Occupying the former Outback Steakhouse space next door to the AMC Esquire 7 in Richmond Heights, Dynasty Hibachi Steak, Seafood and Sushi Buffet (6710 Clayton Road; 314-781-8888) offers a wide array of choices for diners (even for a Chinese buffet).
And that's how general manager William Luan intended for it to be.
"For a regular buffet, you don't just want Chinese or just sushi," Luan says. "People want to try a little bit of everything."
Having seen a lack of Asian restaurants in the well-populated business and residential area, the ownership team leased the property when Outback Steakhouse departed. The team spent more than a year and about $1 million redoing the space.
Now the only entrance for the restaurant is through the parking lot, which cuts down on confusion and opens up the floor plan. Off the entrance is a large party room that seats 60 and is available at no charge. The central focus of the main space is the buffet, which offers booth and table seating for 300.
Dynasty delivers all the staples of a Chinese-American buffet -- General Tso's chicken, fried rice, egg drop soup, potstickers and the like.
Then things get interesting.
We were most curious to sample the the fruits of the buffet's namesake, the hibachi. Guests can choose from a variety of meats (including pork, beef, chicken and shrimp), vegetables and sauces, which are stir-fried on a flattop grill and served piping hot. We nearly forgot to add a dash from the container of sauce next to the grill, which would have been a mistake -- the condiment adds a welcome zip to the grilled meat and vegetables. When we asked what was in the sauce, Luan flashed a smile and said it was a "chef's secret."
Keeping with the "What's in a name?" theme, Gut Check also sampled some sushi, which was included in our buffet. A chef prepares rolls and lays them out like a buffet but is more than happy to make something fresh.
"We didn't want to do the frozen sushi," Luan says. "It's dry and doesn't taste good."
Luan also adds that Dynasty offers a seafood buffet with unlimited crab legs and lobster Friday and Saturday after 4 p.m. and all day Sunday for $19.99, which also includes the the sushi bar, hibachi grill and regular buffet.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Buffet prices start at $7.99 for the lunch buffet and $11.99 for the dinner buffet (after 4 p.m.). Along with the buffet option, there's a full Chinese menu (Gut Check saw a fair amount of crossover from the buffet to the menu, but also options that are unavailable at the buffet) and carryout options for the regular, seafood and sushi buffet.