A feast with a view
Noodlies, Sydney food blog samples one of Sydney’s best known food buffets
* premium seafood buffet experience
* video guided tour
* buffet eating tips
* buffet vs a-la-carte
Long gone are the days where five-star hotels take their ‘food and beverage’ offering (and their customers) for granted. Food is now recognised as an effective way to a customer’s and the local community’s heart. The Starwood group which includes some of the most prestigious hotel brands in the world; St Regis, Sheraton, W and Le Meridien, is elevating fine food across its hotels via its SPG Restaurants and Bars program. The Woods in Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel is another case in point.
Sheraton on the Park’s buffet is already one of the the best known and longest continuously running in Sydney. Previously the award winning Botanica Brasserie, it was renovated and relaunched as Feast, the hotel’s signature restaurant during October last year. Feast is a fine dining brand that’s rolling out across Sheraton hotels around the world. In Sydney, Feast offers the only al-fresco terrace in the city with views over Sydney’s magnificent Hyde Park as well as new dining booths for those seeking more privacy.
Feast retains the famous Sheraton on the Park seafood buffet offering and adds a new ‘world of flavours’ experience, reflecting Sydney’s cultural diversity, something close to noodlies’ heart. Although a relatively new concept, the seeds of international flavours were sown over a decade ago, noodlies remembers visiting for an Italian buffet back in 1996, when the hotel had an active program of visiting international chefs.
In Sydney, the perception of buffet dining has suffered as cheap-and-cheerful buffets have spread across many suburban clubs supported by pokies and lower-grade ingredients.
From $85 per head, Feast is a vastly different experience, offering classier more comfortable ambiance, fresh, high quality produce and an eclectic, diverse mix of food. Buffets, at first sight, can be intimidating and potentially bewildering:
- where to start?
- how to pace yourself?
- what are the ‘must-eat’ dishes?
Desmond Carneiro, executive sous chef at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney takes noodlies for a guided tour of Feast and answers some of these questions…
Seafood continues to be a major trump card for Feast and the gleaming, circular fresh seafood showcase is the first thing to greet customers; prawns, blue swimmer crab, Sydney oysters, Moreton Bay bugs and Tasmanian salmon. Feast sources mostly within a 160kms radius for extra freshness, quality while supporting the local producers. Desmond takes us for a video tour of the fresh seafood showcase in the video below.
Breaking down the barriers
To breakdown the barriers between diners and the restaurants, chefs roam the floor to greet, meet and answer questions. A live kitchen counter featuring an imposing stone hearth oven gives diners a glimpse of how their food is made including a selection of roasts, gourmet pizzas and home-baked bread (see below).
Customers want greater transparency and healthy options
Sheraton customers are demanding healthier options, Desmond explains how Feast is responding with healthier salad options and mouth-watering multicultural choices such as Italian tomato bocconcini salad and spicy tandoori chicken salad. He says customers are also looking for greater transparency when it comes to produce, hence they display the labels of cheeses on offer.
Desmond pleads diners to leave room for the amazing range of desserts from around the world, English toffee pudding, apple crumble, French creme caramel, Aussie lamington, Italian tiramisu and Asian sago melon soup.
Noodlies, Sydney food blog recommends
Literally a feast of flavours, colours and texture it was impossible to try everything on the menu (thought noodlies gave it a fair crack). Here are some highlights:
Fresh seafood showcase: the counter is a visual and culinary delight, the freshness comes through with seaside zestiness and fresh, vibrant colours, particularly the blue swimmer crab and Sydney oysters. An amazing range of locally sourced produce.
Warm, tender roasts: that’s slow cooked for over six hours hours – rich flavours and melting tenderness. Tandoori chicken gourmet pizza is spicy and fragrant on a crispy thin base, fresh from the oven and still comfortingly warm.
Leave room for dessert (that’s an order): ultra rich black forest cake with generous shards of chocolate that can be even richer with added crimson raspberry sauce or a relatively lighter creamy creme caramel. The apple crumble is great too especially with added ice cream and gooey toffee pudding – it’s hard to go wrong with any of these deliciously intense desserts.
Noodlies buffet tips
To make sure you get the most out of this feast, consider a few simple tips:
- scan: go for a stroll to get a quick glimpse of everything that’s on offer, it will give you perspective and help to plan your feast
- pace yourself: smaller servings means you can taste more food
- start light and go heavy: start at the seafood showcase for its light, clean taste, follow with gourmet pizza, then roast, salad and bread
- leave room for dessert: you won’t regret it
A world of experience
Feast’s executive chef David Watson has a wealth of culinary experience from luxury hotels and Michelin-star restaurants around the globe, including The Raffles Hotel in Singapore, The Dorchester in London and Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford. Most recently, he was the Complex Executive Chef of The Westin Gurgaon New Delhi and The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa.
Noodlies recommends Feast buffet for…
Feast at the Sheraton on the Park’s range of fresh, quality food is ideal for that special family gathering, there’s something for every taste, young and old. And it’s all in a premium environment that’s classy without the stuffy a-la-carte formality.
Have you been to Feast recently? Do you think a buffet can offer a premium experience?
Have you say by leaving a comment.
Feast, a world of flavours
Level 1, Sheraton on the Park
161 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
- Lunch: 12:00 – 2:30pm, from $75 per person
- Dinner: 6:00 – 10:30pm, from $85 per person
A la carte menu also available.
15% discount for SPG members.
Bookings: (02) 9286 6000
Email: [email protected]
This post is sponsored by SPG Restaurants and Bars program, noodlies received payment and complimentary food and beverage for two at Feast buffet, Sheraton on the Park, Sydney. All opinions contained in this post are noodlies own and consistent with noodlies’ published editorial guidelines as outlined in noodlies code of ethics.