Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eight at the Langham

My mother is absolutely devastated. My cousin, Rex, has resigned as a chef at The Langham Auckland which means she can no longer claim to be related to someone who works at one of the nicest restaurants in Auckland. I'm not entirely sure why that is something to be proud of.

Our table at Eight
Jason and I had been looking forward to trying out the new menu ever since Rex brought home the new menu! Formally known as SBF Brasserie, Eight has transformed what used to be an exquisite seafood buffet into a true dining experience. 

Great Ocean Road and Route 66
Upon entering, I was amazed at how big the buffet had become -about twice the size since I last came! It now houses eight kitchens (get it?): Route 66 -an American style grille, Silk Road -Chinese cuisine, Spice Route -Indian cuisine, Great Ocean Road -seafood and oyster bar, Tōkaidō -sushi and sashimi, The Garden Route -a magnificent salad bar, Dessert Road -basically heaven with a chocolate fountain and Champs-Elysées -with freshly prepared breads, waffles and pancakes.

Selection of meats at Route 66
Our first stop was the selection of scrumptious looking meats at Route 66. There were the meats you'd usually expect such as lamb, beef, pork and chicken. And then there was kangaroo. So, naturally, I made Jason get kangaroo steak while I settled for a nice piece of Savannah Angus Sirloin. While waiting for the chef to cook up our steaks, we went to fill up the rest of our plates from the other sections.

The Garden Route
Our first stop was The Garden Route filled with countless selections of colourful and tasty salad ingredients. I was greeted by the friendly station chef who offered to make my salad while I stood and pointed at whatever took my fancy -cos lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber and, at the chef's suggestion, some pretty edible flowers. There were way too many sauces and dressings that I had never heard before so I let her choose the "eight" dressing. 

My Colourful Salad

My plate of selections from Route 66, Tōkaidō and the Silk Road
Feeling satisfied with my selection, I went back to my table only to find out that most of my fellow diners had already gone for seconds! I find that, with most buffets, the quality of the food takes a second seat to the demand of the hungry guests -but not here. Everything is made in front of you, as you order, so you know it's fresh and cooked however you want it. My steak was cooked just right and the scalloped potatoes were simply melt in your mouth. The dim sum and sushi were divine -I just feel sorry for the kitchen elves at these stations who did not stop slicing sashimi and stir frying the whole time I was there.

Tōkaidō -Oysters, Salmon Sashimi and Tuna Sashimi

Whenever there are oysters on offer, I must have some. Whenever there is salmon and tuna on offer, I must make Jason eat some because he doesn't like them (yes, I'm evil). The seafood was very fresh. I expect nothing less from such a fine establishment.

Yvonne with her waffles and pancakes from Champs-Elysées
While I'm on my seafood plate, everyone else had moved on to their third plates and I see Yvonne come back to the table with some very delicious pastries -a freshly made waffle, pancakes and a danish. I have no idea how she fits all of this in her stomach!

Selection of Chocolates sitting underneath a Meringue Tree
Her pastries look so good that I demand that she take me to Dessert Road for the heavenly looking desserts I spied on my way in. It is such a pity that the meringue tree is just for display.

Part of Dessert Road -Chocolate fountain with dippables!

Jacky and Jenny about to dip some honeydew melon into the chocolate fountain
There is a cute chocolate fountain with a vast selection of fruits and candy with which to dunk into this velvety goodness. Apparently it's a real pain to clean at the end of the night! We have so much fun making chocolatey fruit kebabs which go very well with the Mövenpick ice cream that is just around the corner. The homemade marshmallows had a strange texture reminiscent of pink batts. I didn't get any on my second dessert run.

Little chocolate presents from underneath the Meringue Tree
By this time I could barely move but, luckily, I still had my dessert stomach. 

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake, Fruit Skewers with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream and Vanilla Panacotta with Mango and Pomegranate Coulis

I was ecstatic with my panacotta. It was so creamy and the mango coulis was just bursting with flavour -it was so good that Jason had to steal half. The cheesecake was a bit bubbly but still tasty.

I have no idea what this is. My mother took a photo of it. I think it might be a passionfruit cheesecake..
Even after eating all of that, I convinced everyone at my table to let me create a cheeseboard from the massive selection at Champs-Elysées. We tried a very nice Blue cheese, Camembert and a creamy Gouda with crackers, Iranian dates, walnuts and grapes. How very satisfying. I now like Gouda cheese.

While we are eating our cheese and crackers, I notice some people from the next table walk by with curry. I kick myself (as well as Jason) -we forgot to go to Spice Road! I guess we have to come back then!

Lunch at Eight is $37 per person -very reasonable for the incredible dining experience. I only wish I had a bottomless pit for a stomach.

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Eight can be found at the Langham Hotel, 83 Symonds St, Auckland, New Zealand.

All recipes are on Petitchef

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing... I really want to eat here! I'll be visiting the 'Barolo' restaurant next week or the week after so I'll let you know how it is :)