I’m not a big fan of buffets. Sometimes they can be nice but a lot of the time it’s an exercise in choosing the dishes that are worth eating. They are generally a lot more expensive than eating a la carte and one often ends up eating too much and feeling very uncomfortable. Often the food has been standing out for a while and a lot of the dishes are not great quality to begin with.
|Click here for gallery of Lunch at Catharina’
This last Sunday, at Catharina’s at the Steenberg hotel, I had the pleasure of experiencing the best buffet of my life so far. It is priced at R180 per head and it’s worth every cent. The selection is enormous, but what differentiates it from other buffets is that each and every dish is made perfectly. Each section had original dishes, rather than the tired old traditional buffet dishes. For instance, the salad section allows you to create your own salad from a huge selection of fresh ingredients. The fish on offer included seared tuna, smoked butterfish and grilled mackerel in addition to a selection of calamari and shrimps. Each and every dish was tasty, fresh, well made and well presented.
I tried the lamb, beef and pork. Each of them tender and moist. The crackling on the pork was the best I’ve had. The veggies were in good shape, not soggy. The potatoes were nice and crisp and the gravy hot. The desserts were phenomenal. The malva pudding was moist and light. The chocolate eclairs melted in my mouth. The chocolate mousse was in another league and the cheese cake made my tastebuds feel like they had died and gone to heaven. I couldn’t fit in any more otherwise I would have tried the other multitude of desserts and even smashed some cheese and biscuits.
The wines are of a high standard but quite expensive. We drank a very nice red at R150 a bottle and there wasn’t much cheaper than that. The service was good, there are enough waiters to ensure the plates are cleared timeously and other requests attended to.
It was not a cheap lunch, but the setting is beautiful (have a look at some pics in the gallery) and the buffet is really at another level. If you’re looking for something for a special occasion, you’ve just found it.
Tel: 021 713 2222