Outside Eight

Langham & The Eight Experience….

Having a heard a lot about how amazing Eight was from my friends and mum’s friends…(surprisingly none of my friends who are chefs recommended it) decided to take mum there for a late mothers day treat.

We arrived there about 1/2 hour early…mum panicked about the traffic and was worried we would not make it on time. Upon getting to The Langham there was no one at the entrance (doorman). On entering the lobby the signage was too small..after talking to the concierge we were pointed in the right direction.

The lady (I think she was the manager) explained that they were still prepping the restaurant and thus we would have to wait however they had a wedding expo going on and we could visit the same. It was free of charge so why not.

After about 1/2 hour we were back and were greeted by Angela. She could not find the booking so the lady we first met was called and after a few minutes and repeating my name a few times they found my booking. We were seated right next to the front desk of the restaurant which meant we had to walk the length of the restaurant to get to the buffet. Unsure why this was as only two tables were full when we came in.

Now I am a believer in good food, fresh ingredients and when you boast that this is going to be a “Culinary Journey” I am expecting something spectacular. Angela took us around and explained why the restaurant was called Eight (8 different food stations):

  • Seafood Bar
  • New York Style Grille
  • Wok & Dim Sum Corner
  • Indian Tandoori & Curry Kitchen
  • Freshly made sushi and sashimi
  • Salad
  • Bread and Pastries
  • Desserts and sweets
Meat station
New York Style Grille
Oyster Bar
Oyster Bar & in the plates Pancetta wrapped chicken (cold salad)

Everything looked fantastic and yes there was a variety but when you actually get into it there were a few things lacking which could have made this experience great.

When I was in Asia and went to a similar buffet when they cook the seafood or meat to order they give you a number which means instead of standing around waiting you can get the other food head to your table and the made to order is delivered to your table. However here we were waiting for the fish or meat to cook which means the other food was getting cold.

The oysters were succulent and fresh. The meat station had a good variety of meat however some of it was previously browned and was sitting in the Le Creuset pans at the back. Instead of pulling out fresh sausages from the cabinet and cooking it we had the previously cooked sausages reheated and served. Not the way to go. The sausages weren’t run of the mill…there was

  • Chicken, white chocolate and coffee: Unusual combination but you could taste the white chocolate and coffee once cooked and it was yummy.
  • Venison Curry Sausage: This was by far my favourite had a good flavour to it & the herbs and spices worked very well.
  • Venison, Chorizo & Prawn Sausages: this did not really work for me & the prawn pieces were still quite chunky in the sausage.
Sausages, Dimsums & Salmon pan fried
The three sausages as described above. Pan Fried Salmon on the far right. Prawn & Pork Dim sum centre. Beef dim sum at the top left.

The fish station was good with a wide variety of fish however they do get quite overwhelmed as people stand around waiting for their orders.

Mixture of Food
Sirloin Steak (top left), Variety of fish (right), Oysters (Centre) & roast root veg (left)

The cocktails were around $18.50 and upwards which is quite pricey for cocktails in the city however the drink was quite refreshing and a great combination.

Limoncello Midori Cocktail
Limoncello Midori Cocktail

Now comes dessert this was the least impressive of all. They had a good variety however every one of the options that I picked unfortunately had that oomph missing. The cheesecake was sitting in a fridge for too long as the cheesey part didn’t just slice through and was quite  hard and it was the same with the opera cake. For the Creme Brûlée the top wasn’t caramelised correctly or enough. I definitely expected a lot more considering I tried some of the wedding cake at the expo and that was quite delicious.

Chocolate Fountain
Chocolate Fountain
Wedding Cake
Wedding Cake (display only)
Movenpick Corner
Movenpick Corner
Opera & Cheesecake
Opera & Cheesecake
Creme Brûlée
Creme Brûlée

When you go to a hotel like The Langham you expect excellent service & even though the waitress that served our table was quite pleasant it felt like the staff were just floating by. At the desert counter the plate that I picked had crusted food still stuck to it, upon handing it to the waitress I thought I would get an apology but not a word was said and this was a bit disappointing. And the unfortunate detail a 2% charge on credit card payments. I have yet to go to a hotel that charges a 2% charge for credit card transactions…yes certain airlines but restaurants or hotels of this calibre…nah!!

For the cost of eating here I would have rather gone to one of my favs Depot (no they don’t pay me for the publicity) or The Grill and had a better experience but had to give this a go to try it. Would I go back…yeah if i got offered a free meal because at $69 a pop for lunch and the drinks additional it was definitely not worth the price.

Eight, The Langham, 83 Symonds Street, Auckland Central. T: (09) 300 2924

2 People including 2 cocktails $175


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