Tiger Buffet offers delicious variety

From sushi to dessert, Denham Springs restaurant pleases the palate

There are things we look for when dining at restaurants that are primarily buffets — a variety of dishes, fresh ingredients, pleasant surroundings. Tiger Palace II scored well on all of these, and for the most part, we enjoyed each item we sampled.

Located in Denham Springs’ Antique Village, the roomy restaurant was the location of the former Porterhouse of LA. The outside may look about the same, but inside, the dining space has been opened up into one large room, featuring ample tables and chairs, and the food area, complete with sushi and dessert stations. There’s an Asian tone to the decor, but it’s not overdone. Framed artwork, hanging large bulb-type lighting, and a fish tank highlight the room.

Our server quickly arrived to take our soft drink orders, and we headed to the buffet.

For the $9.99 dinner buffet, we had much to choose from, too much to sample everything.

I can recommend the General Tso chicken, tender chunks of battered and fried chicken covered in a dark and thick, sweet-hot sauce. The sweetness hits the palate first, then the heat. Nicely done. I also enjoyed the roasted potatoes tossed with colorful slices of pepper, and the fluffy and moist fried rice, dotted with bits of carrot, peas and onion. We did find it odd that there wasn’t any white rice on the buffet.

A guest narrowed down her favorites to the wontons, spinach bread and string beans. The crispy wontons were generously filled with cream cheese, more cheese than we’ve seen in wontons at other eateries. The spinach bread was a round of flaky dough stuffed with a spinach and cream cheese mixture. Quite good. The sauteed beans were well-seasoned and retained a slight crunch.

Another guest found the brown sauce on the beef with broccoli pleasing, and the beef itself not too chewy, as we’ve encountered elsewhere. He also enjoyed the freshness of and well-seasoned batter on the fried shrimp.

We agreed that Tiger Palace had some missteps with its Louisiana choices. The fried frog legs were meaty and nicely spiced, but the fantail shrimp had an unsatisfying, strong flavor. The seafood bread, with the shape and density of a muffin, and with bits of crabmeat inside, was a nice surprise, while we wished we had skipped the odd-tasting boiled crawfish entirely.

From the dessert table, we liked the light and fluffy square of carrot cake and the flaky cream puff, but were underwhelmed with the banana pudding which had vanilla wafers but lacked any banana pieces.