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“Exceeding expectations”
Review of Qin Guan

Qin Guan
Ranked #16 of 120 Restaurants in Carbondale
Restaurant details
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Exceeding expectations”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

When you find a Chinese restaurant in southern Illinois that has BOTH a fresh sushi preparation chef and a habachi-grill cook where the swift preparation of chosen foods are executed, then you're taken aback. Especially if you are paying less than $20 for two at lunch.

Spread out around the center of the restaurant are an assortment of the traditional offerings at buffet styled Chinese Restaurants. All of these are adequately prepared and effectively presented, but my wife and I marveled at the fresh sushi with pickled ginger and other accompaniments. Not to mention the preparation in our presence of a virtual egg foo young at the Habachi Grill. They also had calimari, beef, and chicken. All you do is pile up your plate with the things you like, including noodles, veggies, eggs and hand it to the chef.

The server at our table was a pleasant young lady named Sarah who had grown up, she informed us, in a small river town in Illinois. She was quick with our service and fresh as a blossom.

The sushi chef, who did a beautiful job with the various rolls, did put me off a bit. She was speaking in a loud voice in Chinese. I assumed that she was talking to one of the other staff, but it turned out to be an ear/phone. Just a bit annoying...but truthfully it certainly didn't affect the food.

This is a recent phenomenon in our area, where low cost restaurants are simply exceeding expectations. I like it and will return more often.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Leicaglass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carbondale, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“New Resturant”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

The food here is very good as is the service. My only complaint is that it seems a little pricey. I suppose this goes back to you get what you pay for.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank hrw97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not affordable for some, Very expensive, just OK”
Reviewed February 18, 2014 via mobile

Well I love Chinese buffets, but this one has problems. The first glance when you walk in is wow this place is very nice. Then your asked to pay first, The buffet is very expensive expect to pay for two people with drinks for weekday dinner $35.00 For the average family or couple it's hard to effort. There was one visit where we drove thirty minutes for dinner and they closed early because of the snow an ice, No note on the door nothing, walked in and they say Oh we are closing. It was a bummer but ok, the place is nice but expensive. Would love to go several times a week but in this economy it's not affordable. Overall I and my family really miss the old Chinese buffet that was in that building before it was shut down. They were cheep and really good had more items. But overall at least give it a try.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Carsis30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carbondale, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Newest, But Not The Best”
Reviewed December 15, 2013

I like Chinese buffets, so when a new one opened up, I was excited at the prospect of trying this one. Hate to say it, because I rarely leave bad reviews, but this one was average at best.

The place has been redone inside, and the decor it clean and fresh. The food presentation is nice, with oblong trays on the buffet. The food, though, wasn't very hot and it wasn't very good. I agree with another reviewer who said it was just bland. I sampled a lot of the dishes, and they didn't have much flavor. The shrimp dishes were all considerably overcooked, and I went at dinner time when things should have been fresh. I tried the Hibatchi grill, and there was a scant selection of vegetables and nearly empty meat trays, with no choice of sauces (the chef poured on whatever was in the bucket by the grill).

Dinner cost $13 per person, and drinks are nearly $2. Lunch would have been $10 per person.The wait staff was scarce, so few drink refills or plates cleared. The woman at the door who takes your money before you sit down acted like it was an exclusive club. Maybe the sushi is the big draw, and that I can't speak to that since I didn't try it. What I saw was a lot of facade and attitude, but no quality food to back it up. Being the highest buffet in town should mean it's a little better than other places. If you want to spend this much, go to Hunan down the road and get quality. If you want quantity, try Happy Reunion, or the buffet across the road, and save some money on better Chinese fare.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LHinkle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herrin, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Not all buffets are created equal!”
Reviewed November 22, 2013

One word. WOW! We had stopped going to the restaurant that had been at this location (whose name shall not be spoken) because the quality had plummeted and the sodium and MSG content was ever rising. Same building, same cuisine, that is where the similarity really ends.

The interior is cleaner, brighter and more inviting. The presentation of the food is outstanding. Gone are the stainless steel troughs, and in their place are elegant serving dishes that are replaced, not refilled. Presentation is important, so our first impression was good. The aroma was, well, delightful.
Each entree that we tried was fresh and distinct from the other, not like each was made in the same pan with the same sauce. The meats were perfectly cooked, the vegetables just right, the sushi varied and made fresh (no “American” sushi either, hoping for eel next time)

No 'sting' of sodium, no discomfort from MSG. I am not generally a buffet person, nor do I recommend them for many reasons, this one is the exception to my rule.

The exterior leave much sill to be desired. Our daughter once remarked that the previous restaurant looked like a strip club with it's hot pink neon, which thankfully is gone. A coat of paint and some spring landscaping would be nice, but don't let the exterior fool you, it's what's inside that counts.

I'd say, this is the best Chinese Buffet in the area.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Celloista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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