very good, concise buffet spread at the new parkroyal on pickering. so I’ve told you a bit about this place and how pretty it is in my last post – and now let’s talk about the eatin’.
I feel the need to insert a caveat here – I enjoyed this spread because it had precisely the sort of thing I like to eat, but if you come here expecting the massive sort of round-the-world line-up the shangri-la provides, then you might be a tad disappointed. I don’t personally go in for large spreads – I once filled up on popiah (a cheap local dish of braised radish) at another buffet to the desperation of my partner – and I appreciate quality over quantity.
I’ve already subjected you to a large amount of prose over on the previous post, and really, you ought to come to this place to try it out – if only just to see how gorgeous the place is).
- how gorgeous is that table by the window! there’s some serious design mojo going on there;
- an array of thai salads – a perfectly-marinated thai mango salad at the front, a slightly dry pork salad on the left, and a seafood salad with bouncy seafood on the right. I think what impressed me was that it seems rather risky to let out so many salads from a single culture at a time – since the marinades can seem too similar – but these had no issues – they tasted different, and had different characters despite their overlapping ingredients. my favourite was the mango;
- a spread of sushi – I was told that these were just alright, nothing special. this buffet does not serve sashimi, which is a usual sight in buffets, but I didn’t miss it much;
- fresh, cold seafood – there were the usual scallops-on-shell, oysters, prawns, mussels and etc;
- my favourite dish of the night: pink roast beef with an assortment of sides that included roasted squash and potatoes, an assortment of horseradish and mustards, gravy, and a cheese casserole. I stuck to lots of roast beef (you can request the leaner portions if you’re so inclined,as I am) with whole-grain mustard, and filled up on that for dinner;
- as well as possibly my second-favourite of the night: beef cheek braised in red wine. it was impossibly tender, and beefy, and fell apart at a slight nudge of the fork, and that sauce was some savoury magic. my dad very kindly designed this plate for me – isn’t that sweet!
- a linzer tart from their impressive line-up of desserts;
- chocolate cake and carrot cake at the forefront, snips of green lime marshmallows on the left, and a tiny pot of crème brûlée on the right. my sister was exclaiming over the carrot cake, the marshmallows were just too cute, and the crème brûlée could have used a thicker and more caramelized shell of sugar – all pretty decent, really;
- a slice of pecan pie, and a slice of dark chocolate tart. after years of prohibiting myself from trying pecan/nut pies (because I love nuts, and caramel, and all sorts of sweet things – and have little self-control once I start) I decided to go for the tiny sliver they had here, and gosh I loved it. the pecans were crunchy but also sort of tender from the caramel, and the crust provided just the right counterpoint to the filling. that chocolate tart was also good – but I think I might hold the nut pie in higher regard;
- they provided a cake for my grandpa for his birthday, which I thought was really nice. we were all stuffed by then, so he got it as take-away, but isn’t that a lovely cake?
I’ve only missed out the cheese but I implore you to try it – get the crumbler hard cheese (I think a sort of cheddar?), and eat portions of it with a nut and one of the dried fruits on offer – I liked it with apricot. I forgot to tell you they had the cutest small rolls, as well as loaves of bread – and they had tubs of salted or unsalted french butter in their wooden baskets on the sides. I was terribly impressed.
go give it a try before it becomes hyped and manic with people – I can’t get over how pretty the place is.