Kitchen workshop is a buffet restaurant located in Crown Casino, Melbourne. The premise is quite modern and basic. The tables are set neatly apart from each other and the overall feel you get is that you’re dining in an open space. There is not real door to the restaurant, just an entrance way with the the reception counter as the gate keeper. For a buffet restaurant the pricing per person isn’t too expensive. It was $35 pp which includes seafood (fresh oysters and prawns). It’s not a fancy buffet so if you’re expecting to find lobsters and crabs then this is probably not the place to go. You are also limited to only 300g of prawns or half a dozen fresh oysters, which is really a shame but somewhat understandable.
I first started with the entree, or soups. I tried the Chicken congee first which was quite nice. There wasn’t so much chicken in it, but the taste reminded me of what my mum would make at home sometimes.
Plate #01 (clockwise from top left): Braised pork belly, blanched and quick stir fried vegies, roasted beef with mustard and gravy, Peri peri chicken drumstick with pineapple, roasted potatoes, penne pasta in napoli sauce, baked fish, Beef goulash.
The highlight of this plate was the Peri Peri chicken drumstick and roast potatoes.The drumstick had very nice flavours, actual pineapple chunks to add sweetness and the meat was tender and soft. I liked it a lot, while the potatoes were well seasoned and baked. The rest of it was quite average, or in the case with the pasta, baked fish and beef goulash not that great.
Plate #02: Teriyaki chicken and vegies, beef curry, imitation seafood stick/mixed meat wonton and bok choy, Hokkien noodles, deep fried fish, scallops and spring rolls, butter rice.
I was most disappointed with the wonton because it looked so good, but the filling tasted like cheap imitation seafood stick, really. The deep fried fish and scallops was nice, the bok choy kept my vegetable cravings happy and the rice was soft and smooth. The plate overall was so-so.
Plate #03: Fresh vegetables, collard greens, potato and raisin salad, pasta mayonnaise salad, cabbage coleslaw, bacon pieces and bean salad.
Yay a salad plate. I wanted to eat something that could not possibly taste bad, so all the fresh vegetables were good. The potato and pasta salad was a bit sweet and the flavours were a bit unusual. The bean salad was slimy and horrible, bacon and slaw was ok.
Plate#04: Red bean donut ball, asian steamed rice flour with some sort of coconut/date/ginger filling, marshmallow dipped in chocolated, fresh cream and orange pudding.
It was time for some dessert. I was so excited, because as you will see in the up coming plates I tried heaps. The red bean donut wasn’t too bad, the dough was a bit tough and thick though. The asian steamed thing was horrible, it looked great and I was really stoked to try it, until I took a bite and felt like spitting it out. It had a very strong and distinct taste to it that’s hard to describe and when my friend tried it he felt the same. I’ve had something like this before but a savoury version and love it, so this was very disappointing for me. I’ve never eaten marshmallows dipped in chocolate before so it was nice, and soft and chewy. The orange pudding was good too, though anymore would be too much.
Plate #05: Fresh fruit, cheesecake, green jelly, blackforest cake and pavlova.
Love the fresh fruit. Cheesecake tasted like your generic supermarket unbaked cheesecake, I could not for the life of me tell what the gelatin was meant to taste like. The blackforest cake was nice (minus the glace cherry), and pavlova tasted like meringue (which is essentially what it is). I’m not a fan of pavlovas because it’s just essentually sugar and egg whites, and extremely sweet. Not my kind of dessert.
Plate #06: Pistachio pana cotta, berry trifle, thai coconut (?) pudding, jackfruit/basil see/grass jelly sago
This was my favourite dessert plate so far. The panna cotta was nice, although lacking some flavour, my friend and I deduced it was meant to be pistachio from the garnish and colour. The berry trifled was a good bundle of surprises, with, sponge, biscuit and gelatin here and there. The thai pudding was not too my liking, and if the garnish had been ginger or some sort of orange rind cooked in ginger, it didn’t taste quite right. The sago was very nice. It contained all my favourite tropical flavours, I enjoyed every component of the dessert.
Plate #07: Or more like bowl #07. I needed a break from all the sweets. Rested for a good 10-15mins and had to some pumpkin soup. Even though there was hints of pumpkin, it tasted more like a chicken/corn/pumpkin chowder rather than pumpkin soup. Tasted alright, but not what I consider to be pumpkin soup at all.
Plate #08: Pandan rice flour gelatin/jelly with mandarin, stawberry yoghurt panna cotta, agar and fruit, coffee profiterole and mud cake.
The jellies were alright. The strawberry yoghurt panna cotta was actually quite nice, it had more flavour than the pistachio one. I was a bit disappointed with the profiterole, even though the flavour was good, it was a cream and I had expected a custard centre. Mud cake was like chocolate cake.
But time I had got up to my last two plates of desserts, my friends had already finish eating and were basically waiting for me to be done. I was very full at this point, despite only tasting everything. Well maybe some things more than others, but you get the idea.
This is how the table looked like at the end, and yes those plates were mine, neatly stacked on top of one another so that it wouldn’t look so bad.
Overall rating: 6/10. It was ok. Some good food, some alright food, and the rest not so great, but the dining experience was nice. Intially I gave it a 7.0 because I enjoyed the experience but after my friend gave it a 6, I began to reconsider my generous score.
The selection of food was decent and according to my two friends at the time the prawns and oysters were nice and fresh. So that upped the score a bit, even though I did not have any seafood. My food highlights of the night was mainly the peri peri chicken drumstick, roast potatoes and desserts, in particular the sago, berry trifle, strawberry yoghurt panna cotta.
The restaurant opens from 5:30pm onwards and there is no session times, so technically you could stay till closing time which is 9:30pm (week days & Sundays) or 10:00pm (Saturdays). For more information just check out the official site.
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