At the risk of being accused of bumping a post I made - I wanted to share a post I made here several years ago that is completely on topic (vs rewriting it). The short answer is - go ahead. Ask if they've tried the dumplings, tell them the roast beef is good, tell them they're lovely or you like their outfit or that's a lovely necklace they're wearing etc. As long as you're being sweet and polite, and respect their verbal and nonverbal cues about if they're interested or not. I wasn't available when I got approached at the local Chinese Buffet, but trust me when I say I was sending all my BBW friends there for months afterwards in hope they'd run into the same guy.
Years ago at college I was in the dining hall grabbing a quick bite before my next class. I had just finished eating and had maybe 15 minutes 'till said class when a cute girl sat down opposite me. The nature of the dining hall was such that this was not especially weird, although I made a point of finding unoccupied tables when I came in as I was/am a loner. I ate alone my senior year of HS, too, even when a group of girls asked me to come sit at their table with them (I did the once, realized I had absolutely nothing to contribute to their conversations, and went back to my norm the next day).
So yeah, cute girl sits opposite me. Says hi, I say hi back. I'm in the middle of having an anxiety attack because this situation has only ever happened once before (high school, senior year, again) and the first time was not a romantic approach (friend of a girl I was interested in trying to help - ultimately failed but not her fault). Girl notices and points out that I've finished eating... and I tucked my tail and ran as best I could without actually running, practically sweating bullets.
Actually paused for several long seconds outside the hall debating whether or not to go back in, hating myself for my cowardice. I still dwell on it from time to time and vow never to do it again... but the chance hasn't even occurred since so... *shrugs*.
Obviously, I'm replying to this from the opposite side of the gender discussion, but, speaking for myself, I would love to be approached... pretty much anywhere. Because I don't have the stones to make an approach myself...
You know.... if some intrepid FFA were to come up to me at the Chinese buffet and be like; "You know, I noticed that's your 4th serving of dumplings..." I don't know whether I would be mortified beyond words or totally turned on.
For the record, I don't typically do buffets, I feel they a little unsanitary, but you know noticing my 3rd serving of sliders at 1 2 3 Burger Shot Beer would probably have the same effect.