atrium – burswood

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The Atrium buffet restaurant recently had a facelift – like the rest of the resort, it’s been renovated to the hilt and looks a touch like the Melbourne Crown Casino’s decor. With a generous touch of oriental decor, it’s been slicked up in a mass produced, sophisticated way.

 

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Left: Beautiful setting above. Right: Malaysian desserts at the dessert station.

The buffet looks gorgeous – the dessert station is front and centre, with Western food stations to the left and Asian stations to the right. Nothing has been spared in presentation. Hot food is held in Staub dutch ovens, chicken spin on the french rotisserie and behind a glass wall, flames burst from woks to catch the eye.

But good looks doesn’t always translate to good food.

 

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Left: Roasting chickens. Right: Roasts under heat lamps – for display only it seems. Not carved to order.

Atrium’s buffet ranged from good to below average, with hits and lots of misses along the way.

We skipped most of the Western food – the roasts because they looked dry and flaky, possibly because they were under heat lamps and not being carved to order (but the whole roasts were on display, which was misleading). There was steak too, but steak in a warmer usually means chewy leather so we skipped that too.

It looked like a lot of people had the same idea and made a beeline to the other stations – seafood, Asian and dessert!

 

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Lots of choice – curries and noodles.

The seafood station was popular, with oysters and prawns being refreshed by the bucket load every five minutes. There were two types of oysters, pacific and rock – the creamy rock oysters were glistening and fresh. The pacific oysters, not so much. Unfortunately, the oysters weren’t shucked well as we often found grit, mid chew.

Fans of salmon sashimi went wild at the cold Japanese station. Slivers of salmon were being whisked off faster than the staff could keep up. There was also a range of sushi, which was mostly ignored.

The Asian section was impressive – from curries, stir fries, to noodles and dim sum – it covered almost the whole continent.

Flavoursome curries and fried rice, fresh from the wok, were the best hot dishes. In contrast, the rest of the station was a lot like cheap Chinese takeaway – flaccid, tasteless or too sweet. And that included the dim sum dumplings, which had questionably mushy fillings…

 

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Sushi at the Japanese station.

One of the highlights were the Chinese barbequed meats – if you could get any! It was so popular the chefs were constantly carving up roast ducks and barbeque pork (even being harassed at the task), but it certainly was worth waiting for.

I liked the idea of making your own duck pancakes – with shredded spring onion and a dab of hoisin sauce. It’s basically all you can eat duck pancakes. (Note that the pancakes are in the dim sum steamers.)

After the Chinese barbeque, my advice is to save room for the cheese and dessert stations.

The cheese plate had quite a range which were, like a lot of buffet items – unlabelled. At a guess, we cut chunks of luxurious brie, cheddar, taleggio, stilton and ash goat’s cheese. It was enough to satiate a cheese fanatic and a very pleasurable way to finish off dinner for those without a sweet tooth.

 

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Mmm a sample of the dessert station. Chocolate mousse (with the adorable edible chocolate spoon!), sour cherry mousse, Malaysian kuih dadar (palm sugared shredded coconut inside a crepe) and a slice of the green tea mousse log. What’s up with the plastic cups..?

The desserts station is the sparkly centrepiece of the buffet. Lined with little cakes, waffles, a chocolate fountain and even malaysian kuih, it was like being a kid in a candy shop.

But then, there was the ice cream bar. With a difference…

The Atrium has a cold rock where they’ll chop whatever sweets you like into it! Smarties, oreos, sprinkles, pistachios, crushed nuts… We (actually, more like I) went a little crazy. I went back three times.

 

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The delicious result of the dessert attendant’s hard work – strawberry ice cream with smarties and nuts!

(What we found were the staff at the station were reluctant to chop in the flavours… if you don’t specifically ask for say, pistachios, to be chopped in on the cold rock, they would just sprinkle it on top of your ice cream…)

 

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Left: Dessert station. Right: Chocolate fountain – there goes the diet.

The desserts were pretty good quality. Ignoring the plastic dessert cups (surely they could use glass cups?), the mousses were light and airy – particularly the chocolate and sour cherry ones were superb. The green tea roll was my favourite – featherweight, smooth and rich in green tea flavour.

