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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sheraton on the Park Botanica Brasserie, Sydney

There's something distinctly Australian about the enigma that is The Seafood Buffet. We have plenty of seafood in our coastal waters. Why not allow the true blue Aussie eat half their body weight in one sitting in an all-out celebration of pure gluttony? =)

I say this as a recovering buffet-aholic. It is true, indeed, that these visits reached their culminative peak in the high school / university era dominated by "the pursuit of value". And yes, I know it was only on Boxing Day last year that I was stuffing my face with gleeful abandon. I'm entitled to relapses.

And then I did it again.



We are at the Sheraton on the Park, one of Sydney's premier hotels. There's a giant sweeping staircase, plush ruby red carpet and a dozen re-fillable plates with my name on them.

Our visit coincides with their "Curries of the World" theme, featuring dishes from India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. We remember our priorities though, and head straight for the seafood.


The fresh seafood buffet included cooked prawns, oysters, smoked salmon, yabbies and cooked mussels

There are two platters of assorted sushi...

Nigiri sushi and maki sushi

...and it's true, they really do serve you semi-peeled prawns ready to eat (try to dimiss the image of a poor apprentice chef stuck peeling 100kg of prawns)


Peeled prawns a-go-go


Curry, roast potatoes and steamed vegetables

Down one end of the room is a chef who will prepare lobster to order. What this means is he tops cooked half-lobsters with either a thermidor sauce, a curry sauce or "Asian-style fried hokkien noodles". More for novelty value really... oh and he carves you roast meats too.



A world of curries


And plenty of salads too

We get waylaid by the dessert counter as always. This one isn't quite as spectacular as the spread we enjoyed at the Sheraton Four Points, but then we presume that buffet spreads during the festive season get a little extra magic added.

The endless row of creme brulees are swooped on with gusto, although disapointingly the heat lamps have melted the burnt toffee toppings.

We eat, and eat, and eat some more.

And as I waddle out the door, belt loosened and breathing shallowly, I promise myself I will no longer succumb to the "quantity over quality" mantra.

Famous last words.


Elegant soft-set jellies and creme brulees


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Botanica Brasserie
Level One, Sheraton on the Park Hotel
161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Tel: 02 9286 6650

All-you-can eat seafood buffet
(prices correct as at 4 Sep 2009 - please ring to confirm)
Lunch
Monday - Saturday $65.00
Sunday $75.00

Dinner
Sunday - Thursday $79.00
Friday - Saturday $99.00


Related GrabYourFork posts:
Shangri-La Cafe Mix buffet
Sheraton Four Points Corn Exchange buffet

Swissotel JPB Restaurant Fondue Chinoise buffet
Swissotel Crossroads Bar High Tea (Jan09), (Nov06) , (Jun06) and (Oct05)

28 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (AugustusGloop) on 8/10/2005 10:47:00 pm


28 Comments:

  • At 8/11/2005 12:01 am, Blogger pseudo chef said…

    *drools*

    That buffet looks awesome, and the price actually seems reasonable.

    *adds to "Must eat at" list of sydney.*

     
  • At 8/11/2005 3:23 am, Anonymous sarah said…

    LOL!

    that is why i refuse to go to buffets, no matter how good nor how quickly they refresh the food. inevitably, i eat enough to feed a small country. or even a medium-sized one. LOL!

     
  • At 8/11/2005 4:35 am, Anonymous Julia said…

    Impressive buffet, especially the half-peeled prawns! All one has to do is pluck off the head and enjoy. But won't the prawns have lost their juiciness which would otherwise have been retained by the shells? Besides, I think I'd be feeling too guilty to enjoy the prawns, all the while thinking of the poor guy who has to meticulously half-peel kilo after kilo of the crustaceans. :P

    And don't be so hard on yourself, AG. I do believe there's an inner "buffet-aholic" in everyone of us. :)

     
  • At 8/11/2005 6:11 am, Blogger boo_licious said…

    Wowee, love the spread they have especially the prawns which is perfect for me as I hate peeling them.

    Yeah, I tend to avoid buffets as I end up overindulging. If I succumb to my "buffetaholic" tendencies, I always eat the Japanese buffet. I console myself it's healthier as all I do is just eat sashimi.

