Sunday, January 17, 2016

Buffet Thursday

Of course in Hong Kong there were no shortage of restaurants or hotels offering all-you-can-eat deals, anything from early breakfast to late night drinks and nibbles. Though I wouldn't call myself a regular nor a particular fan of this style of meals, there were occasions when I thought buffet was just exactly what we needed, either to fix a wide range of cravings in one go, or times when we scratched our heads and couldn't figure out what to eat.

But my latest buffet adventure came out of the neither circumstances, but from the marketing team from Cordis Hotel in Mongkok inviting me to try out the latest menu promotion at their cafe. The hotel in the heart of the busy Mongkok district formerly known as The Langham Place has recently undergone some renovations and reincarnated as Cordis, the first of a new line of hotels under the same group but more contemporary in style. There's also some minor shuffle of their F&B facilities, but The Place remains as the main attractions, the cafe one level below from the lobby offering buffets all day long catered to both hotel guests and walk-in customers at this remodeled venue.

The setup of the restaurant is perfectly catered for buffet-goers, with different "food stations" in clear view from all tables and centrally located, minimizing the need to cover a long distance for different kinds of food. There were the usual suspects of just about every hotel buffets in town - the cold seafood, salad and cold cuts, an array of Chinese barbecues and dim-sums, sushi and sashimi (of course!) and a number of hot Asian and western dishes all laid out in a sumptuous spread. In terms of both number of choices and quality, I would say they were on par with some of the top ones in town. I particularly enjoyed digging in at the seafood section - with generous supply of oysters, crab legs and shrimps - and the Cantonese barbecue station with different kinds of meat perfectly roasted from the kitchen of their Michelin-starred Ming Court restaurant just upstairs. Or the double-boiled Chinese soup which was particularly comforting in this cold winter evening.

The time I went they were running a special promotion on French cuisine, featuring a number of classic dishes such as foie gras, beef bourguignon, bouillabaisse and raclette. I probably had more pan-seared foie gras on toast than I should against my nutrientionist's advice, but they were perfectly cooked and delicious. I also thought the raclette hot off the grill was quite nice when served with the traditional gougere pastry or steamed new potatoes, thought it would be even better if there were more condiments as options, I think.

Desserts, particularly icecream, are always something I paid special attention to when I judge the standard of any buffet menus, as I seem to have a bottomless appetite for them. My eyes were wide open when I saw the display of 8 different flavors of Movenpick icecream with a number of condiments right near to our table. I didn't have as much of those as I normally do this time, but I was happy to have a handful of icecream servings topped with my favorite colorful sprinkles. Consistent with the French theme, several classic desserts were available including eclairs and crepe suzette as well. They weren't out of the world great but more than decent.

Another thing I love about the place was the casual atmosphere. There were a good number of people dining so the food was constantly taken and replenished, but it never got too crowded to the point of having a line for anything. Just perfect for a laid-back evening - the only problem was to decide what to eat out of so many choices.

When? January 7 2016
Where? The Place at Cordis Hong Kong, Level 4, 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok, Kowloon

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