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Ming Dynasty
290 Storke Rd, Goleta
Phone: (805) 968-1308

  • Category: Chinese
  • Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-9:30pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 11:30am-10pm, Sun 11:30am-9:30pm
  • Price: $10 - $20
  • Serving: Lunch & Dinner
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Reviews by the General Public

Always great food and service.
Reviewer: Frank X from Santa Barbara, CA
I have been going to this establishment for years. The guy doing the Mongolian BBQ has watched my nephew grow up from a small boy to adult and always has a friendly conversation with him when we go there. The place treats us like family and I appreciate that. The food from the buffet, off the menu or from the Mongolian BBQ has always been top notch. I have always found the food to be flavorful and delicious and there are different choices available at the buffet from time to time. They know how to do great authentic Chinese food as you would imagine would be the case for a place that has been successful for so long. If you go, be sure to try the Mongolian as there is no other place in the area that does that. I read one reviewer say the guy wasn't too friendly but I think you will find if you engage him he is a delight to talk to. Not too much English but he tries. When he gives you your food just say, Xei Xei (Pronounced syeh syeh) and watch his eyes widen. (It means thank you.) I think I might go for lunch there today, now that I am thinking about it.

tired of mystery meat
Reviewer: Frank from Santa Barbara, CA
We've gotten takeout here a number of times, but I'm just tired of getting mystery meat, so that's it for us. If you order something like sweet & sour chicken, you'll get pretty good size chunks of meat. That's good. But other dishes like Kung Pao chicken, garlic chicken, etc., there's no meat... at least there's nothing that you would recognize as being meat. There are just stringy, fatty little things that were probably once ligament and skin and gristle and who knows what, and are now slathered in sauce. Anything but meat. It's just garbage. The beef like broccoli beef isn't any better. I've had Chinese friends tell me this place is authentic. Well, if this is authentic Chinese food, you can keep it.

Outstanding Mongolian Barbecue
Reviewer: Lauren R. from Santa Barbara, CA
I have eaten here several times after finding it a couple of months ago. A friend recommended it when I mentioned missing Mongolian barbecue, and I am delighted at the find. This all-you-can-eat barbecue (and the accompanying buffet) costs $12 for lunch and $16 for dinner, and I feel strongly it is worth the price. The protein choices feel almost limitless with two types of chicken, a beef, a pork, shrimp, freshwater scallops and one other type of seafood plus tofu. And then there are the vegetables, which cover every type you can think of. Finally, about eight types of sauces are available to put on your selections; they range from *hot* to mild and include garlic, ginger, Mongolian BBQ sauce, and sweet/sour. The food is obviously fresh and of high quality. Since it is a do-it-yourself selection you can make it exactly the way you want it. The cook at the round stove cooks it for you within a minute or two, and then hands it back to you. I rated this as outstanding because of the quality, the selection and the good pricing. Service from the wait staff was also excellent. We received our ordered water and hot tea quickly and they checked back often to replace or add more. We were asked a couple of times how things were so they cared. They brought the hot Chinese mustard for my spring roll very fast. Overall, I am very pleased with this discovery. I plan to return as often as I can. I cannot speak to the Chinese menu side as we have not eaten there, but I will give an unqualified five stars for both food and service to the BBQ side. Admittedly, the negative reviews here puzzle me. All I can say is that what happened to those reviewers has never happened to me in my five or so times there now.

Reviewer: Judy from Goleta, CA
First time we ordered take out from here in years and for $100 it was mediocre. The sweet and sour soup had no flavor, the fried rice was extremely plain as was the pork chow mien. The orange chicken, Mongolian beef and Kung pao chicken were better. Won't be ordering from here for a long while. The Mongolian BBQ in the Resturant has been great and a good deal

Reviewer: Gina from Santa Barbara, CA
Rude service-the waitress is mean and will follow you up to the buffet and make comments about how much food you are taking!She will parade back and forth around your table while you try to eat, as she looks at her watch so that she makes you feel they want you to eat and leave quickly! Food is mushy and greasy. They charge $2 for pot of tea, most chinese buffets give the hot tea for free with price of buffet.They let your used plates pile up and do not remove them. Continuous wierd looks and comments the entire time. They do not offer more tea-if you run out and ask for more they get angry and bring a pot without tea bag and then slam in down on table and open pot and throw in a tea bag they held in their hand ( and who knows where else!)and give you a dirty look!! Do not eat here-you will regret it.

