On New Years Eve in 2013, we had the New Years buffet at Fresh with Sara’s family, located inside of the Radisson hotel in Richmond, BC. The buffet is only offered during special occasions, as the Fresh has a regular menu during non-special times. Yes, I am fully aware that we are 12 days into 2014, but hey better late than never right?
The main attraction at the NYE buffet at Fresh Restaurant & Lounge was the prime rib. Unlimited amounts of prime rib is great of an attraction as you are going to get. The prime rib was very tasty – well cooked, and well seasoned. The prime rib was prepared to a nice pinkish medium rare, but the chef does have some rare cuts available if you so desire.
A wide range of condiments are available for your choosing including horseradish, grain mustard, and gravy. The gravy was a peppercorn gravy but we personally did not enjoy the gravy. The gravy was cold, and lacked the depth of flavors for gravy. There were bits of peppercorn but to me the gravy just tasted think oil or grease.
Another dish of note, unfortunately for the wrong reasons, was the black bean and garlic clams. This was very salty and was served cold. Yes, cold. This was the first time of my 27 years of existence have I ever seen a dish like this served cold. This very chinesy way of preparing clams is always steaming hot but for some reason Fresh Restaurant & Lounge decided serving the clams cold was a better idea. Fools.
I know there is a lot on the plate, but let me go through each item. This plate literally has everything they offered that night.
Brussels Sprouts stir fried in duck drippings – this was a delicious as the name suggests. Brussels sprouts sometimes gets a bad name because of their slightly bitter taste (think cabbage) but with the right ingredients, that taste is masked and the sprouts really absorbs the flavors.
A baked seafood casserole with fried oysters – this was really “meh”. The seafood was over baked and there was way to much of the sauce. The sauce was hollandaise so this dish is not for those on a diet, especially with the fried oysters. If not for the oysters, this dish would have been terrible.
Baked salmon fillets in a dill sauce – this was another “meh”. Sauce was not dilly enough and the salmon was baked for far too long, resulting in a dry piece of salmon. Not really tasty nor ideal.
Lobster fried rice – Served lukewarm and, “Where is the lobster”, is really all that needs to be said.
Roasted Duck – the duck wasn’t bad. The meat was still juicy and the skin was crispy.
Here are some pictures from the buffet:
If I were to honestly give a rating to the buffet at Fresh Restaurant & Lounge, it would not be very high.
Overall, the food was mediocre. Nothing was great and nothing was terrible. There are some execution flaws especially with the seafood, but what can you expect with food sitting in a hot bar? The meat and especially seafood is expected to dry out over time. The “saving grace” of this whole buffet was the prime rib. If not for the prime rib, the dinner would have been full of disappointment.