Chocolate lovers will love the chocolate fountain. Stab a toothpick into a strawberry or marshmallow, dip it in to the dark, glossy waterfall and eat it right there! I could have stood at the fountain all night.

The waffles were quite chewy, I wish they would make to order instead of letting them rubberize in a warmer. However, one of the benefits of the buffet is being able to go crazy with the waffle toppings – maple syrup, cream, butter, nuts, caramel and chocolate sauce! Then go around to the ice cream bar and get a scoop to top it all off.

So, if you love dessert, you will like the Atrium. Otherwise, most of the buffet is like picking from a huge range of average takeaway food. The Atrium is a crowd pleasing buffet, which everyone in the family (including vegetarians – there were quite a number of vegetarian dishes) will find something to like. You will get value for money here especially with the Entertainment Card.

Also, if you don’t like walking, request to be seated close to the buffet. We were seated almost as far away from the buffet as possible. So it was quite a trip to the buffet but walking off calories between platefuls can’t be a bad thing!

 

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Up’s: Good service, lightning fast plate clearing. Rock oysters, chinese barbeque, cheese and desserts are the highlights.
Down’s: Western food is so-so and most of the food resembles and tastes like average takeaway. Think of a shopping centre food court, smashed into one restaurant.

Food: 3.5/5
Value: 3/5
Service: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5

 

Atrium
Great Eastern Hwy (Burswood Entertainment Complex), Burswood WA 6100
T: (08) 9362 7551
W:
http://www.burswood.com.au/Restaurants/Atrium-Buffet/

Open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Brunch on Sundays.
Check the website for opening hours


Note: Beware there are two seatings on Friday and Saturday nights. And don’t forget your Entertainment Card!

 

-M
Atrium on Urbanspoon

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  1. Viviene

    Have not seen a buffet that surpasses The Spice Market at the four seasons hotel in Bangkok!

  2. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    Seems like the kind of place that would be better after your first visit, once you know what to use your valuable stomach space on! A pile of sashimi and barbequed meats followed by lashings of dessert sounds ok to me :)

  3. Su

    It is definitely wise to save room for the desserts. I see you make mention of the cheeses not being labeled. My first visit after their renovation I also remarked that they needed more foods labeled as I had to ask the staff what a few of the dishes were.
    I guess the the dessert in plastic cups is really just to make it easier. It’s not the nicest touch, but they must go through so many of those little cupped desserts, it’s easier to just use disposable cups instead of glasses to wash.
    It’s a definite upgrade from what Atrium was prior to the renovations, but it’s not always on the mark. For now though, as a buffet, it’s pretty good.

  4. mei

    Su – Hi Sue! The absence of labels was quite annoying, I’m surprised the staff would know what the dishes are exactly. True about the disposable cups, though I would think at Burswood’s calibre they would use glass cups. I’m probably hoping for too much, seeing that the casino sometimes looks like the mothership of bogans. The Atrium is pretty good for Perth, the desserts are really really good. Thanks for your comment and see you around. :)

    Flower – Hello Flower. I’m heading to Singapore next month to satisfy my craving for hugely insane and decadent hotel buffets! The Atrium is not outstanding, but for Perth it is doing well. Unfortunately there is not much competition for them to lift their game – only to merely feed the casino and theatre crowds and make money. Burswood used to be very glam, but I think they no longer aspire to that image, not even after renovations. Appreciate your comment and happy eating.

  5. flower

    I told my DH how I missed Malaysian hotel buffet very much. The varieties of food that we can get in one sitting. So one day, while driving around Perth, DH suggested that we might just go to Burswood and try any of their restaurant there. We’ve chosen Atrium because it was there. We were there quiet early. Not many people there. I had some cooked prawn, fresh salmon n some other fish, some salad, soup and of course dessert. I saw rendang but it doesn’t really look like rendang at all, more like a curry. DH had some asian food, fried rice, fried noodles some sort of rice and curry. It was ok but not outstanding. Just enough to satisfy my longing for big buffet style meal.


 
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