China Buffet off Fifth Street near Downtown Dayton is a corner Chinese spot where people frequent most commonly as a place for cheap eats. If you pass through nearby Oregon District you are apt not to notice the spot, but it stays popular with the folks in the surrounding neighborhood both because it has a lot of food for not too much money, and because a takeout option gets it to go.
The chicken dishes are good, and the best parts of the menu. I like the honey chicken the best, for its crunch and a sweet sauce. Also good is the Japanese chicken, which tastes very much like it was made in a bourbon sauce, the sweet and sour chicken with a pineapple sauce. General Tso’s Chicken, the fan favorite, was good here of course. And if you like the chicken wings, these have a spicy, curry-based sauce that really make them good. The beef dishes are also good, the pepper steak is very light on the pepper sauce but still good.
The seafood dishes don’t impress me. The frog legs are the bright spot on the menu; frog leg meat is pretty mild, and in fact these are spiced and fried quite nicely. I didn’t like the sushi though; much of it is very plain and needs to be replaced more often because it is dry. The crab legs are decently cooked, but they really need to have items to break the shells of them, because that’s difficult to do. The mussels need some kind of seasoning.
The staples, like fried rice and lo mein, are good, though I don’t understand why some items, like pizza and apple pie, are on the menu. Apps though, are great. The egg roll is crispy with lots of meat, the spring rolls are filled with veggies. The crab Rangoon is fantastic, the filling is creamy with some crab meat and veggies. The egg drop soup is simple and very on point. The hot and sour soup is almost like a stew for its heavy dose of mushrooms and veggies and that’s just great.
In all, the spot is one where people tend to take food out to go, and it’s overwhelmingly known as a spot for cheap eats, with $7.50 for lunch and about $9.00 for dinner. In the end, it’s a spot that doesn’t really blow away expectations; it doesn’t look nice, the food off-on, but it’s still popular with the locals.
- The food can be taken to go; you can get it in a box, this seems to be popular with the people nearby.
- Consider the chicken dishes when you come in. Avoid the seafood though.
- The restaurant has parking in the back, which it shares with next door’s Italian spot.