We all love the idea of a buffet as a way of satisfying our desire to tantalizse our tastebuds. In reality though are our expectations of a gourmet experience truly ever met while dining at a hotel buffet regardless of how many stars the establishment may hold? Many a time I have been guilty of walking away uncomfortably full from mediocre lack lustre food offerings served at hotel buffet style restaurants.
It is therefore wonderful to be able to report that Sydney Scoop's visit to Kitchens on Kent the newly opened posh buffet at Sydney's five star hotel, The Langham, ended in us leaving with a full tum of well presented and beautifully prepared, fresh flavoursome and oh so delish buffet items.
As quoted by Mr Gaylord Lamy, General Manager of The Langham, Sydney Kitchens on Kent comprises of eight, live cooking kitchens where guests can go up and request made-to-order dishes. Chefs will be cooking using the freshest ingredients right in front of you, creating an a la cárte dish. But don’t just have one dish – you can have as many as you like."
You may think that Kitchens on Kent appears to be like any other hotel buffet environment, but the inclusion of so many interactive chef-manned stations to cater to individual orders lifts it up and beyond the competition.
Our tasting began at 7pm on a Sunday night - roast night as we later found out. Lots of families were in attendance, so maybe we suggest you go a bit later if you are after a quiet rendezvous or maybe ask for a table tucked away. It is definitely possible to book at say 8.30pm or 9pm as the buffet is geared up to do dishes to order. Diners therefore know they wont walk into a situation where the buffet is looking worse for wear and can safely book in for a later dining time knowing their favourites will still be available. Dinner is served from 6pm right up to 10.30pm seven nights a week.
Working through the different kitchen stations, we began grazing on a variety of thinly sliced charcuterie, proper pates, crisp salads, pickled veggies, and a spread of local and international cheeses to make up the perfect cheeseboard. We moved onto a seafood station that included rich creamy Sydney rock oysters, tiger prawns, blue swimmer crab, smoked salmon and made to order sushi and sashimi, but on the other hand we could have easily gone straight to the Indian cuisine station with its curries, meats and made to order mean breads from the tandoor, or the pizza bar serving up piping hot orders of rustic pizza including a squid ink variety.
As all of those dishes were sampled favourably. It was hard to imagine coming across dishes that would rise above this level, but then we did not count on the dumpling and dim sum, wok and noodles and duck pancake station. The duck pancakes made me go weak at the knees with delight. Of course I had to go back for more. The night's savoury side of the meal reached its peak at the cooked meats station where not only could we jump onto a lovely selection of Sunday roasts (oh my goodness, the crackling on the pork was amazing) but also ask chef to grill to order a selection of game meats, such as kangaroo cooked over smoky charcoals of the hotel Robata grill.
Of course, for a dessert queen like myself, the magnificent sweets station was a wonderful way to complete the night. With over 25 tasty tidbits to try, it was an exciting discovery to find that they all tasted very much home made and lovingly crafted. Tiny mousses, pastries, cheesecakes, cupcakes abounded. The apple crumble was a huge hit with our editor. Diners will also be able to put together a plate of delicacies and fruit to dip in pots of chocolate taken from the continual flowing chocolate fountain.
In case you have specific dietary requirements, you will be pleased to know that Kitchens on Kent provides plentiful vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
To compliment all the items on the fine produce driven menu, I chose to indulge in a glass of 2016 Rob Dolan Four in One, a delicious red that sommelier Steven Bailey has included in the current Regional Selection wine package that showcases an ever changing variety of different Australian regions. Kitchens on Kent currently has three wine packages on offer. This includes bottomless, unlimited Laurent Perrier Champagne at $99 per person. Diners can also grab a mocktail or cocktail, a spirit, a beer or a glass of wine from the drinks menu. Dessert wines and hot beverages are also available.
Overall Kitchens on Kent is a lovely experience for anyone who values the opportunity to graze on high quality, mouth watering dishes made from great produce.
6.30am – 10.30am
Monday – Sunday $45 per person
11am – 3pm
Saturday $78 per person
Sunday $88 per person
midday – 3pm
Monday – Friday: $68 per person
Saturday $78 per person
Sunday $88 per person
6pm – 10.30pm
Monday – Thursday $88 per person
Friday – Sunday $98 per person
Monday and Friday: Lobster
Tuesday: BBQ Ribs Night
Wednesday: Wok-fried Chilli Crab Night
Thursday: Peking Duck Night
Saturday: Suckling Pig Night
Sunday: Sunday Roast