I enter a fair few competitions and recently one of them scored me a lunch for two at the Pan Pacific for their Sunday Roast Buffet. An exciting prospect for me. I like a good buffet, so many fabulous possibilities! When we arrived on our chosen Sunday we were one of the first in the restaurant. This meant we were the first to do a lap to see what was on offer while it was all looking deliciously fresh and untouched. It did all looked (and smell) very appetizing. Everything looked like it was made of very fresh ingredients and in general it was quite a wide range available. Especially the dessert, if I could have started there I would have. It looked spectacular! Creamy, chocolately, fruit wonderfulness.
But I harnessed all my self control and decided I would start with a bit of a sampler plate from the hot food selections, leaving the roast for later. So on this plate I sampled the beef stroganoff, which had me intrigued by the little bits of gherkin it had in it. I’m sure that’s a traditional way to make it, I just hadn’t had it this way, so I tried that and a some of this tasty looking roast chicken dish and also some of the bangers and mash – nothing like mixing it up in round one. It’s almost as thought I think I’m not allowed back!
I thought the food was all very well prepared and everything tasted very fresh, not like it had been warmed under a heat lamp for hours and hours. As I sat and ate my first course I’d watched GG enjoy some of the seafood collection, including crayfish, crab, prawns and even an oyster. He thought it all tasted really good, so much so that he went back for seconds. This proved a bad decision though as he found the seafood a little hit and miss, with his first plate delicious and the second having a more fishy flavour throughout. So being not entirely pro things fishy I was a little hesitant but did decide to try a little cray and some crab. Unfortunately mine was pretty fishy so I didn’t enjoy this that much.
The best way to forgot about seafood though is roast beef! I skipped on over to the buffet for the third time and made myself a roast plate with a selection of the different vegies and some of the beef with a little of their balsamic vinegary jus. I really enjoyed my tribute plate to the Sunday Roast, well cooked roast and vegies that were full of flavour.
But I’m not going to lie. As much as I enjoyed the savouries my heart was with the sweets. There was so much on offer, I was more than a little impressed with the spread. What to have, what to have…
So I started with their chocolate mousse. Elegantly prepared in what looked like martini glasses. It was fabulously though incredibly rich! I was glad I’d saved the strawberry til last as it was a nice refreshing finish. This saited much of my sweet tooth much earlier on than I had planned but I was a trooper and pushed on.
For dessert round 2 I went with more of a sampler plate and tried their other, more dainty, mousse option. A triple layered chocolate mousse, which came in a shot glass size and was much lighter than my first foray into the mousse scene.
It was also on this plate that I gave the friands a whirl. I’d made friands before and I do enjoy them. Especially with a raspberry on top. Delish!
I didn’t actually try any of the lamingtons, but thought that with their alternating glace cherries that they were too beautiful not to as least take a photo of.
But I did try some of this….. their rocky road. More similar to my first dessert – intensely rich and a very, very generous square! I’ve always wanted to try to make it myself…. definitely on my to do list.
Finally almost in an effort to cleanse the palate… in a sense anyways… I ended with a bowl of strawberry and pistachio icecream with a scattering of chocolate buttons, just to push me over the edge on the sugar front.
Buffets can always be a little hit and miss. There’ll be things that you love that others pass on and vice versa. I thought there was a more than decent range of offer at Monterey’s and for flavour, freshness and presentation it did very well.
When in the mood next to eat myself silly I would definitely give it another go!