Reviewer: bryan from Santa Barbara, CA
They have the best kung pao chicken in town. I have to come here at least every couple weeks to get my fix.

First Experience at Ming
Reviewer: DC from Santa Barbara, CA
Sunday night was a busy mix of college students, young couples, middle aged couples and elderly couples, but we were very impressed by the restaurant as a whole. The food was slightly on the bland/safe side, but the service was excellent!

Can improve if......
Reviewer: Steve from Santa Barbara, CA
Yes this is some what negative, but if the business reads it, as I hope this site is brave enough to post it, then they can stop, take a breath, and see what the community and visitors are saying. I owned a restaurant and welcomed every comment given to better my clients. When I entered this place with a dozen guests, we sat at a large round table...ok that was nice. But no waitress and no water! Went up to the "buffet" wall that had only maybe 8 types of things to choose..that's it. On the other side wall was the Mongolian BBQ that had bland meat and very bland options to add. Cook was not a nice fellow; seemed upset. Back at the table the water still was missing and I had to flag down a waitress who got upset that I did and passed the buck to a table cleaner. 15 minutes later no drinks but can you believe they gave me the check and fortune cookies! Then to save them time they gave me a carafe of soda...not fresh! The bill included the tip calculated by them. I wouldn't have given one but I didn't want to ruin the evening with a fight with manager over extremely poor food, service and to boot a employee washing himself (his hair in the bathroom! I would love to drive the 160 miles to rant and get my over a $100 back...12 guest times the ridiculous amount of $17 (drinks..haha) This place CAN be good if they take a visit as a customer and see what they are doing very wrong.... this place does have potential If they up the quality of the meals with better cooks or someone to teach them how to use less oil. Have someone come in and instruct how to perform better customer table service.

tasteless tofu
Reviewer: Frank from Santa Barbara, CA
Ordered "country style" tofu, which is supposed to be tofu fried in a fairly spicy chili sauce. This tofu tasted like... nothing. It literally had no flavor at all, and none of us could eat it because, psychologically, it just didn't seem like food. The batter on the sweet&sour chicken was not crisp, it was just sopping with oil. We get better Chinese from other restaurants in town, and only come to Ming Dynasty because it's closer, but now, forget it, I'm never going back, even if it is more convenient.

Great buffet!
Reviewer: Katherine from Santa Barbara, CA
Went here for the first time tonight. The buffet was really quite delicious. My favorite was the stir fry/mongolion bbq. It was neat picking out the type of meats, veggies, etc and then watching the chef cook them up on the grill. Everyone was really friendly. And you can't really beat the price.

No water, check on the table right after the food came!
Reviewer: Kelly M. from Santa Barbara, CA
And when I confronted the manager about the lack of service, water and check dropping off before we'd taken a bite his response was "Well we were really busy." "Is it customary to place the check on the table before your customers have begun their meal?" I asked. "Well yeah when we're busy." No apology? No attempt to assure it would be better in the future? Just an excuse. I guess business must be good enough to be able to not treat customers with respect. Completely disappointing. Definitely won't be returning.

good range of options for varying tastes
Reviewer: lemonjelly from santa barbara, ca
I finally ate here for the first time, bringing my mother on Chinese New Year. She helped us order from the Chinese menu, although I nearly always try to get a typical Taiwanese dish - Three Cup Chicken. This time we got Three Cup Lamb and it was lovely, a favorite of the meal. We also got half a Chinese roast duck, which was dry, but on the positive side, not as fat-laden as others. A third dish was a plate of fresh sauteed pea shoots, available seasonally. Finally, there was rice, which may not seem all that exciting, but I thought it tasted very good! Nice, separate grains.
The buffet looked typical, and was very popular with most of the diners at the time we were there. For those looking to fill up, and at a low cost, this is a good deal. We did not order it, but I'd like to go back for a work-week lunch and sample the fresh Mongolian BBQ portion of the buffet. There were lots of vegetable options, plus lamb, chicken, beef and pork as meat options.
There is a dim sum menu, probably the most extensive in Santa Barbara, just keep in mind that they aren't made from scratch in-house.
I have to give extra props to the cocktail lounge. The style is a kitschy asian exotica, serving zombies and mai tais in tiki cups. In addition to a lunch, I'd like to go back for happy hour, 4-7 pm, to share a scorpion bowl and half price appetizers. Gong hay fat choy!

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