13 Aug Melba, Southbank
We had a family celebration at Melba buffet, located inside the Langham hotel with a lovely riverside view. We decided to come during a weekday lunchtime, which was the cheapest and least busy time to go. I’m still not a huge fan of buffets because of the excess, waste and greed it brings out in people – I’d personally prefer a smaller but better quality meal at a nicer restaurant. Going to buffets on every now and then is OK though, and it was a special occasion.
Despite hearing that the seafood isn’t always that great, the seafood from the Japanese section was quite good on this occasion. There was seaweed salad, miso soup and a variety of condiments to collect. If there wasn’t any nigiri or sushi rolls we wanted, we could get them freshly made by the sushi chef. He also had a flame torch at his disposal for use with salmon or kingfish nigiri if we so desired. I didn’t try a lot of the other seafood, but from what I tasted it was OK.
I didn’t personally order anything from the Chinese section but we did share some dishes as a table. The char kway teow could have done with more wok hei and the noodles could have been a little less squidgey with more charred bits. It was nice to see lots of extra ingredients included though.
At the Indian station the main thing I wanted to try was the naan. All sorts of naan were able to be cooked by the chef including cheese, cheese and spinach, garlic and herb and lamb, garlic and chilli. I had the lamb, which was tasty, soft and fluffy. Of course, we also sampled the popular M&M naan, which tasted like…melted M&Ms in naan. Also available were sauces, chillis, curries, daal and chicken tikka.
The rotisserie was plenty of inviting meats to choose from. The peking duck pancakes were a bit dry but the rest of the dish was pretty good. The roast pork was almost melt-in-your-mouth, packed with flavour and came with crispy, fatty crackling. On the other hand, the wagyu topside was quite dry and a bit tasteless.
And of course, we come to the Lindt milk chocolate fountain. Assorted dipping ingredients included marshmallows, sour straps and chocolate freckles. Today the dessert section also featured vanilla and strawberry ice cream. Not usually a fan of strawberry ice cream but I gave the Conniseur a go. It had streaks of strawberry ice running through it was a actually quite good – a far cry from the standard tub of neopolitan or ice cream cake. I made myself a choc top with vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone, which I then covered with chocolate. The ice cream hardened up the chocolate to create a DIY choc top. There was a range of desserts and also warm strawberry crumble set next to the chocolate fountain. Of the desserts, my favourites were the Raspberry Chocolate Triangle and the coffee tart. For those wanting something healthier to help offset the excess and guilt, there’s a (small) selection of fruit on the bottom shelf of the dessert cabinet
After dessert I ate a bit of cheese to help my teeth recover slightly from all the sugar. Today we had a selection of chevre, Edam, Swiss, Brie, Cheddar, blue and Fermier (I think).
The Langham Hotel
1 Southgate Ave
Southbank, VIC, 3006
1800 641 107