Right in the middle of the Dayton Mall and Centerville commercial district, Golden Dragon is one of nearly a hundred restaurants serving Dayton’s southern-most major business strip. This time of the year, the Dayton Mall area attracts tens of thousands of people daily. Nestled at the end of a line of chain restaurants, Golden Dragon nonetheless ensures potential customers won’t miss its giant sign.
Golden Dragon offers a five-counter buffet with a variety of Chinese foods. Its buffet offers two distinct specialties: chicken dishes and seafood. The buffet is overflowing with crab legs, scallops and sushi. Stir fried vegetables, soups and rice round out the heat trays, while a number of dessert ideas tempt patrons from a sixth counter. It’s almost difficult to know where to begin at a place like this.
It’s got a variety of beef, chicken, pork and seafood dishes in addition to a ton of vegetables.There’s a flavor from every corner of the palette available here, and in case you’re not even in the mood for Chinese, some western dishes like pizza and apple pie are actually available there in small amounts. They’re not strong contenders though, so don’t bank on them saving your meal.
It goes without saying that good seafood is difficult to come by in southern Ohio. Golden Dragon, though, has some excellent scallops. Its crab legs aren’t half bad either, and the crab Rangoon is equally delicious. The sushi, unfortunately, was not so impressive. The salmon, and imitation crab varieties both taste awfully plain. I suspect this was just the result of cheaper ingredients, which I can understand when we’re talking about a buffet serving fifty or more items simultaneously. Still, a meal here should consist of small servings of lots of dishes.
The other meats, though, disappointed me. There are at least a dozen meat dishes, from typical General Tso’s to Japanese chicken and even spare ribs, but when you put them all together…you almost can’t tell the difference. I understand the limits of a buffet and I’m not trying to compare one to a five-star bistro, but the meat dishes here are all soaked in a too-sugary thick sauce, and leaner foods for picker eaters are sadly lacking.
There’s a lot to eat here and Golden Dragon has done an excellent job of putting together a well-rounded buffet with a variety of strong dishes. Unfortunately, it has a lot of other dishes dragging behind the quality of the rest. I had a good meal, but the choices are hit or miss.
- Try Golden Dragon your first time for lunch; it’s substantially cheaper and you’ll have a chance to try things out to see if you want to come back.
- Come hungry – there are plenty of options on the menu and you’ll quickly be filled up.
- Don’t be afraid to try the seafood dishes. I’d suggest bringing a sample of the chicken and pork back to the table, though.