If you’re near the South Mall in Salisbury Township, the is a quick, inexpensive option to grab a buffet lunch or dinner.
I stopped by on a recent afternoon. I was glad to see that no dragons were harmed in the preparation of my lunch as the buffet selections were standard Chinese restaurant fare.
Chickens, that’s another story. Gen. Tso’s chicken, sweet and sour chicken, salt and pepper chicken, chicken and broccoli and Malaysian chicken were among the more than a dozen selections available.
I enjoyed the Gen. Tso’s, though it was devoid of broccoli or other vegetables. The sauce was more gravy than syrup and had nice balance between savory and sweet.
The opposite was true of the sweet and sour chicken. The thumb-sized puffs of fried chicken and breading with a thick, cloyingly sweet neon red sauce didn’t look or taste like something I should eat.
The chicken and broccoli, however, was mildly seasoned and not too salty. You could taste the broccoli and it still had some crunch. If I go back to Dragon Ball, this is what I’d pile on my plate.
However, the pepper steak was very salty and had a very heavy soy sauce flavor. The salt and pepper chicken was unremarkable other than its tiny chunks of chicken had a strong flavor of black pepper.
Now, if you eat a fried shrimp that’s been sitting under a heat lamp, you pretty much get what you deserve in my book. I took this one for the team and, yes, it was a mouthful of mushy, bready, fishy, lukewarm unpleasantness.
The eggroll fared better under the warm glow of the buffet. It was small and surprisingly doughy. Not much inside other than a little cabbage, but not greasy.
The vegetable fried rice was fairly bland, but a little salty and I didn’t notice any vegetables in it.
My favorite was the dumpling – the one item I had seconds on. It was wonton wrapped around some (I think) chicken, crimped and steamed pot-sticker style. The mild flavors of the dumplings contrasted nicely with the tasty soy and vinegar dipping sauce.
A dessert buffet was available, with some creampuffs, eclairs and other pastries, orange slices, canned fruit and gelatin. Nothing there tempted me, but I did enjoy my fortune cookie.
The bill for lunch? $7.30, including a soda and tax.
My fortune? “We can learn much from wise words, and less from wise guys.”
They must have seen me coming.
Dragon Ball Restaurant
3300 Lehigh St.
Allentown, Pa., 18103