QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Avenue, Gold Coast, Australia

P.Mummy loves a good buffet.  But since we moved from Hong Kong to Brisbane we never seemed to be able to find a nice place with good food and huge variety.  Even the standard in Versace Gold Coast is sub par.  One day, I heard a friend talking about Bazaar Gold Coast and how great it is, so for P.Mummy’s birthday I decided to bring the whole family to the GC and try Bazaar.

QT seemed like a very flamboyant hotel.  The decor was quirky fun and the greeters at the door were dressed in loud blue and red shirts and shorts (poor things it was 6 degrees outside that night!). There is a loud bar downstairs and  it seemed thats where the GC’s glitterati of fake tans and fake boobies flocked to quench their lust thirst….

Upstairs at the Bazaar, they seemed more serious.  The maitre’d wore suit and tie but still greeted us with the same warmth and enthusiasm as the guys downstairs.  He explained to us that this is buffet with a twist: guests are encouraged to ask the staff about the food, more like an interactive marketplace than a buffet.  Indeed little tags were missing in front of the dishes, so you had to ask staff what’s on offer.

Nearest to the entrance was the meat section- on that particular night they’ve got lamb shanks, butter chicken, beef ribs, coq au Von, confit duck, paella, a selection of entrees (tempura squid, savory tarts, figs) and crab bisque.  Then there were also little treasures hidden inside the kitchen, such as steak and a salmon.

The highlight of this station was definitely the beef ribs, tempura squid and the crab bisque.  The lamb shanks was okay, the confit duck was a bit dry, the steak was slightly too chewy and the salmon was flavorless.

Ohhh there were also some butter beans, brussels sprouts, the usual mash and potato bake.  I would definitely recommend the butter beans over the Brussels sprouts (and I normally like Brussels sprouts too!)

I must say the pizza was pretty good for a buffet- there were enough churn to ensure that it was always hot and the dough was light and slightly yielding.  If you have a big table you can also order a whole pizza for your table, which I thought it was pretty cool.

There was only one choice for pasta tonight, although there seemed to be some random ingredients on the side like packets of pasta, mushroom, chili, onion, sundried tomato and herbs.  I was deluded enough to think they would freshly cook some pasta for me using those ingredients but apparently they are all just for garnish for that pot of spaghetti plus bolognese sauce.  Mmmm… Raw onion and mushrooms for my pasta? :/ just didn’t sound too appetizing.

I must say I was not a good foodie.  I didn’t really try the salad bar.  There were so many other interesting things to eat!  I did try the watermelon, mint and grape salad, though not too sure why it was in the salad bar section and not the dessert.  The watermelon was not very good (I know I know not in season but we are in QLD!), the grapes was nice though.  Also tried their caprese salad and that was very fresh.

The scallops were pretty good, maybe a touch overcooked and on the small side.  The oysters were tiny but hubby said the freshness was Ok for buffet standard.  The sand crabs were OK, it’s meat too mushy for my liking.  P.Mummy said the prawns were good but the mussels were not.

If you ask, or if you peeked you could see that they serve salmon sashimi in the Asian section.  The quality of the sashimi is better than Sushi Train so it’s really not too bad.

They also offer standard stuff like stir fry beef with veggies, fried noodles and fried rice, which I didn’t find too appetizing.  If you ask the slightly grumpy Asian chef he will tell you he also makes Tom Yum soup for you.  There’s also Dim Sum that was freshly made but the XLB pastry looked like a Bao pastry (read: thick) and they offered none of the condiments like vinegar and ginger.

The dessert section was a bit weird.  There were cakes, tarts and profiteroles displayed opposite the salad bar, but hiding in the corner next to the Asian section they also serve these beautifully plated Turkish influenced dessert board.  Then the cheese was hiding between the pasta and salad bar… Totally weird.

I would definitely recommend the profiteroles- encased in the puffy pastry was a crunchy chocolate slice- profiteroles with a twist! I likey!  Also highly recommended was the chocolate cake with citrusy flavours.  The baklava was not good though.

The Turkish influence dessert board was pretty good- mini Turkish delight dotted around the board, you also get rose flavored foam, Persian fairy floss and rhubarb tulle.  Sooooo pretty though no one from our table actually liked rose flavored anything, we finished two of those and thought it was pretty good.

I was wayyyy too full to try the cheese and well frankly  I didn’t want any cheese either as Froggy took me out on a picnic that afternoon and gave me truffle Brie and well, what could beat truffle Brie?

I am actually more wow’d by their service than their food.  Everyone went out of the way for us.  They organised a dessert birthday plate for P.Mummy and had to wait around because flighty P.Mummy kept running around taking photos and going to the bathroom.  My mother-in-law only eat hot steamed rice and at first when I asked the grumpy Asian chef he pointed to a pot with lukewarm rice, but when I asked another waiter he promptly got me some from the rice cooker.   The kitchen staff and chef were also quite friendly in general and seemed to manage quite well prepping, cooking and answering questions.

The bill came and they overcharged me (hint: check ur bill!) and they have already put an authorisation on my card (note to self don’t give my credit card before checking my bill) but they apologized profusely and the restaurant manager even gave me his business card just in case the funds didn’t reverse back into my account.

Positives: great variety of food, awesome service
Negatives: food is not top notch but still pretty good for a buffet

I could safely say that this is one of the best buffet I had in Australia.  Just the sheer variety of food, service and the quality of food beats Versace, Stamford plaza in Brisbane, Langham in Melbourne (ok maybe not the roti, the roti is top notch there), Conservatory in Melbourne, Sofitel and Hilton in Brisband and Melbourne.  For $69 per head every day (and $79 for public holidays) I thought it was pretty good value too.  7.5/10

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