Nikko Hotel Buffet
When I friend called on Saturday to know if I would like to go to a lunch buffet yesterday, I agreed…only for your sake, of course!
Nikko in TST East was the place chosen and the boy and I arrived more or less on time. Unfortunately, my friends had warned me that they would be a touch late… I don’t mind a bit of tardiness but the buffet was calling me…taunting me with its promise of deliciousness. I had been awake for a good 4 hours prior to the lunch and had only a tiny bowl of muesli to keep me going until this buffet (see, good buffet strategizing…too hungry and you load up too much too soon, too full and you don’t get your money’s worth). I prowled around the buffet just to ‘check it out’. I did it again. I couldn’t stand it. I said I’d get a small bowl of soup first. I stood up and lo and behold, here came my friends. Who thought I was just being ultra polite in standing at their arrival. And who berated me for not starting first. (D’oh!)
So off we went. The buffet was not large but was had very promising stations. There was the beef station, cooked foods station, sashimi station with chilled shellfish, a paratha station with a Malay chef making the parathas fresh (along with some truly delicious ginger chai tea), a noodle station and a desert station with fresh made crepes and an ice cream machine. Although the lack of chocolate fountain was a slight oversight, it was more than made up for by the quality of food available.
I started of (of course) with a plate of oysters and chilled soba noodles. These thin (more like somen to me) pink noodles were cooked well, without any mushiness flavored delicately with sakura (I think) flowers. Beautiful and deliciously fresh.
The oysters were sweet but did not taste as sea fresh as I would have liked.
The sashimi available was the ubiquitous salmon and tuna. These were ok but not anything spectacular. I paired it with a unnamed sushi piece and amaebi sushi. The rice was not well formed and fell apart with my chopsticks. The other sushi piece was full of mayonnaise. So I turned my attention elsewhere for the rest of the buffet.
I had a slice of what I believe is prime rib rather than roast beef. It was deliciously tender and served with horseradish (definite plus points for having horseradish rather than just mustard even though it was not fresh and tasted like it came from a jar).
The next dish I tried was oden. I lurrrrve oden. It is a Japanese soy soup base with lots of add ins such as konjaku (a slightly gelatinous foodstuffs made from yam starch, incredibly healthy and can be a substitute for simple carbs like pasta as they come in all different shapes including thin noodle like strands), turnip, fish balls, and various others. This is a very simple dish but I love it. In Taiwan this is eaten a lot with tien-bu-la and pig-blood-rice-cake. This version was ok but I was impressed that they had it at a buffet but given that Nikko is part of a Japanese hotel chain, I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised.
I was then in the mood for noods. I love noodle soup as well, although I rarely find a noodle station at a buffet I like. I feel that they rarely use good stock and good quality noodles. I tempted fate and ordered the wonton type noodles with the Japanese pork bone broth (a little milky and should be assertively fragrant with porky goodness) with add ins such as: gai lan, Japanese preserved bamboo shoots (definite plus!!), faux shredded crab meat, that pretty but weird flowery fish cake with pink swirl, and chicken and mushroom wontons. With it of course, was a small bowl of vinegar and chili sauce. It was yum. Very yum. The noodles were “song” in that they crunched with good tooth-yield and the soup base was very nice although weaker than I would have liked. The only disappointment was the gai lan which was tough and past its prime. I have to say this is the best noodle station at a buffet that I’ve ever had, which is saying something!
Finally I had to yield to dessert. I had a small trio of three. A chocolate one (of course), a walnut mille feuille and a raspberry tart.
The raspberry tart was fantastic, beautifully presented, it rested not on a bed of cheap cream as is often the case, but unctuous dark chocolate ganache. The chocolate square was divine as well. Not too sweet, I could discern only about 1 millimeter of cake at the bottom and centre, with the rest filled with dense chocolate mousse. It was also covered in a shiny thin coating of ganache. The mille feuille was forgettable, didn’t crunch beneath my fork and didn’t have the layers which is its namesake.
The ginger chai tea with sweet paratha (peanut butter, butter, sugar and flaked coconut) was a fabulous finish. Especially since the lovely cheery Malay chef made it especially spicy for me.
Overall the buffet was very good, high quality although some people may find the selection a bit small than they would have liked. However, this is the best bit. ..the price.
Outstanding value at $184+10% service and including a drink.
We lucked out even more as one of our party had a 20% discount card!
1st floor, Hotel Nikko Hongkong,
72 Mody Road,
Tsimshatsui East, Kowloon.
Tel: +852 2313 4222
Lunch Buffet (12:00 nn - 2:30 pm)
Monday to Friday
Adult : HK$170 Child : HK$130
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays
Adult : HK$185 Child : HK$145
Dinner Buffet (6:30 pm - 9:30 pm)
Monday to Thursday
Adult : HK$308 Child : HK$198
Friday to Sunday and Public Holidays
Adult : HK$338 Child : HK$218
All prices are subject to 10% service charge
Free parking (1 hour)