Once again, this week was the end of term and time for the culinary arts & hospitality students from the Austral...
It seems compulsory these days for every hotel to have a buffet restaurant, the one where you go for a massive breakfast just because you can, or lunch / dinner when you can’t decide what you want to eat. Crown Perth has the Atrium, which offers a large selection and is probably the best buffet in town. Crown in Melbourne is big enough to have several such restaurants, and the king of them is Conservatory.
It’s a very impressive looking restaurant, and as you would expect it’s not a cheap place to dine although the price varies considerably depending when you want to eat. Breakfast is by far the cheapest, at $39.50 per head for the full buffet seven days a week. Weekday lunch is $55 per head, although until August 1st it’s only $45 per head including a glass of wine & coffee – a good offer that we took advantage of. Saturday lunch is $85, Sunday lunch $95 and dinner goes up to an eye-watering $108 per head on Saturday nights.
See here for detailed information on pricing and current specials.
Conservatory is a beautiful restaurant, and can seem a little intimidating when you’re in your shorts just wanting some breakfast. It’s actually a very comfortable dining experience, and not as “stuffy” as it might appear. The service was very prompt, and staff very friendly.
Plenty of everything for breakfast, even healthy things if you’re so inclined.
You can’t leave a breakfast buffet without having (at least) one plate of cooked items. There’s an omelette station which became busy very quickly (and made a damn fine omelette).
…and a chocolate fountain – there’s two of them so you can have milk, dark, white or caramel. Tough choice, especially at breakfast.
Fresh pastries and pancakes with all the trimmings.
More healthy things.
A nice touch – smoothies served in individual bottles. This mango, orange & passionfruit smoothie was delicious.
You could tell that the hash browns were freshly made – nothing out of a bag here.
Over to lunch, and food from a variety of cuisines is available. The curry (and accompaniments) was as good as you would expect to get from a decent Indian restaurant.
Barbecue pork, duck and pork belly…okay then, if you force me.
Not something you normally see in a buffet restaurant.
There were pulled beef sliders at this buffet – and they were absolutely delicious. I’d have been happy to pay for these on their own.
Plenty of seafood, of course.
As you would expect, the dessert selection was of a very high standard – perhaps a little too fancy for some tastes, I suspect.
The ice cream bar has Jaffas…and of course there’s always the chocolate fountains! We were very keen to try the High Tea buffet, although it’s only available on weekends and was booked out well in advance.
We enjoyed both our meals at Conservatory, although I wouldn’t pay the high price for dinner or a weekend lunch – no doubt the selection of food is better, but there’s only so much you can eat and I suspect the inflated prices might be more a reflection of demand given the number of people in Crown on weekends.
If you’re staying in or visiting Crown in Melbourne then I recommend a visit to Conservatory if you enjoy a buffet meal – just make sure you know what the cost is going to be before you go.