The residents of Abilene, Texas never have to worry about where to go when they are craving Chinese buffet. China Star has been voted the “Best Buffet in Town” for the past 16 years since the voting campaign, sponsored by Abilene Reporter-News, came into being. This is why people around the area think of China Star when they are craving Chinese buffet.
A dentist back in Taiwan, Roger H. Wu, the owner of China Star, came to America 22 years ago to help his brother-in-law run his restaurant. Later he took over the restaurant and continued his drive forward by partnering with other restaurateurs to open 18 other restaurants in Texas and the neighboring states during the following years. Through all these attempts, some of which failed, he summarized that only those who work wholeheartedly for the satisfaction of customers can succeed. That is one of the reasons why China Star has been voted the “Best in Abilene” for the past 16 years.
To Mr. Wu, the quality of food counts the most in terms of successfully running a restaurant. China Star offers a mouthwatering buffet with a take-out option. The buffet bars are well-stocked with anything from General Tso's Chicken to seafood, sushi, and desserts. The dishes cover Szechuan, Hunan, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Cantonese cuisine, ensuring diners can choose from a huge variety of options. They are free to choose spicy Szechuan and Hunan dishes or the sweeter Shanghai and Zhejiang offerings. Want some dessert? The delicate Cantonese dim sum will surely satisfy your demands.
There are of course some signature dishes at China Star that customers should never miss. Seafood Delight, for example, delights customers with its freshness and tantalizing flavor. Other dishes include Pepper Steak and Chicken Stick. The shrimp version of the dish is also quite a hit among customers. The crispy Fried Shrimp is categorized into both spicy and non-spicy. The secret recipe to the amazing flavors of these dishes is the chef's special sauce, which the chefs make by drawing on their decades of experience. "The sauce used in our restaurant is definitely freshly made as opposed to canned or bottled, which is neither fresh nor healthy," asserts Mr. Wu. He is also in charge of the purchasing of ingredients. Only the freshest produce and meat are considered.
Almost 100 delicious items are served on the buffet bars every day. To better satisfy the needs of vegetarians, vegetarian fare is also offered, such as Green Bean, Vegetable Delight, and Lo Mein. It is no exaggeration to say that the dishes served at China Star are healthy and nutritious.
Sometimes the best restaurants are those that are a little hard to find. China Star isn’t especially eye-catching as it features a plain looking exterior that may cause some foodies to walk by without giving it a serious look. However, those who enter the restaurant are often washed over by a feeling of freshness and coziness. The well-arranged buffet bars and the comfortable tables and chairs make the customers feel at ease. The decor is not quite modern yet far from old-fashioned. What distinguishes China Star is its extremely attentive approach to sanitary conditions. Even though the restaurant is a little old, it is always kept clean and tidy. "I don't think that flaring decor will do when it comes to running a restaurant. The most important thing is to create a clean and tidy environment," explains Mr. Wu.
The first thing Mr. Wu does every morning is go and check the sanitation of the restrooms. He has set a strict standard for the cleaning of the restaurant and has trained the staff to be very meticulous when they tidy things up. The carpet is cleaned every other week and the tables are wiped the instant customers finish their meals and exit the restaurant. The staff at China Star love to work at the restaurant as Mr. Wu treats them like family. The manager has been working there since the restaurant was established. Other members of the staff are also long-timers too, having worked at China Star for quite a few years. The low turnover makes customers feel as if they have come back home every time they stop in because they can always count on seeing familiar faces. Mr. Wu loves socializing with patrons and appreciates the kindness and generosity of the customers, who always wish the best for China Star. When customers heard that China Star had been honored as one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in America, they congratulated Mr. Wu, saying that China Star truly did deserve the honor.
The patrons know that they have to come earlier for the lunch and dinner buffet, or they will have to wait in line. With a capacity of over 160, China Star is a large buffet restaurant, but even then, it gets full due to its popularity with the locals.
With the economy still in recession and commodity prices rising, it is getting more difficult for operators to run restaurants, buffets in particular. Cost control can be a really tough job for buffet operators, but Mr. Wu has solved the issue by getting more prudent with purchasing quantity instead of adjusting the prices. Dependent on its great word-of-mouth, Mr. Wu is confident in his restaurant and is determined to continue offering customers mouthwatering food and outstanding service.
Location: 3601 South 1st St. Abilene, TX 79605
Offers: Buffet, Take-out
Cuisine: Chinese cuisine
Signature Dishes: Chicken Stick, Pepper Steak, Seafood Delight, Spicy Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, Vegetable Delight, Lo Mein
Year of Establishment: 1989