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THE Buffet

All you can eat foie gras!

All you can eat foie gras!

I had a hundred ways to start the blog post on the buffet at the Four Seasons. They crossed my mind effortlessly…

Can you eat 2 lbs of foie gras?
The best buffet in the world is in Bangkok
Could you spend 4 hours at a buffet?
I ate so much goose liver that I body went into convulsions
$65 USD equals an eternity of happiness (or at least a Sunday)

When I was a kid, I remember the buffets as the Officer’s Club; omelette stations and french toast and unlimited sausage and bacon. It was all wonderful when you’re 10.

But buffets lost their charm when I STARTED TO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THE quality of the food served.

Then a few months ago I read an egullet report on the Sunday Brunch at the Four Seasons Bangkok. It sounded more and more wonderful as I found other posts about it but being that Bangkok was the first place we were going to stop, it was hard convincing ourselves that we should blow our budget in the first week (For comparison, we were spending $10/night for lodging and this buffet is about $75 each). But after working out our Vietnam plans, itturned out that we were leaving Hanoi throuugh bangkok on a Sunday and at that point we decided that we had to check out this brunch buffet. I emailed the Four Seasons and made a reservation.

Now, I’ve never stayed at a Four Seasons. They are beyond my personal and work price range,but if the Bangkok Four Seasons is any sign, I might need to try and find a way to stay there more regularly. This hotel was very nice and the Sunday Buffet is in a word: AMAZING.

Like I said, I grew up on mediocre buffets in Alabama. I was young and I loved the omelete station and we were excited to get an Eggs Benedict Station. But as I grew older, my requirement for great food ment that I shunned buffets. Even the best buffet in Seattle at Salty’s (arguably) is not some place I would choose to go.

And then we stopped at the Four Seasons Bangkok. The waitress gave us the tour. It seemed silly at first but then took on new meaning as we realized all the options:

Drinks? We have a full bar with champagne, french and chilean white and red. All included. Japanese? We have fresh salmon, tuna, hamachi, shrimp. Would you like nigiri or sashimi? We will deliver it to your table..

We had heard about the foie gras station but I imagine we didn’t quite believe it. But there is was. A counter with 20kgs (they go through 22kgs a weekend) or so of foie gras. Would you like it pan seared, in a terrine or in a custard? There was also foie gras sausage.

And if you have ever been to a buffet, you now how they cut corners, trying to find a way to reduce their food prices as people load up on shrimp and crab. I’m happy and amazed to say the Four Seasons does not do this. Everything was top of the line. The salmon sahimi was some of the best we’ve ever tasted. The 4 slices of foie gras that we ate were sublime. The crab claws i ADDED to the cream pasta that was custom made were freshly cracked from the claw. The pasta was handmade.

The Chinese station had crisp char siew pork belly and dim sum. At the Indian station, the cook handmade the roti and threw it onto the wall of the giant clay pot where the charcoal below cooked it in just a minute or two. The Grill station cooked up Australian lamb chops to order along with steaks, two kinds of homemade sausage and crisp pork tenderlion and
prime rib.

Across from the Grill station was the Seafood station with fresh oysters, giant crab claws and even lobster tails (though not the entire tail – I think this was the only place where some amount of oversight on product cost was taken into account.

I feel like I’m going sideways. Here’s how it went down…

We started with the french cheeses, house-smoked salmon and a kir royale and mimosa. After that we moved to hamachi and salmon sashimi. After a few minutes, the seared foie gras and sausage was delivered to our table. Next came the housemade pasta in a cream sauce with mushrooms, lardons, olives, parmesean and anchovy paste. I then stirred in some crab meat from two crab claws and switched to a French Chardonnay.

Chinese was next but it wasn’t my favorite. After that, Kelly picked up some homemade hummus and babaganouch. We were still thinking about that salmon, so fatty and soft that we ordered another plate along with some tuna. The pieces were even thicker than before but still just as smooth.

Then I noticed the caviar station. I grabbed some standard black along with some saffron infused. Piling it on top of the mini pancake along with some creme freche. At that point, 3 more slices of seared foie gras showed up along with two foie gras custards. This was too much for even us but I then discovered a truly decadent treat of stacking the caviar and

foie gras on top of one another and eating it all on a piece of baguette. Kelly went to the fruit station and grabbed some blackberry and raspberry compote to put on the foie gras.

I tried the Savinuon Blanc and we moved to the Indian station. Tandori chicken, roasted potatoes and some other curry. It was all good, but we could get Indian anywhere so we didn’t eat that much.

The foie gras custard was smooth and silky and despite the enourmous amount of pure fat I had already eaten, I managed to finish it.

I came across aother discovery on my next trip around the buffet. The Thai station had freshly fried soft-shell crab. I took a couple and the chef cooked up a quick curry sauce to put on top.

Kelly moved onto desserts but I hadn’t even moved to the reds yet. I grabbed a cab-shiraz mix and ordered up a couple medium-rare lamb chops, veal sausage and french fries. They arrived parfectly prepared and were of course delicious. I tried coating them in foie gras.

It was good but not really necessary.

OK Ok. We’re really done now. No more…except dessert. We tried the blueberry muffins (moist ant buttery – something not easily found in SE Asia – The Asians haven’t discovered the beauty of butter yet), bread pudding, blueberry cobbler and fresh strawberries. We added a couple scoops of ice cream and ordered a banana souffle, again cooked to order. This arrived with a latte and espresso.

Our bodies were full and quivering from the enormous amount of food and fat we had already consumed. It had been about 3 hours now and the buffet was starting to thin out. I grabbed another glass of champagne to finish it all off and we spent the next hour out in the garden as they shut everything down and prepared for normal dinner service. The buffet is really a combination of four different restaurants at the Four Seasons that open up into one giant restaurant just for the Sunday Buffet. Afterwards, we hopped a cab back to BKK and flew off to Phuket.  Check out some of the amazing food below, and for more pics, click here.

One of the dessert tables

One of the dessert tables

Sashimi from the Japanese station

Sashimi from the Japanese station

Softshell crab in curry

Softshell crab in curry

Lamb chop, veal sausage and fries

Lamb chop, veal sausage and fries

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3 Responses

  1. come on guys, I’ve never even heard of Foie sausage, I need more description, this buffet is like food porn. Good work!

  2. holy crap! i wish that chris and i were there with you guys for that, we could have had a foie gras eating contest.

  3. […] pics and added a bunch to older posts like “Railey,” “Beaching It,” “THE Buffet” (scrumptious pics of the best meal of our lives),  “The Big-Mouthed Vietnamese – Part […]

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