Buffets are all about quantity, and for me, that's always a dangerous thing.
First there is the quantity of choice. And then there is the quantity you greedily pile onto your plate.
And the plate after that. And the plate after that.
I have no willpower.
Buffets and I are a dangerous combination, but when work offers you a Christmas lunch at Cafe Mix at the Shangri-La, who am I to deny this festive generosity?
There's plenty on offer here: a seafood bar (the oysters and prawns are quite tasty but the crabs are the usual watery defrosted kind), all kinds of salad (baby radishes and peeled baby carrots, a DIY Caesar, poached salmon with beans, and a refreshing fetta, olive and watermelon salad), and all kinds of antipasto assortments.
Plate #1: seafood and salad
Four work-stations also feature chefs (yes, live and cooking) fussing over pots, pans and dishes to bring you Italian (we saw freshly cooked hand-made pasta being prepared with mushrooms), Malaysian/Chinese (caramel belly pork with eggs, fried noodles, siu mai, pork dumplings and pork mince with beans), Japanese (sushi) and Indian (curries, pappadums and rice).
Temaki handroll sushi
Plate #2: sushi and siu mai
The steamed dumplings have been sauna'd into sogginess and the sushi rice is similarly wet and stodgy, but there's greater joy in the hot foods ahead.
Plate #3: curries, Malaysian and a few more oysters
The curries pack a pleasing punch, rich in spices and flavours, and the caramel pork is sweet and tender.
The chefs are bemused by my camera action throughout my investigations, and throw mock modelling poses due to lack of lens attention. If only they knew...
The highlight of the buffet though, is always the dessert table, and the array of offerings here would make any diabetic automatically reach for their insulin.
Chocolate profiterole tower
Raspberry and chocolate macarons
Parfait glasses with creme anglaise and fruit
Hazelnut, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate gelato
Cardamom custard pot
There's enough here to satisfy the most ravenous sweet tooth, although we find some of the prettier desserts in shot glasses are disappointingly bland. Lack of descriptions make the guesswork a little tougher although the giant compartmentalised box of raspberry and chocolate macarons is almost enough to make me weep (they're delicious too).
We're perplexed too that no bowls are provided for the gelato--our scoops sitting awkwardly on our little dessert plates--and I'm disappointed their famous chocolate fountain is out of action today too.
This doesn't stop us all waddling out after eating half our body weight in one sitting. Willpower is useless in the face of so much choice, even if my belt says I really shouldn't have eaten that last profiterole.
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Cafe Mix at the Shangri-La
Level 1, 176 Cumberland Street
The Rocks, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9250 6000
Open 6am til late
Monday to Friday $48 (Jan07 special $38)
Saturday and Sunday $58
Monday to Thursday $58
Friday and Saturday $85
*Prices correct at Jan 2007. Please call Cafe Mix direct to confirm.
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Sheraton on the Park Botanica Brasserie buffet
Sheraton Four Points Corn Exchange buffet
Swissotel JPB Restaurant Fondue Chinoise buffet
Swissotel Crossroads Bar High Tea buffet (Jan09), (Nov06) , (Jun06) and (Oct05)
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1/03/2007 11:58:00 pm