     
  • At 8/11/2005 7:10 am, Blogger Fanny said…

    This buffet looks like the one i had in the Niagara on the lake Sheraton... Are all the Sheraton the same? I don't think so: the one i usually go is Sheraton Park Tower in London and it doesn't offer such a buffet. Hum, weird, ill have to ask the question...

    xoxo

    Fanny

     
  • At 8/11/2005 1:02 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Ohhh. I've never seen peeled prawns on a buffet before! That is the ultimate!

    AG, I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that my in-laws lurve a good buffet. I've learned from them some important strategic buffet rules. [1] No wasting valuable stomach space with filling carbs. [2] Don't bother eating anything you can get at home. [3] Eat as many prawns as possible. In fact, you don't have to eat anything else if you don't want to :)

     
  • At 8/11/2005 1:20 pm, Anonymous Chubby Cat said…

    Mmm, mmm! Those buffet pics look gorgeous AG. Though i don't do it too often these days, i do love a good buffet, especially a seafood buffet, with freshly shucked oysters!

    Many a time i've left a buffet restaurant stuffed full to the eyeballs, waddling in contentment. Hehe!

     
  • At 8/11/2005 3:25 pm, Blogger tytty said…

    you got the attention with the lobster! (^_')0

    didn't you blog once before bout corn exchange's winter offer? is that still on?

     
  • At 8/11/2005 3:26 pm, Blogger tytty said…

    aih, my attention i mean..

     
  • At 8/11/2005 4:08 pm, Anonymous RONW said…

    In the U.S. we have a thing called California roll (sushi roll)....what's Oz's version of sushi?

     
  • At 8/11/2005 7:38 pm, Anonymous Big BoK said…

    I haven't had a decent buffet in 4yrs now.. :(
    This one is awesome..!!

     
  • At 8/11/2005 8:44 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Hmmm. Looks impressive, but I was expecting a picture of your plate of food. =P

     
  • At 8/11/2005 9:06 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi pseudo chef - I think this is the most expensive buffet in Sydney (trust me, I've eaten at almost all of them). This is a lot more affordable during the week; the price bump on the weekend is a little more significant.

    Ahh... the "must eat in Sydney" list must be huge! =)

    Hi Sarah - Yes, I have a terrible lack of self-control, esp when it comes to dessert (but I have to try a tiny bit of *every* dessert!).

    I also think that as I get older, the more I appreciate the quality and finesse of a la carte. *sigh* I am getting old!

    Hi Julia - You're right on the half-peeled prawns dilemna. I soon switched to the non-peeled ones.

    lol. That's true. I think the greed factor resides in all of us. It just feels so, um, uncouth to stuff yourself silly (oh, hell, that's me everyday huh?)

    Hi Fanny - No I'd presume Sheraton buffets vary. Often the bigger hotels do offer buffets. We've covered most of them in Sydney!

    Hi Kelly - It's a somewhat hollow indulgence as Julia points out above. They're not as juicy and besides, don't you love the satisfaction of peeling your own?

    Hehe. I agree with all those points, except I substitute Point #3 for oysters! You don't want to know how many oysters I consumed that night!

    Definitely no carbs. No bread! No bread! I had about 3Tbs of rice just so I could taste the curry sauces. And I follow the "don't eat stuff you can get at home" whenever I eat out. I can't understand people who buy peanut butter sandwiches!

    Hi Chubby Cat - Thanks. I agree, the buffetaholic tendencies are hard to fight. And yes, we always check that oysters are part of the buffet!

    Hi Tian - lol. It was only as I was posting that I realised I forgot to take a picture of the lobster on my plate. Whoops!

    Bonus points to you! I did indeed blog about that offer. I just rang them and unfortunately, no, that offer ended at the end of July.

    Hi RonW - But we have the California roll here as well! We import every American product! =)

    As far as I know, there is no "Oz" version of sushi unless there's a hamburger with beetroot sushi floating about that I'm not aware of...

    Hi Big BoK - Ahhh you'll have to make a booking then. This one was pretty good, altho' I preferred the one at Sheraton Four Points. It had sashimi! =P

    Hi Reid - Plate? You mean plates! I mainly ate a lot of oysters. Like a lot of them. I tend to get tiny tastings of everything, so a pic wouldn't have been all that interesting. You wouldn't be able to tell what the things were!

     
  • At 8/14/2006 10:17 am, Anonymous Raymond Lou said…

    Is the weekday menu different from the saturday menus? (to reflect the cost)

     
  • At 8/14/2006 9:00 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Raymond - I suggest you contact the restaurant directly to confirm. I've already provided you the contact details above.

