Saturday, June 17, 2017

Big Bay Café (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

I do roughly one buffet every year so every time I try to make it count. Picking the right spot and timing is equally important. After receiving a ping from Agent-I about this new seafood buffet at the recently opened Kerry Hotel, it was just the matter of finding an occasion or excuse to check it out and finally I got one with Father's Day coming up.



Located on the third floor of Kerry Hotel, Big Bay Ca is the buffet restaurant I was talking about. Before we got things started, we took the opportunity to first check out the 545-room Kerry Hotel which is part of the Shangrila family that was first launched in Shanghai and Beijing back in 2011. While the place looked gigantic at first glance, I thought it was less glamorous than the original Shangrila brand. Instead, it was more like re-defined luxury through a more casual and relaxed interpretation. 



There's an incredible view of the harbour from the terrace but too bad on a rainy day, it's all a blur from here.



There are all together 7 stations at Big Bay Café. Positioned near the entrance area is the sushi and cold food counter where we find all the Japanese sushi, sashimi as well as cold cuts and salad.



I had 2 rounds of tuna and salmon sashimi today. The first round was actually pretty good with the sashimi coming in real thick slices but the second round was a bit disappointing (see photo below). They seemed to have run out of tuna (see the carpaccio next to the salmon!).



Right next to sushi and salad bar is a station dedicated to Korean bibimbaps. Here they let diners choose their own ingredients and cook them in the traditional stone bowls right in front of their eyes.



Next up were two less interesting stations...first, there is the dim sum and noodle bar. I thought the dim sum was reasonably good although choices were a little limited (choice of ha gow, siu mai, BBQ pork buns and a vegetable dumpling).



and then there's this station reserved for traditional clay pot rice (煲仔飯).



I had this one with Chinese cured meat and taro which I thought was okay. Could have been better if there's a bit more rice crispies.



The grill station was the one that has been attracting everyone's attention.



Apart from the spiny lobster and skewers which they've showcased here, they're also serving sucking pig, sirloin, roasted ham steak, grilled tiger prawns etc. etc. so this is constantly drawing a big big crowd.



I personally found both the suckling pig and grilled tiger prawn to be amazing. The satay and pork belly skewers were decent but I won't go for a second round. Of course, after having all those grilled meat and seafood, we needed some veggies to feel fresh and healthy again and that's when I started looking to the vegetable counter next to the grill. Forget about the new potato and zucchini, the green asparagus were so fresh and juicy that I never seemed to be able to get my hands off them all afternoon.



Oh and of course, the grilled spiny lobster. Always a crowd favorite. I had about half an dozen of those on my own.



The dessert counters are always a crowd pleaser at any buffet and Big Bay Cafe has arguably one of the best in the business, thanks to a pretty competent pastry chef.



We don't normally find this quality at any buffet. The opera cake, passion fruit eclair and mango mousse were all very impressive.



But the white chocolate cake with yuzu compote definitely stood out as THE best pastry out there. 



They have 2 kinds of ice-cream offered at different counters. First, there's this unspecified brand served next to where we found all their cakes.



Then hidden right at the entrance next to the Iberian ham was the Mövenpick ice-cream. Just the two flavors, chocolate chip and salted caramel though. Quality (Mövenpick) versus quantity (unspecified brand), you make the call.



One station I didn't waste my time on was the stir-fried station. This is where you find the stir-fried noodles with beef, stir-fried chicken fillet along with some Japanese deep-fried stuff like chicken soft-bone, fish fillet etc.



With everything being so damn expensive these days, I thought this Saturday brunch represented pretty decent value for money at $388 per head (Dinner at $598). And the fact that they allow us to go from noon all the way to 3PM make it an even more attractive option among weekend brunches in town.



Happy Father's Day, everyone!!!

Food Rating: 5/10
Price: $$$
Address: 3/F Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Whampoa
Tel: +852 2252-5246
Website: www.shangri-la.com/hongkong/kerry/dining/restaurants/big-bay-cafe/


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