I waited anxiously for this buffet to open and was excited to take my family. I have been now 2 times to be fair. And now I have to say what I have found. The manager hands you over to an english speaking waitress who takes you to your table and asks what you want to drink. Mind you the rest of the ladies who bring your drinks and clear your plates don’t understand a word of english and will only respond with “Thank you” to whatever you say.
The main point is that this is a buffet and YOU the patron go and get your own plate and get your own food. You may be surprised that the drink station is right there near the food for your own convenience. In fact, I had to go to it to refill my drink as I did not get anyone to do so a second time until I was ready to leave. So to compare this Asian buffet to others I have eaten at, the price is rather high. The food seems okay, not as much variety as others, they want you to PAY extra for crablegs, and PAY a tip! I have been to others that have crablegs included in the menu price and there is no required tip as it is a self-serve buffet.
The only thing I can say different about Hope Buffet is that they have a grill, and they have some sushi. I was surprised that the patron seating area is small inside. The sushi is at room temp which is a real bacteria concern. Especially as the sushi is next to the raw meat area of the grill., scary. When I asked for fresh from the only english-speaking hostess, she went behind the sushi area and made the worst glop of sushi I ever seen in my life; just a roll of rice with 1 ingredient.
They have the standard buffet desserts. However there is no soft-serve or served ice cream so you see lots of kids digging into the ice cream barrels on their own. It is kind of disgusting. (I got sick from sushi and vomited most of the night the second time I went there.)
So yes, this is a buffet, it is self-serve, and the quality is not the best. However, you don’t expect to pay an exorbitant price in total when you leave a buffet. We ended up paying the per person price, then paying extra for crablegs, then paying a tip. When you add it all up, you could have eaten at a higher quality restaurant and actually have been served. Then you would feel better about paying your standard tip amount for it. At the end of the night these non-english speaking waitresses had huge stacks of tips piled in a box. Think about it: Have you ever paid the non-english speaking guy who brings you your water and cleared off your plates a tip? And were you required to? I asked the manager about this and he said tipping was indeed a requirement to those ladies. Wow, room temp sushi, added on costs for crablegs, serve your own food, and required to pay Hope Buffet a 15% tip on top of my dinner cost. What a rip off!
I was disappointed and personally don’t see this buffet being successful for long if they are requiring you to pay extras. You can’t nickle and dime people and require a tip for self-service. Not in this economy. Take a hint. Aldi Foods is near this place. Better to go and get $50 worth of food there and feed your family for a week. And NO tip required.
FYI- YES, the Hope Buffet manager did say tipping, even though it is a self-serve buffet, is a requirement. The table cleaners/waitresses even bring you fortune cookies on a tip plate at the end of your meal, like hint, hint, tip requested. What baloney when you check out the place. For a better night out, go to a better quality restaurant that is deserving of the price. Don’t pay a total that is top dollar for lower quality.