It was a real pleasure to have been invited to try out some special foods available at Sheraton on the Park's Feast Restaurant for Chinese New Year. A great way to bring in 2014 - the year of the horse. The celebrations have already commenced in this renowned and popular buffet restaurant. One of the chefs is of Korean descent, and even explained to me that she still celebrates Chinese New Year. Judging by the turnout at yesterday's lunch put on in a private room for the media, and other areas for the general public - it looks like many of us will be coming to Feast more often.
The Chinese New Year food offerings include dumplings and Peking Duck Pancakes to name a few. The dumplings weren't available at the time I was there, however those Peking Duck Pancakes were lovely. The duck was perfectly cooked, and the sauce wasn't overpowering. It was nice to see one of the chefs prepare it in front of your very eyes. Additionally, a hearty roast and some pizza was also available in this area. Feast was getting into the true Chinese New Year spirit; lanterns and horse ornaments decorated the entire restaurant - even right near the food service areas.
Before I went for the Chinese New Year offerings as a main course, it was perfectly natural to enjoy a few prawns and oysters to start off a fantastic three-course lunch with some Cabernet Shiraz and Santa Vittoria Sparkling - in addition to a glass of champagne upon arrival. The Chinese New Year theme was alive and well with some chocolate coins decorated on my table, as well as a fortune cookie to take home afterwards.
Back to the entree; the first buffet dish. Those prawns were just stunning. They were so fresh that words simply cannot explain the quality of these prawns. There was a dish to place the peeled off skin, and a bowl of water with a lemon wedge to wash those hands in afterwards. The oysters are also the freshest I have tasted in Sydney in a long time.
The second main dish, the Fried Sea Bass Fillet with Garlic Soy Sauce was just divine. There were no bones, and this fish was silky soft. The garlic soy sauce was the perfect match to give this fish a little boost of flavour. A great decision well made there. The Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Chilli Dipping Sauce was just beautiful. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and was easy to eat. The ginger flavour blended in nicely with the chilli. I also went for a bit of the XO Fried Rice with Shrimp, and I left a fair bit of that behind. I'm just not a rice person. The fish and the chicken are just as awesome to eat alone without any rice. The Stir Fry with broccoli, tofu, cashew nuts and pak choy was also lovely. It would have been great if the broccoli was cut into smaller pieces; that way this vegetable wouldn't have been too overwhelming on my plate.
Being an open buffet, we were allowed to enjoy some dessert before it was time to leave a mere two and a half hours later. This was food heaven on earth. Friday afternoon, you definitely want some sweets. The panna cotta was beautiful. It wasn't rich, and the texture was velvety smooth. I also loved the chocolate stick and the berry coulis on top. The blueberry cheesecake was another favourite. So soft yet tasty, and I also loved the lamingtons. There was a bit of strawberry jam and cream inside. The perfect finale to celebrating Chinese New Year in style.