a must.
- Most of the items on the menu are delicious. Don’t hesitate to try anything you see.
- Don’t be afraid to come here if you’re a vegetarian. Your options for tofu, stir fry and vegetables are no less substantial.
- The dessert bar has a weak offering but occasionally has very tasty ethnic treats like Chinese donuts and lychees.