Recently I was invited to sample the breakfast selection at Harvest Buffet, located in Star City Casino. Whenever I’m staying in a hotel, my tendency is to make a dash for the nearest exit each morning in search of breakfast cafés as bain-maries of slightly warmed eggs and undercooked bacon are what usually greet me in the hotel’s restaurant.
I’m happy to say then that HB is one hotel breakfast I’d actually be salivating for! The dining area is expansive. It’s well presented and offers plenty of natural light. There’s a fully licensed bar and Vittoria or Aurora coffee available to ensure that all needs are met. When it comes to food, the variety blew me away.
The offerings are split into different ‘stations’ such as Chinese, traditional, cold meats, Indian, breads, stewed & fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurt, muesli, juices, tea, waffles, pancakes and soft serve. The stations are well separated so there’s plenty of space between them and I experienced literally no crowding or waiting. Condiments are plentiful in each area whether they’re capers, mustards, tomato sauce, lemon, butters, jams, marshmallows, meringues, brownies… the list goes on. I found everything to be clean and neatly laid out.
Each station had at least one staff member preparing fresh dishes and it’s all overseen by Star City’s executive chef, Uday Huja and I can only take my hat off to a buffet that manages to serve food of this calibre in such quantities.
In fact, I found each item to be so fresh that I question how much wastage there could be in order to maintain this level of quality. I did observe some pieces of char su pork being discarded as the bowl was replenished and I’d like to think that this is an exception to the rule.
The beefatn Harvest Buffet is sourced from Riverine Beef in Northern New South Wales, the fruits and vegetables are from Pikes Creek Orchard, the oysters are sourced from Coffin Bay and Smoky Bay in South Australia and the salmon is sourced from Huon Salmon.
Steamed bao are the main attraction at the Chinese station. They were soft and light but paled in comparison to the flavour of the maple glazed char su pork with it’s chewy, caramelised consistency. There are enough toppings to make it your own including the delicious hoisin sauce. Super fresh choy sum with a whallup of garlic and congee with a great consistency and typical saltiness.
The traditional station contains all of the usual suspects including (hallelujah!) crispy bacon. The hash browns were fantastic; crispy and fluffy where they needed to be. The scrambled eggs utilise Pace Farm eggs and were prepared and presented professionally. On this day, lamb chops with rosemary were also being served however I did not sample them. Missing from the photos are the home style baked beans, sauteed buttered mushrooms with fresh herbs, soft boiled eggs, mini ham & cheese croissants and pizza foccacia. What’s available is often refreshed though so you’ll most likely find something different by the time you visit.
In the fresh bread section you’ll find, as you can imagine, almost every type of bread imaginable as well as cheddar, blue and brie cheeses, chutneys, quince paste, jams and pastries.
Only at a buffet can you combine such polar opposite flavours. I was excited to try them all so some of my plates (like the one above) had some unusual mixes!
At the Western station, cooks are on hand to make fresh omelettes. Simply choose a few ingredients and minutes later they’re ready. There was pretty much nothing to fault with mine – fillings were plentiful and fresh. Any missing seasoning I added myself.
Single serves of eggs Benedict are available with a hollandaise sauce that is thick but flavour wise, spot on. These little pans are also used to plate-up single servings of roasted garlic & thyme mushroom, sauteed spinach, heirloom tomato and soft poached egg on toasted brioche.
Towards the end of the Western station is an Indian section which during my visit offered North Indian chickpea curry, Jerra rice with cumin and coriander, pea & mushroom Marsala and crispy pappadums. The chickpeas had a gentle, warming flavour with plenty of spices while the Marsala packed a lot of heat.
The sweet and dessert section continued to be just as impressive. The freshly made waffles and pancakes have more toppings and sides than one could ever wish for. There were prune, apricot, pear or peach compotes, honey yoghurt, coconut cherry yoghurt, pecan honey yoghurt, passionfruit yoghurt, fresh melons, strawberries, muesli slices, cereals, teas and more.
As far as beverages go, the juices available include pineapple, cranberry, watermelon and apple. Some of these are fresh such as the watermelon while others like the pineapple are bottled. Mixes available are apple, carrot, ginger & lemon juice or kiwi, apple, peach and mango juice. The latter was stunning and my pick of the lot.
With weekly specials as well as seasonal changes, you can expect to always find something fresh at Harvest Buffet. It is open for breakfast from 7am to 10am Monday to Friday and to 10:30am Saturday and Sunday. $38 for adults and $19 for children.
Address: Level 1, Astral Residences, The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Payment Options: Credit cards, EFTPOS, cash