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Kitchen Workshop @ Crown

Home > Melbourne > Buffet | Family | Food and Wine | Restaurants
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published July 6th 2014
Popular buffet at Crown

It was a strange month in our household. It was the month where a couple of companies totally messed us around but then recompensed us beyond our wildest imaginings.

There was the trip to China where the airlines cancelled flights and stalled our return trip home which was then compensated for by the travel company, who rather than have disgruntled customers, provided us with three fantastic days in Chengdu. For that story click here.

Then two days after we returned to Melbourne there was a night out at Crown to see a show and there was a problem with our booking.

The famous well at least in our household vegetarian curry.

While Crown didn't exactly say it was their fault, to appease us and the other people who were left "all dressed up and with no place to go" they sent us each a $50 voucher (on top of helping to organise ticket refunds) that could be used at any of the Crown's restaurants.

At some of Crown's restaurants this would scarcely have got us a main course, never mind a bottle of wine, so we decided to take our teenage son with us and try their Kitchen Workshop that is billed as a family style venue.

This is a buffet/smorgasbord place and is so popular they don't normally take bookings.

We arrived at around 7.30pm on a Thursday smack on dinner time it seemed, as there was a huge queue snaking out into the corridor and a forty minute wait.

I kept our place in the queue while the other two went off to play roulette. Queues have this going for them - they are a perfect time to conquer your backlog of Facebook and extend your twitter realm.

These were such excellent boredom busters that time seemed to pass effortlessly.

Having a set betting time also seemed to work in the favour of my husband and son. They won, and the casino didn't get a chance to get their money back off them.

At least not on this occasion therefore the Casino ended up paying for our drinks as well as our dinner.

Smorgasbords are all alike. Gluttony, sloppy serving spoons everywhere and the feeling you should eat as if it was the last supper.

You have to take care what you put on your plate. The proprietors always want you to fill up on soups, bread and chips but if you fill up on those things you don't get to eat the healthier and more expensive options.

Kitchen Workshop has a carvery and a reasonable array of vegetables. Other options included baked portions of fish, and various curries. The vegetarian curry was particularly good, three return trips good, or so my son declared.

There is also a chef who stands at a set of woks (he was never there when I wanted him) who apparently cooks up what you want from an array of tantalising tidbits. I assume this is where the eatery also got its name.

But I am not sure that mains are the reason why people are prepared to queue for this place.

Their main reason for coming is the dessert bar. As you stand queueing there is a glass window where you can see these desserts being prepared.

You are close enough to see the pikelets bubbling on the hotplate ready to be turned over, the jellies setting (wait long enough in the queue and the will) and pastry shells being stuffed with whipped cream.

And when you do finally get a seat after queueing and finish your main the dessert bar is there to offer every sweet imaginable: flummeries, rice custards, cakes, jellies, fruit salads, pavlovas, cakes and the glutinous list goes on.

I had managed to be quite restrained until I discovered the chocolate dipped, caramel cream filled profiteroles that could be devoured one luscious mouthful at a time.

This buffet also allows you to help yourself to as much tea, hot chocolate, coffee and jugs of soft drink as you desire.

No big deal I guess but the reality is that it saves money for the average family as they don't have to add drinks onto their dinner bill unless they choose to drink alcohol.

I am not going to rave about the food but if you choose wisely you can have a good meal for a comparatively cheap price, compared to Crown's more exclusive restaurants, and the dessert bar is certainly a drawcard.

We were there on a Thursday night so the price was $31.50 per person. Our voucher of $100 and the night's winnings of $20 or so covered the cost of the night out.

Lunch is even cheaper during the week at $21.50.

Kitchen Workshop is more expensive on Friday nights, weekends and on public holidays. Dinners on those days cost $41.00 although this includes seafood. I have noticed that other reviewers complain about the limited amount of seafood you can have which is 300g of prawns or half a dozen natural oysters.

I guess too many people have piled their plates up in the past and that a lot of food gets wasted.

The price list is below.


Monday to Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
adult $21.50
children (4 to 12 years) $18.00

Saturday to Sunday: midday - 2:30pm
adult $41.00* (includes seafood)
children (4 to 12 years) $19.50


Monday to Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
adult $31.50
child (4 to 12 years) $18.00

Friday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
adult $41.00* (includes seafood)
children (4 to 12 years) $19.50

Public holidays and public holiday eves
adult $41.00
child (4 to 12 years) $19.50

Weekend pricing applies for public holidays and public holiday eves.

The website says they take bookings Monday to Thursday but on the Thursday we went I tried to book and they were not taking bookings.

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Why? Good value meals at Crown
When: Daily lunch and dinner
Phone: 03 9292 7856
Where: Crown Casino Melbourne
Cost: See article
Your Comment
thanks for the review nadine. we had lunch today there, to celebrate my daughter's 24th. considering we are a family of 6, the $21.50/person was awesome!!! we left really really full and we all enjoyed the food, heaps to choose from. the free flowing drinks, coffee and tea was added bonus..just to take note that lemon-lime bitters and wine are not free… i encourage everyone to try…
by punni (score: 0|8) 2694 days ago
fantastic article nadine :)
by Joy (score: 3|1939) 2704 days ago
Great article! I went here last night and it was really nice! I went at 6pm and there was no queue at all, but at 7pm there were heaps of people lining up! I'd definitely go back, so thanks for the heads up lovely :-)
by Mallory (score: 2|474) 2700 days ago
Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you are not feeling to full today!
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (score: 3|6067) 2700 days ago
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