I recently had the pleasure of dining at QT’s Bazaar not once, but twice in one weekend. It’s plain to see why this bright, flavoursome and colourful ‘Interactive Marketplace’ was recently voted ‘Best Hotel Breakfast in 2014’ in the Gourmet Traveller Awards.
What’s the trick to enjoying a range of tantalising buffet food without overdoing it? Beats us, we’ve never managed to leave a buffet without needing to loosen a button or two. In all seriousness though, there are some tactics and rules of thumb when it comes to working your way around a buffet.
Do as the Sicilians do: trick your brain
A wise Sicilian once said to me, the trick to buffet eating is to eat fast, before your brain can catch up with your belly. While we certainly don’t encourage you to partake in a feeding frenzy at the award-winning Bazaar, there are some techniques to make the most of your culinary outing.
Dinner at Bazaar is a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean fare. In true Gold Coast fashion, shellfish lovers will want to enjoy the fruits of the sea foremostly, so shimmy over to the seafood station to indulge in meaty king prawns, crab, scallops, mussels and oysters.
Next it’s time to request your cooked-to-order steak which comes delivered to your table. While you’re there, why not order the evening’s ‘tasting platter too, an array of bite-sized morsels delivered to your table. A buffet with a waiter you ask? That’s right; it’s all class at QT Gold Coast.
Pace yourself as you select your steak sides though, especially when it comes to the potatoes – these crispy, golden roasted parcels are carb-heavy and can ruin your buffet game. Favour the fresh organic salads and take the opportunity to squeeze in a few more juicy prawns atop your steak for your very own ‘DIY’ reef n’beef.
Sample a basket of yum-cha from the Asian wok or perhaps some san choy bow. Just make sure you leave room for a slice of wood-fired pizza.
For dessert you can opt for an eclectic cheese platter (don’t forget the jamon), or the sweeter tooths might prefer a sampling of mini macarons or panna cotta. If you’ve got room, try a little from each range. The kids (and big kids) will delight in the Willy Wonka-esque sundae station.
Wine-time rookie error: rather than order a whole bottle of wine, ask your waiter to recommend a drop (or a cocktail) to pair with your courses. Red, or white wine for that matter, doesn’t necessarily go with every stage of the buffet experience.
Now, after all that delicious indulgence the night before, you might wonder how I faced breakfast with a mouth wide open? Everyone knows the best way to start your day is with a great breakfast. I dove right in.
With so many fresh options on offer, the art of breakfast at QT is a simple balancing act.
The true art however, is managing how to fit bacon onto every plate.
Bacon with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Bacon and hot cakes with maple syrup (aka Canadian Breakfast).
Bacon with scrambled eggs and side of tomato for the ‘healthy’ option.
Bacon with a fried egg and potato rosti.
You get the gist.
Back to that balancing act. Aside from the bacon, you can indulge in fresh fruits, mini pots of bircher muesli or Greek yoghurts, endless choices of Danish pastries and flaky croissants and then there’s the cereal station.
If that’s not enough, perhaps you’re after a more protein rich breakfast of (more) bacon, Italian sausages and sautéed mushrooms? If my memory serves me, there was also a selection of cold-cuts available for breakfast too. How very continental.
To wet the whistle, choose from an array of fresh juices, strawberry or chocolate milk drinks – or almond or soy if you prefer. For your caffeine fix; treat yourself to bottomless cups of T2 tea or filter coffee.
On top of the Gourmet Traveller award, Bazaar is getting a well-deserved gold star of approval from me too; you’d be hard pressed to find a better buffet breakfast (or better bacon) anywhere else in the country.