Asian Bistro Serves Lunch Buffet for $8.95
The nearly-new Fairfax gem offers Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Indonesian.
I was attracted to Asian Bistro on University Drive first for its clean, contemporary atmosphere and varied menu offering Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Indonesian. But I was a suspicious of a restaurant trying to specialize in so many cuisines under one roof.
I headed in one day after seeing a promotion for an $8.95 lunch buffet (served 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.), lunch specials starting at $8.50 and sushi lunch specials starting at $11.
The buffet offered a choice of hot and sour or won ton soup, spring rolls, white rice or fried rice, Singapore noodles, Panang curry, chicken and broccoli, basil beef, vegetable stir fry, General Tso chicken, two types of sushi rolls and banana cake for dessert. I also asked for a separate order of Pad Thai for the table to share.
The buffet was clean, artfully presented, and chafing dishes were consistently full. Service was courteous, friendly and omnipresent.
We first noticed that sauces were light, not at all greasy, and vegetables were crisp. The noodle dishes, such as the Pad Thai and the Singapore noodles, were cooked al dente.
If the buffet suffered from any one flaw, it was that entrees were a little too mild. If I were to go back again, which I will, I will ask for hot sauce, or perhaps order off the menu and ask it to be prepared spicy. The sushi rolls on the buffet are vegetarian or made with crab.
The biggest stand-out on the buffet was the Singapore noodles, which were flavorful, fragrant and savory. They were still a bit mild for my taste, but by far the zippiest item on the buffet.
My dining companion preferred the Pad Thai to items on the buffet. The dish arrived at our table steaming hot and beautifully presented. The sauce, again was very light -- a delicious marriage of pungent garlic, tangy citrus, and sweet peanut. The chicken in the Pad Thai was juicy and the bean sprouts were crunchy and fresh.
If you go:
Old Town Village Fairfax
3950 University Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.