>> February 8, 2012
If you are a long-time reader of The Food Book, you would know that I am an avid fan of buffet breakfasts.
The next place to try on my list was the Hilton Sydney. On weekends, their buffet breakfast runs from 7.00am to 11.00am. I made a reservation online with Dimmi - incidentally, this was the first time that I tried Dimmi. It was pleasing to see that the booking went through without any problems at all! (I don't know why I felt skeptical about it in the first place - perhaps I feel like reservations are more definite when you speak with a human being over the phone. Sometimes I worry with online bookings that the reservation will be lost in cyberspace!)
The full buffet breakfast costs $42 and there was a promotion where you could have a glass of Chandon for an additional dollar. Who could resist this for a dollar? Certainly not me, nor my companion Rehactor. Two glasses please!
I was doubly pleased to see that we had a great table - right by the window overlooking George St and facing the QVB.
I was a fan of the natural sunlight - this created a great brunch atmosphere.
The restaurant was quite full and upon our arrival at 9.30am, most of the tables were filled.
The staff member who seated us was extremely friendly and after asking if we had been here before (the answer was no), she gave a quick rundown on where everything was. This was helpful because unlike some other buffet breakfasts, the food is spread out over two areas of the restaurant.
Along one side included:
- the hot food section - bain maries filled with mushrooms with spinach, bacon, scrambled eggs, tomatoes, sausages, hash browns, french toast, little cups of baked eggs
- asian breakfast foods - congee, fried rice, dimsums
- cold meats and salads - ham, smoked salmon etc
- cereals and milk (I ignored this part - I don't go to buffet breakfast to have something that comes from a box and takes two seconds to prepare at home ;) )
- Fruit juices - apple, pineapple, mango, orange
- Refrigerated yoghurts.
For example, there was....
Fresh honey - the Swissotel brunch had this too, but I noticed that the Hilton had a better setup for actually getting the honey. It was a lot easier to scoop the dripping honey from the bottom of the plate shown below. At the Swissotel, they had this slanting contraption to catch the honey that dripped into tiny little pots - hard to get out!
And I haven't even posted any photos of the hot food yet!
My first plate was a selection of items from the bain maries.
I liked the mushrooms so much, I had to go back for some more in my second plate!
In terms of ordering omelettes and the like, there was a good system happening. A small paper order form was near the hot foods and a cheerful staff member stood duty to help you fill it out. There were options for different types of omelettes, eggs (poached, benedict etc), waffles, pancakes.....you could also specify on the form how you wanted your eggs to be cooked.
Once the form is filled out, you are given a number to bring back to your table and the food is brought back to you when cooked i.e. table service. I thought this was great! Something so simple, yet so efficient! At other places, you often have to hover around the cooking area, waiting for the chef to cook your items and then take it back to your table.
The tableware was crisp and clean - everything felt new, from the glasses to the table settings. I ordered a pot of English breakfast tea.
The pancakes were light and fluffy. The drizzle of blackberry and maple syrup on the side made it a deliciously sweet plate.
Waffles = yum. I have not had waffles in ages - who has time to make waffles at home these days? Who even has a waffle maker?
The Italian omelette had capsicum, onions and some other veggies folded inside the egg with slices of bocconcini on top. Unfortunately, by the time we finished the other dishes, this had gotten a bit cold and hard. Still quite tasty though.
By this stage, my stomach was quietly begging for mercy. As such, I made one last plate of sweets.
Although the Hilton buffet breakfast is a bit pricier, the price different shows in the quality and variety of items that they have on offer. The service was impeccable and food was replenished regularly. We left feeling satisfied and almost a bit overwhelmed by how good everything was.
I would definitely revisit - and after such a great breakfast experience, I would like to see what the Glass Brasserie is like at lunch or dinner!