    We ate on a Friday nite as I recall, but I've only eaten there once so I really can't say. Ring the hotel direct and I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

     
  • At 10/21/2006 5:13 am, Anonymous seafoodlover said…

    hi AG, i'm a new fan of yours, and after scouring over your numerous drooling entries...i decided i would want to head for a seafood buffet again! hehe. just wanna hear from you since you've tried both, do you prefer the seafood buffet by Corn exchange restaurant or Botanica Brasserie? I tried the seafood buffet at cafe Mix in shangrila, which was not quite good.

     
  • At 10/23/2006 9:34 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi seafoodlover - They are both quite good, but for value-for-money, I'll probably choose Four Points. Sheraton on the Park comes with a chef who will cook some dishes to order but when you start paying $60-90 for a buffet dinner, I'm thinking you may as well go and have a la carte.

     
  • At 12/01/2006 6:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for blogging this buffet. Went there once but couldnt find any info on it except for your blog!

    Just got a q on the lobster and the chef. Can you really order him to cook lobster? Do you need to pay extra for that? Last time I went, I only took notice of him standing there and didnt know he can cook lobster!!!

    What's the difference between weekday buffet since the price is $20 cheaper?

     
  • At 12/01/2006 10:40 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Anon - There was no extra charge for the lobster. There is usually a sign which indicates the dishes he is available to prepare.

    I would say the price difference is only a reflection of demand plus an enticement for people to eat during weeknights. But, as always, if you need further clarification, you should contact the restaurant staff directly for a direct (and correct) answer.

     
  • At 2/04/2007 7:42 pm, Blogger Ben said…

    Not that I would know or anything, but if you have breakfast there, don't put the croissants through the self-serve toaster thing. It's for bread only. Again, I totally wouldn't know what might happen, but it would be pretty embarassing if, y'know, there were flaming croissants. Or something.

     
  • At 2/05/2007 12:28 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Ben - Duly noted. Thanks for the tip :) Flaming crossiants would be quite a sight. I wish I could've seen it! Not that, like, you've seen any lately I suppose...

     
  • At 6/14/2008 5:52 pm, Anonymous Shimon said…

    I've been a few times to this one. It is the BEST Buffet I have ever been to, and I love my food and have travelled!

    Deserts are to die for (watch out ladies - don't hold back, seriously)

     
  • At 6/15/2008 10:20 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Shimon - Who can ever resist a buffet? I'm keen to try their afternoon tea buffet too.

     
  • At 9/04/2009 10:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Price UPDATE

    Monday - Saturday Lunch $65.00
    Sunday Lunch $75.00

    Sunday - Thursday Dinner $79.00
    Friday - Saturday Dinner $99.00

    Please call reservations for furthur details
    02 9286 6650

     
  • At 9/05/2009 4:23 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Thanks for the price update. Have edited info accordingly.

     
  • At 10/20/2009 9:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Went to buffet for a monday lunch. Food quality was good, prawns tasty, smoked salmon didn't look top notch but great flavor as well as sushi that was incredible, curries and pesto ravioli, marinated chicken with potato and cold cuts of lamb and beef were delicious.
    only disappointment was the hot carved pork which was very tough.
    desserts looked to die for but some were dissappointing and therefore wish i tried more and made better choices.
    I got the chocolate mud cake and mini fruit berry tart which were not too good but mini tiramisu was outstanding and mini canoli with sprinkles was okay.
    Wish I tried the creme brulee, tropical paradise (some sort of cheesecake) and mini mousses but didn't want to go OTT seeing as am trying to loose weight and had just come back from holiday.
    The chocolate scoop yourself ice-cream was to die for and with a little waffle cone.
    Unfortunately chocolates and rocky road was let down.
    Overall most things were good and would definitely go back especially to try more of the desserts!

     
  • At 10/21/2009 5:47 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Thanks for the comprehensive feedback. Glad the desserts won you over - they're usually the first thing I check out whenever I get to a hotel buffet!

     
  • At 1/23/2012 10:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wonderful buffet,presentation excellant.
    Our watiress Jenny was professional and went way beyond her call of duty.
    The desserts were delicious and the cheese plate very tasty. I would reccomend this restaurant to anyone.
    Michelle Goh.

     

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