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China One Buffet

Update 2/3/14: China One Buffet is closed.

In a word: Probably the best Chinese buffet in Madison.

The specs: #0080
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; China One West on Urbanspoon

JM and Nichole both tried the buffet. JM drank a lemonade and Nichole had hot tea.
The bill was $24, or $12/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave China One a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Latest China One news and reviews

So, if you're going for the whole buffet thing, we recommend China One. It costs a couple dollars more than the other buffets we've been to, but we think it's worth it.

  • The food is hot. Real steam is coming off the steam tables.
  • There's a wide variety of dishes for the selective diner.
  • For the truly fastidious, there's a full menu of standard Chinese fare as well as the made-to-order "Mongolian barbecue."
  • Spacious dining room = good place to take the kids or a crowd. In fact, we had our wedding rehearsal dinner here (and if that ain't a benchmark of our place on the foodie ladder, we don't know what is).
  • They make the best little sugar donuts in town. So far.

That's about all one can ask from a Chinese buffet, eh?

Comments

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I agree, China One is the best Chinese buffet in Madison. I have an "Entertainment Book" and am eating my way through town via coupon.
-BB

What a shame I missed China Buffet. This is one of our staple restaurants. The other one is La Hacienda. Only two restaurants, but they provide plenty of variety for the Carlos and Amanda clan!

Thanks for the recommendation! We're Chinese buffet fans who are pretty new in town, and decided to try China One after browsing your site. We were very impressed with the place -- good atmosphere, lots of choices, and everything was good to excellent. Hands down the best sushi I've ever had at a buffet. And yes, it's a little pricey, but the soda is included, so that helps a little. Thanks for the tip.

I'm glad Stephanie liked it!

We went to China One buffet with my husband and below are my comment--
1. Food lines were hot, real steam is coming off the steam tables per JM and Nichole. However, the plates and bowls are icy cold, hence the food get come by the time you sit down at the table after 3 to 5 minutes at the food lines.

2. "For the truly fastidious, there's a full menu of standard Chinese fare as well as the made-to-order "Mongolian barbecue."--
I guess the barbecue was so good, the chef was eating next to the barbecue grill, is this a way to advertise the good food?

3. Per Amanda, "...best sushi I've ever had at a buffet..." Shredded cheddar cheese in the sushi... hmm... I do not think so. For typical American palate, may be that is the best sushi...

4. I was wearing a cotton long sleeve shirt and had to keep my coat on. I couldn't help to look around in the small section that we were sitting, there are another 3 people had to keep the coat on!! The bus person had a heavy sweater on when she was pushing a cart across the dining room, the host had a white sweater on and cover the most of the beautiful chinese blouse. I guess I am not the only one felt the cold in the freezer style dining room.

5. The wonton were all wonton skin with about 0.001 oz of meat.

6. Other than the waitress sitting at the corner plucking her eyebrows, 30 minutes after they open all was well.

It's hard to believe that I went to the same restaurant as the other reviewers. Overall, the dinner buffet was fine. OK food, reasonable price. But the food was not "steaming" and a couple of the items were actually cold. My major complaint is that the buffet plates were small, making it difficult to put much food on them. So expect to make lots of trips to the buffet line. It's a fair place to have dinner, but nothing exceptional.

It's been a while since I've been to China One Buffet, but I don't recall it being anything spectacular. Decent food, lots of items, but really only average in quality.

The best in town was Peking Palace out behind Hilldale. Unfortunately they closed because Hilldale's planning to bulldoze the building or something, and I haven't heard about them finding a new place. Don't even know if they're looking.

There's also a pretty good one way out University Avenue in the depths of Middleton, too. I don't remember the name. Probably "China" something.

The Taste of Asia is better than all of them, but it's technically a "Hmong, Vietnamese, Thai, Lao, and Chinese buffet", so they have an unfair advantage.

I'll 2nd Madisonian's comment on Taste of Asia. I just returned from another tasty asian lunch. The only customer in the place, which is a shame. Have you reviewed this yet? Hmong rolls, Curry squash, I get hungry again just typing this!

cannot disagree more on taste of asia. . . not even in the same category as china one. . . best china buffets in madison are china one (west side) and world buffet (east) world buffet has better quality but slightly fewer choices. . .

we got hungry even before we started typing this message, where we want to share with other devoted chinese buffet lovers our impressions. Over the past 2 days we revisited two chinese buffet locations in the east and west side respectively. We kindly agree that even without Hmong rolls one is left hungry. Nevertheless, baby octopi were nor particularly delicious, and we made a following observation - after a while the very tips of their tentacles cooled down compared to the octopus body. We were sincerely hoping that we find there a tortoise soup - you know, from those big chinese turtles, and panda tails salad with "great wall" dressing. This is why we put B-. We would like to advice all madisonians to visit a wonderful place on the east side - "Mosopotamian sunsets" who are famous for their crocodile steaks, burgers and onion rings (on sherman ave).

I went there and went with my neighbour and with my fizz. we all enjoyed it but a couple of things. When we got their the waiters where really nice. We went up and got our food. We ate some food and relized it was not the best food. the food was steming but it still had some good taste to it. We thought it wasn't all bad untill we found some uncooked shrimp...-:x-YUCK!!that is not sanitary!!! For taste i would reccomend China 1-But for quality it would have to be yes buffet.

the new management kinda ruined the whole buffet.
It used to be moderately cheap with drink included, but the new management made the prices higher, took out drinks (and that was on their ad; "Drinks Not Included!"). The food stayed the same, even with new chef. I like the food though. It isn't extremely salty like other restaurants, though i has high salt tolerence.
Then there's all the sign grammar issues. Those crack me up. There are signs that say "Not included drink" and "eat not the leaves", and the potato wedges were called "wedge potatoes".
The no drink included basically ruined it.

My husband and I just got back from there. We thought it was OK - nothing to get excited about. As Chinese buffets go, it was slightly above average.

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