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“Everything in here is bathed in salt, MSG and soy”

Zeng's Garden Chinese Restaurant
Ranked #25 of 48 Restaurants in Shallotte
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
U.s.
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Everything in here is bathed in salt, MSG and soy”
Reviewed 21 December 2012

Almost every item is something fried and the meat is tasteless inside a crust, everything over-salty and even though they're rated Number 1 Chinese Buffet in Brunswick (no clue how they're doing this) believe me, I'm a foodie and this place is the pits for Chinese. Plus, the waiters stand twenty feet away and stare directly at you every second you are there.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank BiminiZane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    9
    9
    5
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Shallotte, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“If you want Chinese food...”
Reviewed 20 July 2012

and you are in Shallotte or on vacation at any of the surrounding Beach towns, hope you know how to cook it. OK, kidding aside - the look of Zeng's from the outside will scare some people away, it did me for a good while when I moved to this area. There is no doubt it could use a face-lift (inside and out). The main reason they don't care or change anything is because they don't have any competition to speak of.

If you just want regular Americanized Chinese food (a lot of fried stuff), then you can get get your fill for sure. Service is good and the Owners are friendly folks. They will customize orders, leave out MSG where they can, kick up the spice level and do serve ample portions.

I'm not a big fan of Buffets in general but they do keep theirs stocked and food rotated. My problem with this place in the last couple of years is that the interior is just getting darker and grungier to the point I would just get an occasional "To Go" order. Then my wife and I started to question the cleanliness of some of the ingredients in the food. How hard is it to peel or at least wash carrots before you chop them? We noticed this several times in a row, then kept looking at the kitchen which they just wrap everything in Industrial Grade Foil instead of clean.

I'm personally done with Zeng's until they get a full tilt makeover. I honestly hope they do as they are currently the only Chinese place we even considered, a few others around are way worse. I've given up hope of Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. here.

Guess I'll have to keep feeding all of my Asian food cravings when I get out of town.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank OldSchoolDropout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunset Beach, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Leaves me cold”
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Visited 3 or 4 times and even though the buffet is quite large with many choices, we felt that all of the food was lukewarm at each visit. I wanted to like it there, but..... I like my food a hot temperature

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank PatC330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Forest Hill, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Gotta agree with the other reviewers”
Reviewed 17 May 2012

Food was hot and fresh, service very friendly. Nice variety of dishes. Each had its own identity. Would eat here next time I am in town.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank thop3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lenoir, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great food and buffet!”
Reviewed 12 May 2012

Great buffet! Try IT! Nice atmosphere, nice people. graet service, food was hot and good!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Brian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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