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Review: Star Buffet

Michelle Brotohusodo

The first time I ever heard about Star Buffet was through a friend’s Facebook status update that said she was “excited about the opening of Star Buffet at the Burns Club in Canberra!”. She was so excited that her husband said she talked about it first thing in the morning after waking up, and again in the car on the way home after work. Now, my friend loves food possibly even more than I do, so if she was excited about Star Buffet then I thought it was probably worth checking out.

While I plotted about when I could go, I saw more posts about it—my friend Ngaire said it was amazing, and her friend Amy described it like “eating on a cruise without the motion of the ocean” (I love this description, I wish I’d come up with it!). So by the time I finally went last Saturday lunchtime, my expectations were fairly high.

Star_dining_area

One thing I’ve learnt about eating at buffets is that it’s much more enjoyable if you go with friends who love food and who won’t judge you if you come back with a plate that has a random assortment on it, like meat, dessert, and pumpkin. Lucky for me my dining companions included two such dear friends, and fellow foodie Tales of a Confectionist (those of you who follow the HerCanberra Food & Drink page will know that she and I had stuffed our faces at Dumpling Inn at Macquarie the night before. We have no shame).

Star Buffet doesn’t take bookings, but I’d heard that the seating capacity was pretty large so it wouldn’t be a problem. This was true. My friends and I were very amused when we were shown to the table closest to the food stations—how did they know?? Now, it turns out they weren’t too happy about people taking photos, but I’d taken some before they said this, so I’m going to include some pics and we’ll just see what happens.

Star_food_stations

During a discussion on Facebook, one of my friends had reeled off a list of some of what Star Buffet had to offer. I couldn’t understand how one buffet could have that much choice. But it really did. There were at least six food stations, and this is just some of what was there was: sushi (from a little sushi train), a chocolate fountain, cakes, various other desserts, soft serve ice cream, roast meats and vegetables, salads, different kinds of fish, lamb shanks, American ribs, Chinese-style BBQ meats (two types of pork, duck, and chicken), fresh seafood, fried rice, noodles, soups, Asian stir fries, little bamboo steamers with dim sims and BBQ pork buns, deep fried BBQ pork buns (yes you read that right), pizza, pasta, cheese, crackers, and fresh fruit.

Star_BBQ_meats

Apart from the Promenade Café and Tea Lounge at the Hyatt, I’ve not been to a buffet where all the food on offer is good quality, and Star Buffet was no exception. I found the salmon very dry and the American ribs really chewy, and I didn’t even bother to try the panna cotta after Tales of a Confectionist said it wasn’t worth it. That said, there were some really pleasant surprises.

The lamb shanks were tender and tasty, the Chinese-style BBQ meats were delicious, particularly the duck and the pork with crunchy crackling, and the Portugese tarts were really, really good. The freshly-cooked steaks with mushroom sauce were also good, and went well with the roast pumpkin I kept loading on my plate.

Star_desserts

With the amount of food on offer, there was no way I could try everything, but there was definitely enough that was delicious that I would go back. And for the price, it’s hard to go wrong. Our lunch was $24.80 each, if we’d gone on a weekday it would have only been $16.10. Children under 12 and seniors can eat for even less.

So my advice would be to give it a go—try a few things to figure out the hits and misses, and then make the most of the hits (seriously, I was still thinking about the Portuguese tarts days later).

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The essentials

What: Star Buffet
Where: Inside the Burns Club, 8 Kett St, Kambah
When: Lunch: Monday-Friday 11.30am-2pm, Saturday-Sunday 12pm-3pm; Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 5.30pm-9pm, Friday-Saturday 5.30pm-10pm
Food: Buffet including Japanese, Chinese, European, seafood, roasts
Drinks: Soft drinks ($2.80 for bottomless soft drink), tea, coffee
How much: See above.
Contact: Call 02 6296 3045 or visit their website

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Michelle Brotohusodo

Michelle moved to Canberra vowing to stay for two years, tops. 10 years later, she’s a bona fide Canberra convert. When she’s not working in her day job as a public servant, she’s enjoying Canberra’s culinary delights or finding fun things to do/see in and around town. More about the Author

  • Eileen Gillin

    Loved this review! Thanks so much for a fabulous, informative, light hearted and relaxed review. Thanks Michelle 🙂

    • Michelle B

      Sorry Eileen, I only just saw your comment! Thanks for reading and I’m really glad you liked the review 🙂