To celebrate that the Bureaucrat was once again a bureaucrat, Mother Hen and Mr Strong took me to brunch at Collins Kitchen.
It's been over five years since I ate at CK, which is inside the Grand Hyatt hotel. Readers would know that I love the seafood buffet at the Conservatory inside Crown Casino - and Conservatory has served us all well in the past 10 years. But my golly gosh, I think I have a new love - Collins Kitchen.
The buffet brunch is only available on Sundays. Inside it's very plush and has just the right balance of blinginess to the place - opulent but not garish.
What differentiates CK from its peers is that most of the dishes that are on offer are cooked to order. Having said that, there's still quite a few dishes that are already prepared for you to dive right in.
The layout of the food preparation area is divided up into different sections.
You've got the cold seafood, sushi and sashimi section (to ensure freshness the sashimi is prepared on request).
The deli/salad/cheese section.
My favourite section is where the hot foods are. You have French-dressed lamb chops, chicken fillets, fresh fish grilled to order. A pizzeria (the pizzas were perfect - thin, crispy crust and great toppings). A variety of fresh veg cooked to order, on the day there were mushrooms, brocollini and squash, which I love. Fresh egg pasta, cooked to order.
A Chinese bbq section (roast duck, char siu, bbq pork, soya sauce chicken).
Steamed seafood dumplings, individual portions of steamed barramundi, some sort of Chinese soup, rice noodles cooked to order, a range of Asian stir fries... that's all the stuff I could remember.
The dessert section is just divine. The kids (big and small!)were so happy with the dessert section - it was like being inside Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
A range of cakes...Cooked-to-order pancakes (in plain or pistachio flavours) and waffles. An ice-creamery, handmade chocolate truffles...
...creme brulee (which was so smooth, luscious and sinful), toffee apples, macarons, chocolate fountain...this place is a gastronome's dream come true.
Food - 10
Service - 10
Ambience - 10
Price - 10
Collins Kitchen has raised the bar for the upmarket buffets. Although I didn't eat breakfast beforehand, I only, sadly, tried about 80% of the food that was on offer. More so than Conservatory, I was so full from brunch at Collins Kitchen that I didn't eat dinner that night - and for the next day, I hardly ate anything. By that brunch alone, I would have easily consumed enough calories to last me a week.
I was so impressed with the quality and range of the food and the exceptional service (all the waiters and the kitchen staff were so welcoming and responsive) that I booked our family Christmas brunch to be held here. I'm so looking forward to trying out all the stuff I couldn't fit in my belly! I can't wait for December to come!
And for those who are obsessed with creating their dream kitchen - the kitchen at CK is to-die-for.
I'm in love with Collins Kitchen.
Grand Hyatt Hotel
123 Collins St
Telephone: 9653 4671