From what was formerly Botanica Brasserie fame prior to the end of 2012, Feast Restaurant at Sydney's Sheraton on the Park Hotel continues to thrive. When you visit this exquisite mecca of seafood and buffet heaven, you'll relate to where I am coming from.
My fortune cookie
I initially visited Feast back in 2012 just as it opened, and so much has changed since. Some food options change on a daily basis; and the service, charm and culinary muses continue to delight and amaze the foodie inside of me that keeps wanting bigger and better. That is big shoes to fill to begin with.
Peking Duck Pancake
Today (as at the time of writing this) I was fortunate to have been invited to try out their menu offering for Chinese New Year. A stunning (and prosperous) way to bring in the year of the horse. As I was part of the media, I enjoyed a scrumptious three-course lunch with as much as I wanted to drink in a private area with a group of other positive, awesome media professionals. We all got dressed up for the occasion too. Only a silk dress with the finest shoes will do.
Getting into the Chinese New Year spirit
One of the chefs is Korean, and she commented that she still celebrates Chinese New Year. On this, I happened to have been involved in kicking off the Chinese New Year (food) fanfare for Sydney Food Lovers. Then again, so I should. I started this site out of nothing for your sheer enjoyment. Stop it Justine, you're digressing.
Loved these oysters
The table was elegantly decorated with all the cutlery needed for this three course feast (no pun intended), as well as bowls to place oyster shells and used prawn shells into. There were a couple of bowls of water with a lemon wedge to wet our hands after handling the most freshest prawns ever. The young and the old amongst us loved the prawns.
The champagne upon arrival was bliss
That is it guys. Sure I tried the offerings for Chinese New Year (including a first ever while at Feast, the Peking Duck Pancakes - divine as); however your Feast experience at luxury and world renowned Sheraton on the Park is not complete without the seafood. You must be in the mood to eat (literally like a horse - terrible pun, and no offence to anyone born under the sign of the horse on the Chinese zodiac) like a horse, and be a seafood lover simultaneously to thoroughly relish this experience in abundance.
My seafood entree
The prawns and the oysters were too good to pass up. I loved the oysters. All of it was fresh. After tasting the prawns, you can honestly ascertain how fresh they really are. You see them as you walk into Feast.
Also loved these glasses, and the Santa Vittoria sparkling.
That was for starters. For the main event, I went for the menu designed to celebrate Chinese New Year. Peking Duck Pancakes were on today, while dumplings will be on food service tomorrow. Apart from that, the special foods enjoyed were the following:
XO Fried Rice with Shrimp
Fried Sea Bass Fillet with Garlic Soy Sauce
Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Chilli Dipping Sauce
Stir Fry with broccoli, tofu, cashew nuts and pak choy.
The fish was the winner among the group. There was some light fish sauce in the middle to help yourself. Although this delicious fish did not need any of that, a little amount gives it a bit of juice - some cool acidity to the treat. The fish was soft, cooked perfectly, and there were no bones. Beautiful. The chicken was cut into tiny pieces, and the subtle ginger blended in beautifully with the chilli pieces. The chicken was also juicy and beautiful. A smooth texture and after taste in the palette was enjoyed. My taste buds were in Chinese New Year heaven. I wasn't too keen on the rice. Needless to say, I am not a rice person. Loved the stir fry. All the ingredients blended in beautifully to create a heavenly two and a half hour Friday lunch in heaven. Long weekend heaven. The glass of Cabernet Shiraz went in beautifully with the mains, as well as some Santa Vittoria sparkling. The champagne was elegantly matched to the seafood.
If I was to point out any areas for improvement in both the entrees and the mains, I would only point to the broccoli in the stir fry. This could just boil down to personal preferences, however, it would have been nice if the broccoli was cut into smaller pieces. That way that vegetable wouldn't have been as overwhelming on my plate. Otherwise, I am delighted and impressed. I also loved the Peking Duck Pancake. The duck was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was not overpowering. It was amazing to watch this little treat cooked with speed, finesse and professionalism in front of my very eyes.
The main dish - Chinese New Year bliss
My sweet tooth was on steroids today. I had to have dessert, despite an abundance of chocolate coins and a fortune cookie each on our tables. I really felt like a kid in a candy store with the sweet treats; especially with an open smorgasbord. Lovely readers, you know you've worked super hard for such abundance. Then hell yeah, enjoy it. I had to have a panna cotta, as well as a lemon tart and a blueberry cheesecake. I also tried a bit of the apple crumble, and with Australia Day coming up (again, as at the time of writing this) I had to have one of the lamingtons.
All the ingredients for that pancake, made in front of your very eyes.
Loved the panna cotta. So soft and beautiful. Loved the berry coulis on top. It wasn't overly sweet. Just perfect. I loved the bit of jam and cream inside my lamington. The apple crumble tasted different, with a hint of cinnamon caving in. The blueberry cheesecake was also something: soft, smooth and velvety.
A brilliant way to bring in the year of the horse - 2014
Wow, I was in buffet culinary heaven. Do it. Have a Feast because you only live once. Seriously, my second visit to Feast Restaurant at Sheraton on the Park is something I will cherish for a long time. The experience is worth it. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.
The freshest prawns too
Justine would love to thank Sheraton on the Park and Sydney Food Lovers for this special writer invitation.
Also in time for the spirit of Australia Day
Where: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, 161 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW.
Why: The whole experience is amazing. Amazing prawns and oysters. Amazing service. The Chinese offerings for the mains, as well as elegant desserts. A real indulgence.
Cost: Lunch $75 per guest / Dinner $85 per guest. Drinks extra.
Lunch service: midday to 2:30pm
Dinner service: 6pm to 10:30pm
Good for kids: Depending on the age of the child, and how much they'd appreciate the experience.
Take away: No