Saturday, January 15, 2011

death by dessert

The Atrium Buffet at Burswood Entertainment Complex re-opened in December, 2010 after a $10.8 million dollar makeover. Seating 380, its features include look-in cooking stations, Western, Chinese, French and Japanese sections, a carving station, and an excellent selection of seafood. But the Atrium is set apart from other buffets, notably by two things:

a) The flippen' ridiculous dessert station, and
b) The passion and intensity with which Sam Chee bashes your ice cream for you.

The Atrium looks lovely at night. I love it when restaurants put effort into their lighting, because it really does make such a difference to the vibe of the place. Sitting there in the dim, surrounded by warm lighting, with the huge interior of the Intercontinental Hotel opened up above you is pretty special. On the right side of the restaurant was a raised, more intimate dining level where each table had its own lantern hanging over it, emblazoned with the groovy Atrium motif.

I have two contacts who work at the Atrium, and both of them gave me the same advice: don't eat too much of the mains, and save as much room as you can for dessert. However, I have an annoying tendency to do exactly the opposite of what people tell me to do... especially when it is good advice...

Sorry Joel, you know how I'm stubborn and shit like that.

The favourites: the Warm Thai Beef Salad, the French buffet and surprisingly, the Peking Duck. I don't know what they did to the poor bird, but all I know is that it was the sweetest and tastiest duck meat I'd ever eaten.


If I'd had my time again (and I know I won't for a long time, seeing as dinner at the Atrium on a Friday night costs $62.90) I'd have eaten half a plate of mains and saved the rest for the big guns. I ate three full plates of dessert piled high, and felt like I was going to die shortly afterwards.

Unlimited waffles with raspberry coulis, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, maple syrup, strawberries and marshmallows in chocolate fondue, mango and white chocolate mousse, raspberry parfait, apricot and black forest petit-fours, marbled cheesecake. And then there's the ice cream station, where they let you choose your ice cream, toppings, and other goodies (including oreos, pistachios, and summer berries in syrup) which they prepare for you on a cold rock right in front of your eyes.

Below is an accurate representation of me leaving the building.

Atrium on Urbanspoon

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