Mongolian Buffet brings variety to Ames

Ivy Christianson

Another new restaurant has opened in Ames.

Mongolian Buffet, 1620 South Kellogg Ave., opened its doors for business June 1. Owner Annie Li chose to open a restaurant with Mongolian cuisine after realizing Ames lacked a business with that style of food. She has owned King Buffet, 1311 Buckeye Ave., for 11 years, founding such businesses successful.

Two intensive years of planning required Li to have a specific space built for her place. Many renovations and construction work had to be done, but Li was happy with the result.

The Mongolian Buffet offers a wide variety of food, including Mongolian, American and Japanese. Li said the Mongolian food is definitely the most popular seller, but believes by having an array of food, she can satisfy more customers.

“It’s more special because we have all kinds of food,” she said. “They can get more choices and the price is cheaper.”

The cost of a lunch buffet is $7.95, and the dinner buffet is $10.95, both prices include soft drinks.

The Mongolian portion of the restaurant allows customers to customize exactly what they want to eat:

First you choose the type of noodles, then select meat. Provided meats include beef, chicken, pork and various types of seafood.

Once the noodles and meat selections are made, you continue on to decide what vegetables you would like included in your entree.

Third, once all those decisions are made, you go on to choose the type of sauce you want. A wide assortment of sauce choices are available: from mild to spicy, from garlic to teriyaki.

Finally you take your mixture to the grill, where it is grilled right in front of you.

After devouring the main course, customers may go on to grab food from either the salad bar or dessert bar.

“This is popular because people in Ames don’t have [Mongolian food],” Li said. “I make all kinds of food so people can have a choice.”

Mongolian Buffet is open from 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week.