Cuisine: International, buffet
Location: Perth CBD, Pan Pacific Perth Hotel (formerly The Sheraton)
Once again, The Sunday Times had another of those coupons allowing a two for one deal at Monterey’s – an international buffet at the Pan Pacific Perth Hotel. Under new ownership of The Pan Pacific, my last visit was an excellent experience and a huge turnaround from prior visits.
My family and I had gone on a Monday afternoon and were taken to our table. I was feeling quite hungry so I went down to the buffet and helped myself to a variety of offerings.
The menu always changes so I was a little disappointed that some of the dishes from my last visit weren’t there. I helped myself to plenty of cooked prawns and a dollop of thousand island dressing and began the task of cleaning them. A bowl is provided for the shells and another bowl of lemon water to clean your hands. After some time, I was able to satisfy my hunger and enjoyed the prawns in the sauce. They also had fresh oysters and crab but I’m not a huge fan of either and prefer them cooked in a dish.
On my next round I went to the seafood salads display. I love smoked salmon so I took a few rolls of salmon; calamari salad; a yabbie; marinated artichokes; roasted capsicum salad; olives; and marinated fennel. All were enjoyable and I was happy to eat a yabbie after a long time and enjoy the chunky sweetish flesh it offers.
I decided to move on to mains and helped myself to a small serve of a range of dishes:
- Penne pasta in a mushroom sauce – quite good flavours but needed more seasoning. Fortunately with salt and pepper on the table it tasted better.
- Mongolian casserole with steamed rice – lovely tender beef with lovely flavours
- A tender steamed Barramundi dish – a bit bland and tasteless unfortunately. Needs more seasoning.
- An Asian stir fry type dish – I liked this very much with a slightly salty sauce encasing the crispy beef.
- Apricot chicken with button mushrooms – looked better than what it tasted but it wasn’t too bad.
- Roasted potatoes – soft and fluffy and pretty good.
They also have chefs in the middle of the buffet that can cook a few dishes. They had a tom yum broth and also a bacon and cheese quesadilla with sour cream and chives. I opted for the latter and thoroughly enjoyed the flavours of the bacon and cheese and richness of the sour cream. There was also a chick pea and chorizo soup which sounded interesting so I took a little less than a ladle. It was a very clear and smooth soup and had a lovely warm and comforting flavour, perfect for a cold winters day. There’s also bread rolls; a cheese selection; a carvery; and a selection of salads and fresh fruits as part of the buffet. I took a slice of bread which appeared like cheese bread but tasted like semolina. Not to my taste.
And last but not least, there is the dessert bar. I tried a variety of tarts, pastries and other small delights which fill you up fast. There was a coconut type roll which was lovely; a delicious chocolate tart with chocolate pastry; and I had a spoonful of a white and dark chocolate mousse which was fantastic. I heard there was cappuccino ice cream so after loosening my belt a few notches (try 4!) and waiting a bit of time, I went back for a small scoop of the ice cream which was delicious. There were plenty of other desserts and 3 other ice cream flavours so I’m sure there’s something to delight your taste buds. Tea and coffee are also served but I left that for my family to enjoy. The service was excellent once again but slightly down on last time’s standards (still very high mind you). I was really full and enjoyed my day off work.
Monterey’s Food Review Summary
Verdict: For $25 with the coupon the variety is amazing and allows you to try a wide selection of dishes that suit your tastes. I think my last visit was far superior with some of the dishes this time round lacking the right flavour balance and seasoning. The meals weren’t horrible though and there were other dishes to lift the experience. I loved the prawns, smoked salmon, yabbie, quesadilla, soup, Asian stir fry, Mongolian casserole, mousse, certain tarts, and the cappuccino ice cream. Excellent value, pleasant setting, excellent variety and service. There were plenty of other people there, some of which used the coupon to enjoy a lovely spread.
Price: Expensive (Bargain with coupon)
Value: Excellent (with coupon even better)
Monterey’s Restaurant Details
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