Friday, May 07, 2010

New Nam King

New Nam King
4322 Summer Avenue
685-5453


We were running errands on Summer Avenue on a Sunday, like we do, and inevitably found ourselves in search of a little lunch. Usually this is no problem as there are a handful of Mexican restaurants we frequent along the avenue. However, we had eaten at El Toro Loco the night before and couldn't do Mexican two days in a row. (Believe me, we thought long and hard before deciding against it.)

Basically we drove up and down the street calling out names until we found something. We were inches away from Central BBQ (Mmmm BBQ nachos! Chef salad! Chicken wings!) when I jokingly said, "New Nam King." Warren's ears perked up. "Okay," he said as he made a sharp left.

Growing up I was always a big fan of Chinese food. We ate Chinese at least once a week. I didn't get anything fancy-usually a couple of egg rolls, some hot and sour soup, and pork fried rice. That's still the basis of my ordering. In my day, there were no buffets.

We've taken the monkeys (Satchel, 8, and Jiro, 6) to a few buffets, but not in a loooooong while. Maybe a few years? Therefore the buffet concept seemed very new and exciting to them. "We get to pick out our own food?" they asked with a tone of utter amazement. "Awesome!"

A cute Chinese granny greeted us at the door, joked around with the kids, and then led us to a booth. Once we confirmed that we wanted the buffet, she set us loose. Jiro asked me to assist him, so I did. He was drawn to the buffet table that featured mostly American items. He selected chicken wings, french fries, mac and cheese, brocoli, a few vanilla wafers and a pickle slice. (It could have been worse!) Satchel also seemed more attracted to the American items, but he did get some pork fried rice and a Chinese pancake in addition to his wings, mashed potatoes, and corn.


I let the boys get settled in eating before gathering my usual itesm from the buffet. I noticed that they had white rice in a steamer and some pork dumplings, so I added those items to my plate. Warren got a medley of the standard Chinese offerings.

I was rather impressed by the hot and sour soup. It was very good. The eggrolls were so so, but the dumplings more than made up for them. Jiro and Satchel were busily eating and Jiro informed me that he was going to eat his broccoli first. "Excellent," I said. When Jiro looked like he was slowing down, I told him about the ice cream machine in back. This motivated him to gobble up the rest of his food. Satchel was going a bit slower, enjoying his food, as was Warren, so Jiro and I ventured off to the ice cream machine alone.


The only thing as cool as a buffet, is self-serve ice cream. Jiro was thrilled to pull the lever and fill up a big bowl with the chocolate and vanilla swirl. I followed his lead and we went back to the table. Satchel looked over enviously and Jiro said, "You have to eat all of your dinner if you want ice cream." He glanced at his plate which was still on the table and amended his statement. "You have to eat MOST of your dinner if you want ice cream."

Satchel took his last few bites and asked Jiro to show him where the ice cream was. I followed along, just in case, and soon the three of us were back at the table working on some killer ice cream headaches. (Or as Satchel said, "Ice cream aches.")

All the while, Warren was still eating from the buffet. He was only mildly pigging out. He's a much slower eater than the rest of us!

Jiro asked me to take him to the restrooms. On the way, I noticed a nice Chinese Grandpa trimming fresh green beans. I tried to keep this image in mind as Jiro used the less than stellar facilities.

The best part of our meal was the total cost: $19.50. It was $6.50 for me and Warren and $3.25 for the kids. Not bad! (Technically you don't tip on a buffet, but since writing my tipping story I can't help myself. I tacked on $2 for good measure.)

We had a little trouble getting out due to the "catch a stuffed animal" game by the door, but eventually we made it. I don't know how soon we'll be back, but when I asked Satchel where he wanted to eat on his birthday, he replied, "That place with the ice cream machine!"

New Nam King on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

colleen said...

We go there for dim sum on Sundays...it's pretty good! But the Nam King on Winchester is better.

Anonymous said...

I went there a few times and got food poisoning once. The food was never that great but it was right down the street. On my final attempt the little grandma lady took my 20 dollar bill and wouldn't give me my change because I didn't leave a tip on the table. Apparently she thought she was inclined to a 5 dollar tip just because i walked in the door! She started screaming at me in front of everyone "you no tip, you no tip, you have to tip" I was so embarrassed. They didn't serve me anything except my first drink, no refills. I actually debated calling the cops because I had heard she had done the same thing to a lot of people. No you don't have to tip when you are eating from the buffet but apparently she didn't get that memo! I haven't eaten there since and honestly don't think I am missing anything special.

Anonymous said...

you should always tip even eating from buffet!! the waiters and waitress are depending on the tip as part of their wages. I normally tip 10% if i was eating from buffet! servers take care of your drinks and take away dirty plates, they don't work for free!!! I can't believe people are so cheap!!!! unbelievable!!

dhunter40 said...

I love "New Nam King" and the little granny is Ms Anne she is very sweet, when my son was little she always put him in his high chair and played with him, now he is 21 and when we go in she always gives him a big hug and says where your sister and husband he is afraid of Chinese, When my son was around 4 he told her my son in law didn't like Chinese, I have seen her pick at some of the guest and say you no tip and they both laugh but Ive never seen her act mean. But she has gotten pretty old so she only works on sat. now. But I love their food @ the beginning of lunch or dinner. sesame chicken is the BEST.

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