Hot N Cold Chinese Buffet is a brand new restaurant on the corner of Highway 78 and Scenic Highway, next to Big Lots and in the same mall as Provinos and Sri Thai. It’s found in the same place that Snellville Diner used to occupy, and in a flyer in the paper announced its grand opening recently. My wife, who is usually not prone to suggesting places to eat out, was intrigued. She suggested we should go there.

Chinese Buffets have been an integral part of the Atlanta culinary landscape since I came to the city in the middle 1990s. Once just nice, the buffets became more and more ornate over time, adding snow crab legs in an effort to compete for the buffet business. Jut my opinion, but snow crab legs doomed a lot of buffets. People would come who would heap their plates high with snow crab and nothing else. Prices would rise, or quality would fall and the buffet would disappear. Some buffets solved the problem by dropping snow crab legs altogether.

Hot N Cold takes an intermediary position on this issue. You can have crab legs, but you pay extra if you do. It seems smart to me. If people abuse the privilege, then the “tax” on snow crab legs will simply increase.

There is a fairly broad selection of meats and seafoods at this restaurant. Shrimp, crawfish, salmon, raw oysters, sliced circles of squid, mussels of various kinds, clams, and scallops are all available. There are beef, chicken and pork dishes. There is a place you can get wonton soup, and at their hibachi station, they cook what my wife called a “stir fry”.

Vegetables are available as well. The steamed vegetable of the day appeared to be bok choy. It was a little oily, but otherwise quite good. They also had green beans (good) and a collection of daikon and carrot pickles (tasty). There was lettuce and stuff to toss onto the lettuce. I didn’t see carrots or tomatoes to add this day.

There are quite a few desserts and also a frozen yogurt station. My daughter’s opinion of the chocolate was that it was very chocolate-y.

There were some downsides to the buffet. My wife didn’t like the fried plantains she ate, and the sushi was often unappealing, and in general too heavy in sauces for me to even try. But overall it was decent. I’ve eaten better, I’ve eaten far worse. There were misses but there were plenty more hits than misses. As long as this place can keep the majority of their items in top shape, I’m sure they’ll draw business. They’re in a prime Snellville location, and if they can keep up their quality in this highly competitive genre, they’ll be okay.

Verdict: Decent food, prime location and good hours. Recommended.

Hot N Cold Chinese Buffet
2302 Highway 78 East
Snellville, GA 30078
(678) 344-5200

Hot N Cold Chinese Buffet on Urbanspoon