Atrium (Crown Perth), Victoria Park
As I flicked my way through the Fresh liftout of The West Australian, an advertisement jumped out at me: “Enjoy Perth’s Finest Buffet Breakfast for only $25.” Being the avid eater, I quickly booked my family and I a spot for Friday morning at 9am excluding my poor little brother who unfortunately was still encaged in the dungeon that we call primary school.
The booking process was surprisingly more problematic than I would have thought. I called and waited on-hold for a good couple of minutes before a lady answered. Bookings should be straightforward, right? Date, time, number of people, name, contact number. Done. Easy. Apparently not. I was required to not only give the above necessary information but also a home phone and an email address. Apparently, it was also important that my name should be spelt exactly right (for the email I can understand, but for the actual booking?) and for one like mine which is phonetically quite difficult (it’s a double barrelled surname) it took another good couple of minutes to get it to the tee. I got off the phone exhausted. Might go for the email booking next time ’round.
Anyway, Friday turns out to be the perfect time to go for a relaxing family breakfast. Lots of free parking available, the place is quiet and peaceful (as opposed to the drunken hoard that pervade the night) and the food has not yet been mauled by ravenous food eaters like myself. My parents and I go for a casual stroll, the former exclaiming how much Burswood/Crown Casino has evolved over the past few years. So many new fancy places have opened up, which they were both quite keen to try out in the future!
As buffets go, I have no strategic plan when it comes to tackling a large spread of food so I made a mental plan to pace myself this time around. I started off with something relatively light, approaching the cheese board and the seafood salad bar. The salmon was deliciously fresh and the drizzle of balsamic worked well with the bocconcini, tomato and spinach. An array of olives, ham and salami were also on offer for those who are partial to their cold cuts. I also had a spot of creamy brie, which had melted into a soft mess. Other cheeses on offer included cheddar, blue cheese and gouda as well as a number of different crackers. I also grabbed a brioche bun off the pastry table to add some carbs to the mix. There were also pretzels!!
The pretzels were a tad too salty and a bit tough to tear though, but they certainly looked a treat. Along with your usual slices of wholegrain and white toast there was a range of your standard condiments (butter, jam etc) and a mini toaster to the side for DIY purposes. Pretty pastries also decked the silver trays – croissants (normal and chocolate), escargots, spinach and fetta twists as well as a number of different flavoured muffins.
A big hearty breakfast is always the way to go and more than a few people walked by our table, their plates piled high with the good ol’ hangover cure. The stainless steel bain-maries housed a number of fry-ups: bacon, atlantic salmon, beef fillets, ham, sausages. Dark red pots sported herbed roasted tomatoes, scrambled eggs, baked beans, hash browns, mushrooms, egg and bacon pastries and sautéed potatoes with spring onion. There was some hollandaise sauce on offer, which I quickly drenched my beef fillet with as the meat was a tad dry (the downside of having sat continuously cooking in the bain-marie). The coolest section was the omelette station, where the cooks prepare your dish on the spot, allowing you to choose from a range of ingredients. I chose cheese, tomato, onion and mushroom (ham was also on offer) which was whizzed up in a jiffy, folded up and plopped onto my plate. Yum.
My third course was a shared bowl of congee with my mother which came with chinese sausage, century egg, salted egg, seaweed, shallots and my personal favourite the youtiao (a fried chinese doughnut). Miso soup was also on offer, as well as steaming baskets of dim sim. My sister and her boyfriend also took advantage of the Asian cuisine on offer and made up a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice, with poached chicken, chilli sauce, cucumber and some curry puffs on the side for extra filling. Roti, pappadums, chickpea curry, fried fish with black bean sauce, spring rolls, prawn toast, prawn crackers and fried noodles rounded off the rest of the dishes in that area.
At this point, I felt like I was going to explode into tiny pieces of bacon confetti but I couldn’t resist trying out the waffles. My waffles were surprisingly crunchy despite having stayed out for a good portion of time. I smothered it with whipped cream, berry coulis, mango coulis, chocolate ganache and added a canned peach and strawberry for good measure. It was so unbelievably good, but also crazy sweet. My fault.
Fresh honey! I was tempted to knock out some of the shards and make my own honeycomb but I didn’t want to appear socially unacceptable, so I walked away with a drizzle from the small pot collected at the very end of the contraption for my waffles and brioche.
The chef began to bring out some desserts, placing them carefully in the glass cabinet whilst I drooled shamelessly and took more photos. Our family (after ample digestion time) shared a small plate of creme caramel (deliciously silky), berry cheesecake (smooth with a gelatinous top layer), a sponge cake (light and crumbly), chocolate profiteroles (with gold popping candy!) and a slice of a chocolate log with a decadent mousse-like consistency (the spot of tart raspberry mousse in the middle made it my favourite sweet treat of the day).
The family and I, thoroughly stuffed, waddled out impressed with the large selection of breakfast foods on offer covering a range of different cuisines. It was certainly value for money too, for $25 a head inclusive of complimentary drinks such as orange juice, sparkling water, and pineapple juice, with tea and coffee also on order. The deal also promoted a complimentary glass of sparkling wine each, however the general consensus was that it was too early in the morning for a bit of alcohol. In terms of service it was professional and attentive. We were seated quickly by some lovely waitresses who offered us tea, coffee, water and wine and who would often come by to clear away the growing pile of dirty dishes that were accumulated, all with a sunny smile. A beautiful breakfast treat.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Address: Crown Perth, Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood 6100
- Atrium’s breakfast discount is available Monday to Saturday (until 21st December 2013), $25pp instead of the normal $37.90.
- Bookings essential! Breakfast times open from 6.30 am to 10.30 am.
- Another 2013 Gold Plate Award recipient!