I am an Australian freelance writer living in Adelaide.
Published November 2nd 2011
Diners are always on the lookout for restaurants that offer good value meals. Fresh Choice is such a place, offering an all-you-can-eat buffet for just $20.50 per adult- that's less than the price of one main meal at most venues. Understandably, Fresh Choice isn't the place for a romantic meal or to catch up with a friend where conversation may go well into the night. Nor is it the place to expect fresh, gourmet food. It is, however, the perfect place to take a large group of friends or family as you can rest assured that there is something every one will eat without the fuss.
Serving hot and cold dishes, the best way to navigate the rows and rows of food is by enjoying it cuisine by cuisine (unless you're like me and are so overwhelmed by the amount of choices that you just start piling your plate up like a kid in a candy store).
A bit of everything- vegetarian lasagne, singapore noodles, lemon chicken and sushi!
Enjoy a taste of Asia with fried rice, singapore noodles, beef satay, several vegetable dishes and even sushi rolls. Next, perhaps try some Italian with vegetarian lasagne (which tasted like cannelloni), cheesy pizza (although the crust tasted sweet) or meatballs. Later, enjoy an Australian roast with potatoes, cheesy potato bake, pumpkin, meat and gravy. And although there's plenty of salad with many vegetables in separate bowls so you can mix and match, I didn't have the appetite to waste on healthy stuff!
Italian/American/Asian: Calamari rings, chips, fried rice and cheesy pizza
The dessert bar is where I personally came undone. Just looking at the choices gave me a toothache. Custard tarts, jelly, pink lamingtons, chocolate mousse, sweet custard, soft serve ice cream with strawberry, chocolate or caramel topping with chopped nuts, sprinkles and wafers, fruit salad, cinnamon donuts or the most delicious, sticky date pudding. It was warm and served with thick gooey date sauce and cream.
Sticky date, chocolate crackle, custard tart and lamington
Half the restaurant was filled by 6.30pm on a Sunday so if you're visiting on a Friday or Saturday night, I'd ensure to book a table or get there early. With ample space in the dining room, it does get pretty loud pretty quickly as families fill up the room. Children are most welcome, as are babies, where high chairs can be provided. The level of service from the staff was commendable. They are so efficient at clearing away used plates while you're up filling another one that you don't feel like they're vultures hanging around.
It seems impractical that only side-sized plates are offered rather than dinner plates. I'm guessing it is to either minimise waste (by not overfilling the plate) or to convince you to eat more (as you feel as though you're eating less when eating from a smaller plate). Jugs of water at the table would have been a nice touch as drinks had to be ordered and paid for separately from the bar.
All in all, Fresh Choice is the right choice if you're looking for a casual, cheap feed that won't leave you hungry.