As I age, I’ve noticed that I can no longer eat as much per meal. I get peckish easily but even if I’m really hungry, after a few bites I will get full. I still remember those days when I felt like (and almost did) eat a whole cow or pig while Yuye looked at me in awe with wide eyes and jaw dropped. I bet he was thinking ‘what a fatty…’. Yes I used to eat a lot. I was also not afraid of a bit of fatty meat. My all time favourite thing to eat back then (and sometimes still is) pork knuckles with the skin on either stewed or roasted. The gelatinous skin or crispy skin will always put a big smile on my face. Nowadays, my stomach would feel bad after eating too much.
I remember loving to go to buffets when I was younger. There was also such a variety of food and everything was so fascinating. I was especially happy with the dessert section as my parents never really let me order dessert at the end of a meal.
Due to the fact that I can no longer eat that much, visiting buffets seem to be a distant past, unless of course if it’s a meal as part of a hotel package. The last time we voluntarily paid for a buffet meal was at Melba, when my younger cousin came for his honeymoon.
Dad’s opinion was that since we don’t know what he liked to eat, taking him to a place when he can pick his own was the best choice.
Melba for those of you who don’t know is a buffet restaurant inside the classy 5 star hotel The Langham in Southbank. This visit, was a long time ago but it seems not much has changed apart from the price. At the time we paid about $95pp for a weekend night, now Fridays are $99.90 and Saturdays is $109.90. Prices are different for different days and times so visit their website for the exact pricing. For $100pp or more, you’d expect very good dishes or at least be value for money.
When we went though, we were a little disappointed. There were no crayfish which we thought would be available. I think it wasn’t the right season but because we were expecting them, the meal didn’t end up worth our money. Instead I filled up on oysters, sashimi and roast pork, I would have done this anyway I suppose because I don’t like spending a long time peeling my food.
Service was impeccable as expected and the environment was suitable for a good hotel. The food was fresh and many dishes were cooked on the spot. If you get a window seat you might even get a nice view to accompany your meal.
There are many stations here including of course, the seafood, meat, Asian, Indian, Pasta, Sushi, Salads and dessert. The major focus though is on the seafood which of course gives you the best value considering the price of the ingredients.
The freshly made naans at the Indian station was fantastic and there were people lining up for that just cooked piece.
The roasts were great too. The meat was juicy and tender and had crispy skin which I loved.
Desserts though I must say was a bit disappointing. Although I can’t say I was ever that impressed with the desserts at buffets. They are usually dried, hard and tasteless, like the ones here. They looked quite pretty but it stops there.
In short, if you love your seafood, Indian or meats then you might enjoy Melba, else I suggest you spend that money elsewhere where you might get a fantastic meal. I find that even with the availability of crayfish or yabbies and crabs, the price tag is a tad too expensive, especially for those people who can’t eat much anyway like myself.
Phone: (03) 8696 8888
Address: The Langham Hotel, 1 Southgate Ave Southbank, VIC 3006
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday – Breakfast, lunch and dinner