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. This times coupon was 40% off two meals rather than the usual buy one get one free offer. This would be my third visit since new ownership of The Pan Pacific..
My family and I had gone on a Thursday afternoon and as we were taken to our table, I noticed the buffet was quite different. Where the prawns and seafood usually are, there were desserts instead. I had a bad feeling that the range had been reduced. I wasn’t particularly hungry so when I went down to the buffet, I did a round to see what was on offer. My worst fears were confirmed and the buffet was massively reduced. I think I lost my appetite. Normally, paying $50 for the usual spread they have on offer is fair, with a coupon, paying around $25 as I have done so in the past is a bargain. I do enjoy trying different dishes and I don’t go all out to stuff myself like a pig. With the current coupon at $30 a head, the buffet still was good value but I was disappointed. I don’t think the buffet is worth the full price though for what is offered. Well the range might be reduced but if the food is tasty, that is the main thing.
So with no seafood I went and helped myself to some smoked salmon; a few cold meats; olives; feta; some cheese from the cheeseboard; and pickled artichokes. I love smoked salmon and this was tasty and the other items made for a nice start.
On my next round I tried beef pimento; fried rice; roasted potatoes; and some steamed barramundi with dill. The fried rice was average, the beef was not tender, the roasted potatoes required salt, and the steamed barramundi while tender needed more flavour and was a little dry. I was really disappointed and my sentiments were echoed by my family too.
By now I had lost most of my appetite and wasn’t particularly interested in another round of the remaining dishes on offer – crumbed chicken; mei goreng; salads; and a roast pork carvery. I headed to the much reduced dessert bar and chose frozen mango cheesecake with chocolate flakes. This was quite refreshing and enjoyable and tasted a little like mango kulfi, the Indian ice cream. There was also chocolate mousse with passionfruit; Turkish delight; a fruit platter; and another cheesecake I believe. After trying one of Heston Blumethal’s recipes which was a frozen chocolate passionfruit cheesecake, I thought passionfruit and chocolate won’t go and I was right. Someone did try the chocolate mousse which was tasty but the passionfruit on top ruined the flavours.
After the disappointing buffet on offer, no one was even interested in sticking around for tea or coffee. Service was friendly but down on the usual high standards with our plates not cleared in a timely fashion and our glasses empty at times when it usually is always being topped up. We did leave feedback with the restaurant. We’ve been coming here for years but this was very disappointing and the standard has fallen to an all time low. I doubt I’d be coming back again.
Monterey’s Food Review Summary
Verdict: The coupon offering a $50 buffet at $30 only is a bargain. While the buffet range was massively reduced, it still offered good value. However, come tasting time, I was very disappointed with the average tasting meals at best. I can’t really say there were any highlights and were quick to leave. The food wasn’t horrible, but it was average. I’d prefer to have ordered a meal at another restaurant instead. I’m not sure what has happened, but the standard has really fallen to an all time low. Your money is best spent elsewhere.
Price: Expensive (Reasonable with coupon)
Value: Poor (with coupon still poor)
Recommendation: Eat At Home Instead
Monterey’s Restaurant Details
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