Cuisine: International, buffet
Location: Perth CBD, The Sheraton
The Sunday Times was offering a Split The Bill coupon where several Perth restaurants allowed you to effectively buy one meal and get another free. My parents, grandma and I chose to go to Monterey’s at The Sheraton where I have eaten several times before. The normal price is $50 a head for a buffet style lunch with cooked prawns, fresh oysters, crab, soups, several mains, vegetables, salads, breads, a cheeseboard, and to round things off, a range of desserts. With the coupon making it $25 a head, this is an absolute steal! To get so much variety at that price is probably unrivalled.
Despite that, the overall meal was above average but not wow. I started off with plenty of prawns which need to be cleaned so this requires a bit of patience but it’s worth the wait. After a separate bowl filled with prawn heads and shells and a cleansing of fingers in the finger bowl, I enjoyed my prawns with one of the sauces on offer and some capers. I’m not really a fan of crab nor raw oysters so I gave that a miss.
Next, I tried the potato and leek soup which was creamy and tasty but requires a lot of extra seasoning. Maybe certain meals are made like that so people can add as much seasoning as they want to their taste and to also cater for people who don’t want too much salt in their meals. I found it rather odd though that the soup lacked salt and while one can add salt, it’s not the same as when salt is added during the cooking process.
For the mains I tried barramundi with salsa verde which was tender and subtly flavoured; the Asian beef stir fry which was the best meal of the day in my opinion; a tomato pasta with olives and capers which was OK; creamy potatoes which once again required lots of seasoning but was tender and good otherwise; a spicy beef curry which was good but rather runny; and some tasty sweet roasted pumpkin. They also had a carvery with other sauces which I didn’t try, but next to that is a range of pickled accompaniments, such as artichokes, mushrooms, caramelised onions, mushrooms, and roasted red capsicum. I tried several of these but didn’t taste too much except whatever they were soaked in which was a little disappointing to my mind as the actual flavours seemed to have been drowned out. They also have a chef in the middle of the buffet which can whip up certain dishes available. I had some crab filled dumpling like balls with this amazing sauce. I can’t say what the dumpling mixture was exactly and I didn’t care for it.
Finally, I tried a few of the desserts on offer such as a strawberry cheesecake, a tart, and a chocolate slice. They were all pretty good, in particular, the cheesecake. There were other pastries available too plus ice creams and some other desserts in martini glasses.
Service, as usual, is at its usual high standards expected of a hotel. Can’t fault them here.
Verdict: For $25 with the coupon the variety is amazing and gives you the chance to try nearly everything or just what you like. There were a few meals which I really enjoyed but nothing really stood out and I would have preferred a single meal which was really tasty instead. Then again, other people may be absolutely loving most of the offerings.
Price: Moderately Expensive (Bargain with coupon)
Value: Poor (Excellent with coupon)
Recommendation: Worth Visiting Again (personally I wouldn’t want to go back and would prefer to order a main meal but I figure other people may prefer variety over taste)
See my prior blog post:
Food Review of Monterey’s – Jan 2009
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