After living in Dover for a number of years, it was time that I ate at China Yan. I’d seen a banner posted on the building that advertised the lunch buffet with a beverage at the special price of $6.99. So, I met two friends there to try the place on the special offer.
On arrival just after 11:30 AM, we were ahead of the noontime rush when the place filled to half capacity with tradesmen, downtown workers, and folks just out for lunch.
Three things set this Chinese-American buffet apart from others:
1) The variation in the preparation of on certain standard dishes.
2) The unique signature items.
3) Numerous meat items, not just one or two.
Standard items on the buffet included Crab Rangoons, Chicken Fingers, Fried Rice with Pork, General Tso’s Chicken, Egg Rolls with Pork, Vegetable Lo Mein Noodles, Chicken Teriyaki, Green Beans, and a few more dishes.
Less common items included a variation on chicken wings called Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings, Vegetable Rice Noodles, and the small, round raised Chinese Doughnuts.
Never-seen items that I’d call Signature Items here included Chicken Meatballs, Ginger Bean Sprouts, Roasted Chicken Strips, Butter Potatoes, Black Pepper Chicken, and Jalapeño Chicken.
I had at least small samples everything except Jalapeno Chicken. The only fault I found was with the one Crab Rangoon. The wrapper was overdone. It was too dry and too crispy.
The rest of the items were quite good. I especially liked several items.
● The Roasted Chicken Strips were large. They were about 3” to 4” long and about 3/4“ wide. The meat was moist and tender.
● The Ginger Bean Sprouts had big chunks of the ginger mixed in. The cooked ginger was mild and lent a delicate flavor to the noodles.
● The General Tso’s Chicken wasn’t spicy hot.
● The Black Pepper Chicken was flavored just peppery enough without being overpowered by the spice.
● The Egg Roll with Pork was different from most others. First, it was thick ~ about 1-3/4“ in diameter. Second, it had abundant filling. There were numerous red flecks in the filing. They were bits of the Chinese roast pork done with the red Chinese BBQ sauce.
● The Chinese Doughnut was light and fluffy. It was delicious.
One friend favored the Roasted Chicken Strips, plus green beans and potatoes more than the Chinese sides. The other friend favored the Chicken Teriyaki, Roasted Chicken Strips, and the Egg Rolls with Pork.
Desserts included 5 Layer Chocolate & Caramel Bars, Brownie Squares, Jell-O chunks, petit macaroons, orange slices, mandarin orange segments, sliced peaches, banana pudding, and more. All three of us had the 5 Layer Chocolate & Caramel Bar. We agreed that it was excellent.
The beverages came from a soda machine. I had raspberry iced tea to which I added water. My friends had Diet Coke.
The place was clean.
China Yan fills the niche of a Chinese buffet with many meat options.
Overall, we rate the lunch buffet at China Yan a solid 4.0.
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