K and I dined at Sydney Tower Buffet a month ago as our Valentine’s Day celebration. Technically it was actually the day after Valentine’s Day, as we pragmatically decided that paying the usual $85 each for the buffet was preferable to paying the $140 per person Valentine’s Day premium.
We chose Sydney Tower Buffet as neither of us had ever eaten in a revolving restaurant before though we’ve both travelled to some of the world’s most populous cities and been up towers with the best views. We wanted the cliche and the novelty of a revolving restaurant overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful harbours – and we certainly weren’t disappointed with the view!
Now I’ve been to a fair few buffets in my day. While I may have started my buffet life visiting the cheap $10pp Asian buffet (quantity over quality) with my parents as a child, I’ve since graduated into more sophisticated offerings. The Sydney Tower Buffet was on another level – the focus really was on quality over quantity, and all the dishes I tried tasted like they’d been freshly cooked. There certainly wasn’t the congealed sauces and chewy textures that you would find on the bainmarie of most buffets.
The selection of foods was very impressive as well. From a variety of hot dishes that spanned different countries cuisines (Chinese, Italian, Modern Australian, Indian, Mediterranean), an extensive array of cold salads, antipastos and seafood, as well as more desserts than you could possibly eat, Sydney Tower Buffet made sure that every whim and taste would be catered for.
K and I tried as much as we could of the various dishes that were on offer that night. I really liked some of the cold dishes they had on offer – the prawns were a great starter, and the artichokes and house-made manoush bread with the baba ganoush was simply excellent. Their Vietnamese herb salad had a really nice dressing as well.
The highlights of the hot dishes was probably the honey glazed ham, and the lamb braised in a yoghurt dressing with chickpeas – it was very Moroccan, and rich. I also tried the crocodile sausages for kicks, but wasn’t terribly impressed – I think regular pork sausages tend to have better flavours, and crispier textures. I also recommend steering clear of the pastas and the dumplings – the dumplings simply weren’t as nice as ones that you could get at Din Tai Fung or other similar restaurants.
Would I go to Sydney Tower Buffet again? Probably not – it was one of those “Let’s just do it once” dining experiences, to be able to say that yes, we had dined in a revolving restaurant. The service was a bit slow (it took about 25 minutes for our drinks to come out), and we were really left to our own devices for the whole night. While there was great variety and the quality of the large majority of dishes were above average and far above standard buffet fare, the costs ($85pp on a Friday or Saturday night) are simply too prohibitive to become a regular dining experience.
I would however, recommend it to anyone who’s looking to take some special out-of-town visitors to somewhere that offers a uniquely Sydney experience. With the world’s most beautiful harbour as the backdrop, the views are really to die for, and there’s some dining entertainment in pointing out all the different landmarks!
Overall, I rate Sydney Tower Buffet a 7 out of 10.