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Hong Kong Buffet
1188 N. Yarbrough Dr.
El Paso, TX
(915) 595-8883
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
11 Chinese Tea: Jasmine (bags)
MSG: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
All food contains MSG
Best Item: Mongolian Grill
Mongolian Grill:
Dim Sum:
Hot and Sour Soup:
25-Nov-04 8
Most buffet places have a fatal flaw--high amounts of MSG in the food, and Hong Kong Buffet is no exception. In fact, the problem is made worse by the fact that there is no menu, so you cannot order a meal that is guaranteed free of this substance.

I have other problems with the buffet as well, such as the fact that almost everything is a meat item and most items are just not that good.

The one standout item here is the Mongolian Barbecue. I believe it is free of MSG, or at least I have not had a bad reaction from it. Normally I can tolerate eating here because of the Mongolian barbecue and the small number of buffet items without MSG. However, on special occasions such as Thanksgiving the Mongolian barbecue is not served, and I have had a severe MSG reaction from eating here.

It sounded tempting to have Dim Sum on a holiday, but this is the worst dim sum I've ever tried to eat. It is kept frozen and then steamed before it is put out on the buffet. After sitting for a while, though, it is not replenished with fresh food (in fact, the entire buffet tends to sit out for extended periods and many items are not replenished).

Hong Kong Buffet hosts banquets and special parties with special food being served in a more traditional Chinese style. If this food were available to regular customers it might be a much better restaurant, but the only choice customers have is the buffet. It does not do any good to hear stories about the Chinese New Year dinners and special banquets Hong Kong cooks, because it is only available to private parties.

Along with the Mongolian barbecue I can find a few salad, dessert, and other items that do not have MSG. These are not substantial enough, though, to be worth the high price that is charged for "all you can eat." Personally I have already had all I care to eat from Hong Kong Buffet.

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