I love dining out as much as (and probably more than) the next person. But the big massive joke about normal dining is that once you finish the meal, that’s the end. Regardless of if you’re still hungry, or if you suddenly wish you’d ordered a different meal. It’s all over.
This is where the all-you-can-eat buffet steps in.
The buffet drapes its pudgy motherly arm over your shoulder, holds you close to her ample bosom and whispers in your ear… “Eat more my child, eat all that you can.”
But not all buffets are trustworthy, some of them are as fraudulently attractive as a teenage girl’s Facebook pictures. Instead of delivering the bountiful hedonistic experience you expect, they dish up dry stodgy fare with a side of flavourlessness and a sprinkle of food poisoning. But this evil-type buffet is altogether avoidable if you follow the guide I have selflessly researched through many weeks of eating my way through Sydney’s buffets.
So here they are, in no particular order…
Café Mix at the Shangri-La
- Best Feature – The desserts. Despite my inferior stomach capacity I would seriously consider paying the $75 just to pig out on the desserts.
- Worst Feature – Some of the hot dishes were average.
The seafood buffet at the Shangri-La runs on Friday and Saturday nights and costs $75 per head.
The salad buffet was actually one of my favourite parts, boasting a variety of outrageously fresh high quality Asian salads. The hot buffet was a bit hit and miss, many dishes were flawless while a few, such as the meatballs, pakoras and pasta were average but not inedible.
However it was the dessert that absolutely blew my mind. Each individually portioned dessert was fine dining quality showing amazing attention to detail. There were countless artisan cakes and sweets in addition to a made-to-order crepe station, macarons, cheeses, white and dark chocolate fondue fountains and even a fairy floss maker.
Cafe Mix, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9250 6206
Web: Cafe Mix at the Shangri-La
Seafood Buffet at Table:30, ParkRoyal Parramatta
- Best Feature – It’s not a large buffet and actually felt quite intimate; the quality was on par with the city buffets
- Worst Feature – The desserts on display were medicore, stick to the made-to-order desserts instead
Avoid the city parking nuisance and head west to ParkRoyal Parramatta on a Saturday night for their seafood buffet ($65/person) which includes free parking! If you’re preempting a food coma, you’ll be delighted to know that their rooms upstairs are newly renovated, making the hotel an affordable luxe option for a ‘tourist in your own city’ type weekend getaway.
30 Phillip Street, Parramatta NSW
Phone: (02) 9685 0377
Glass Brasserie Buffet at Hilton Sydney
- Best Feature The attention to detail on the little things, every element seems to be so well refined
- Worst Feature The congee wasn’t served with many condiments
Celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s Glass Brasserie breakfast buffet is one of the most glamorous breakfast venues our founding editor Jen, talks of – it was even her choice of hotel on her wedding night (and first breakfast as a married couple)! The soaring ceiling maximises every view of the Queen Victoria Building and the quality of absolutely every dish is impeccable. This is fine dining at breakfast.
Hilton Hotel, 488 George Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9265 6068
Sydney Tower Buffet
- Best Feature: The absolutely stunning views and the exciting variety
- Worst Feature: The line-up for dessert!
I would highly recommend this buffet for anyone sightseeing in Sydney on a weekday. It’s the perfect place to take visiting relatives, as you can eat some authentic Australian cuisine with a beautiful view for just $55 during weekday lunches.
Sydney Tower Buffet
100 Market St Sydney, NSW 02000
Phone: (02) 8223 3800
Web: Sydney Tower Buffet
Bahbq Brazillian Grill
- Best Feature – uh. The meats…
- Worst Feature – meat sweats…
For $49, Bahbq serves all you can eat Churrasco meats at the table – endless food without even having to stand up! Check out the full review here.
35-37 Albany St, Crows Nest
Phone: (02) 9966 8203
Yass Korean BBQ
$30 for unlimited Korean sides and meat that you cook yourself at your table.
Yass Korean BBQ
Level 1, 39 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW
Phone: (02) 9746 1101
Meidi BBQ House
- Best Feature – The rotisserie style charcoal barbecue at every table.
Worst Feature – The same-ness of the marinade
This buffet is $28.80 on weekdays and an extra $1 on weekends. It is set up so that you choose from an array of uncooked skewers and cook them on your own personal rotisserie charcoal barbeque.
Meidi BBQ House
100 Church Street, Parramatta NSW
Phone: (02) 9635 9098
Zen Oasis Vegetarian Restaurant, Berrima
- Best Feature – You feel rejuvenated, even after a two hour eating session – it must be the Southern Highlands air!
- Worst Feature – A lot of dishes aren’t recognisable so you need to go into this with gusto and just commit to trying everything! It’s all vegetarian so must be good for you.
This little slice of vegetarian heaven is located quite a distance from the city, tucked away in the Southern Highlands. It’s well worth the drive for a vegetarian feast of a high quality at a reasonable price.
230 Medway Road, Berrima NSW
(Just off the Berrima exit from the Hume Highway)
Phone: (02) 4877 1285
Bookings are highly recommended.
Feast at the Sheraton
- Best Feature – The décor was the nicest of all the buffets I visited and the selection of roast meats was impressive.
- Worst Feature – The price of the buffet and the drinks just seemed a bit too high to really feel like you were getting your money’s worth.
I checked out this buffet when it was decked out in full Christmas in July decorations and it had a very warm and welcoming vibe. There was even a woman singing and playing the piano which added to the ambiance. The buffet dinner costs $85 on weeknights and $99 on weekends.
Feast at the Sheraton
Level 1, Sheraton on the Park, 161 Elizabeth Street
Phone: (02) 9286 6000
Web: Feast at the Sheraton
The Star Buffet, Bankstown
- Best Feature – The speedy turnover. A great variety can be ruined by stale food that has been left in the bain marie, and the fact that I saw just the watermelon alone get refreshed 3 times within the first 15 minutes of sitting down, shows that the buffet is not being too stingy about holding back food. Also, since it’s a relatively full sitting all the way through meal service, it ensures that all the items get the turnover that it needs.
- Worst Feature – The salad bar. We all know that the salad bar generally is at a buffet as a token amount of green, and I really felt like if I had to critique something, more could’ve been done with the cold section for the lunch service.
Fellow contributor Tammi, visited the much talked about Bankstown Star Buffet in search of unlimited quality food at rock bottom prices. With prices ranging from $16.10 to $23.30 depending on time of day and day of the week, its pretty affordable no matter when you feel like feasting. She was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity and would highly recommend it to those whose appetites are bigger than their incomes.
A photo posted by I Ate My Way Through ® (@iatemywaythru) on
32 Kitchener Parade Bankstown
Phone: (02) 9791 6655
Web: Bankstown Star Buffet
Not quite part of this list, but definitely worthy of a mention, are the ‘available for a limited time‘ themed buffets. Sometimes they’re one day specials, and other times, they stretch for over a week or two. Recent visits include:
The Grace Hotel’s Flavours of Malaysia
Shangri-la Hotel’s Philippine Food Week
So there you have it, the summation of months of research into the gluttonous world of buffets. If you have any questions or want to know any information about one of the buffets that wasn’t included in this post, feel free to leave a comment.