Bron and I went to lunch today. We went to the Park Hyatt Hotel‘s buffet lunch in the Promenade Cafe. The buffet lunch is well known to residents of Canberra and is an institution at the Park Hyatt like their afternoon high tea is. Interestingly enough John-Bryan Hopkins of Foodimentarian has blogged that today is “I Love Food” day. It seemed fitting to enjoy a buffet lunch.
I’ll describe the lunch in pictures of each time I went up and came back to my chair.
In the background is part of a whole cold salmon. It was the best dish of the day. It only came out once and I kept looking around for more, sadly there was only ever one tray. My tip is to get in early before 1230 to get some. It was later replaced with smoked salmon which was also very nice, but not as nice as the whole cold salmon. In the foreground is a small saucer of prawns and greens. This was very tasty. I’d have a whole salad plate of it if I could. The Moreton Bay bugs were fresh and full.
I got my share of salad with a Caesar salad, some sardines, octopus, and cold meats. The sardines were nice but a little bony. The bread was also amazing. Very tasty.
Here you can see fresh prawns, oysters, mussels, octopus and smoked salmon.
The hot food options were disappointing. I chose a chicken thigh and creamy mushroom dish with some potatoes and a warm baked salmon. The salmon was really disappointing. It was tough and smelt “fishy”.
I finished off with some more seafood.
Cheese and dried pear
One of the waiters told us the blue cheese was fantastic. It was.
Okay the lighting was pretty poor for this. I’m sorry. This is a strawberry mousse cake with a lavender macaron plus a caramel cheesecake supported by whipped cream. The chocolate thing was tempered nicely.
This is a creme caramel which looked better than it tasted. It was a little too firm. A fork went through and the dessert stuck to it tightly.
Ear Grey Tea
Like John Luc Picard, I like Earl Grey tea. It was a great relief after a large lunch. I was so tempted to loosen my belt. I waited until I got in the car.
So what is the verdict. It’s definitely worthwhile. It’s not the best buffet meal I’ve had, not even close, there are many other places that do it better in terms of quality and quantity. Certainly the Park Hyatt is not about quantity. That’s a good thing too. Can you image how much food is wasted every day, especially all the glorious seafood. Probably the best buffet I’ve enjoyed is the Sidewalk Cafe at the old Sheraton Hotel in Brisbane. That was amazing. The quality was always high and the quantity and variety out of this world. That was probably the disappointing thing about the Park Hyatt, the variety wasn’t huge, especially the hot offering. It was the usual stuff but nothing exotic and nothing like a big international hotel might have in Hong Kong for instance. Even the cheap and cheerful seafood buffets in Darwin would rate slightly better in terms of quality (freshness of seafood) and value for money. I apologise to the Park Hyatt if they think I didn’t enjoy myself. I did, it was a great lunch today, great company, good service and fabulous food. I would definitely recommend Canberra residents and visitors to enjoy a lunch at the Park Hyatt Canberra.