Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Atrium Restaurant, Burswood

There's something comforting, but also potentially so wrong about buffets.  You get  lots of food and plenty of choice - and generally that means you eat way too much.  So if you're going to pig out, why not have a bit of variety?  Atrium Restaurant at Burswood Entertainment Complex is a buffet restaurant catering for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner of the week.

Buffets are a common institution around the world.  Compared to the award winning and varied buffets of Las Vegas (and in particular the one at the Aladdin), to the massive and cheap buffets of Orlando and wider North America (such as the extremely busy and very satisfying Golden Corral), to the (very) freshly made and heavily meat and seafood based buffets of Rio de Janeiro, to the sometimes bland (for my taste) buffets of Eastern Europe, to the more varied and interesting (and sometimes "differently" made foods that are otherwise well-known to Western culture) buffets of Asia, the hotel buffets of Perth offer quite standard international food.

The Atrium is a reasonably large sized buffet restaurant with seating covering a decent amount of ground floor area of Burswood's hotel complex.  The restaurant is clean, bright and conducive to a family buffet environment.  Being based at Burswood's hotel complex, it caters for hotel guests as well as the general public.

Given the amount of tables, the usually large amount of bookings, and the variety of food on order, there are times you will have to wait in line for food but this generally isn't so bad.  The wait staff are also constantly topping up food which means they usually don't run out of a dish or, if they do, more of the same food will probably be brought out shortly.  The wait staff are also constantly collecting your finished plates and cutlery so each time you go up for more food you can get a fresh plate and cutlery.

View of the cold meats and salads section - opposite side is the seafood section

View of the selection of desserts

Pricing is between approximately $32 to $52 per person depending on the meal and the day of the week.  The food on offer includes:
  • Seafood section including oysters (on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday lunch), prawns, crabs, green lip mussels, smoked salmon, seafood extender salad, sushi, pickled ginger;
  • Cold meats and salads section containing various garden, cold meat and seafood, and pasta salads;
  • Bread with butter, a selection of cheeses, a couple of soups (seafood chowder and pumpkin during my visit);
  • Hot food section including (on my visit) various meats - roast beef, stir fried chicken with cashew nuts, barbecued pork chops, a white fish dish, spaghetti with bolognese and a cream based sauce, siu mai (a small dim sim), mixed vegetables, roast pumpkin, along with a large selection of condiments;
  • Dessert section including petit French (mainly) chocolate pastries, a selection of cakes, mousses, fruit crumble, marshmallows with chocolate fondue, fresh fruit, a selection of flavoured ice creams, and jelly; and
  • Standard tea, coffee, and chilled tap water (other drinks including machined coffee are extra).
Selection of items from the seafood section

Selection of items from the cold meats/salads section

Selection of items from the hot food section

Granted that Atrium restaurant is a buffet restaurant and thus attempting to provide quantity and not necessarily quality of food, my experiences of the food included:
  • The oysters weren't the freshest, having that taste that oysters get when they are starting to get a bit old (but not uncommon for a buffet);
  • The prawns are smaller than your normal king prawns, and aren't deveined (but what buffet does that for you?), and also were quite plain and weren't the freshest (also typical of a common buffet);
  • The chicken dish was tasty and very tender though the texture, taste and colour was quite soft and a pinkish colour that is a bit different to chicken that I normally eat;
  • The sushi looked nicely made but the rice was getting a little dry and hard in this batch at least - perhaps indicating it had been prepared some time earlier and left out;
  • The roast beef was a little tough and dry for my liking - perhaps it had been overcooked or cooked twice;
  • There was a good selection of salads and vegetables so if you wanted to ensure you had your healthy vitamins and minerals you had quite a few tasty choices; and
  • There was a large selection of desserts, some of which were quite nice.
Whilst overall the food quality at Atrium restaurant was just ok for my taste, for Perth hotel buffet standards it's pretty normal.  There is a decent selection of food on offer and if you try a little bit of most dishes you will be able to find the ones you want to go back for.

In summary, Atrium restaurant offers a large range of hot and cold foods.  The food quality and freshness is quite typical of common Perth hotel buffet food standards.  Given the price and the quantity and variety of food on offer, the Atrium restaurant isn't so bad at all.  For me, the variety of food on offer meant I ended up eating enough food for a whole day and then some.  Being at Burswood Entertainment Complex, you can also gamble at the casino, go to a pub, watch one of the shows (when available), or book a hotel room all in the same complex.

Points to note:  A decent selection of hotel quality buffet foods.  If you like oysters be sure to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday lunch.  Also, it is strongly advisable to make a reservation ahead of time.

Go for:  Food, and lots of it - all in the multi-attraction Burswood Entertainment Complex.

Atrium Restaurant
Burswood Entertainment Complex
Great Eastern Highway
Burswood WA
(08) 9362 7551

Trading Hours
Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner (reservations required).

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