Buffets don’t always enjoy the best reputation – and, admittedly, dried out food that’s been prepared en masse and stood on display for hours is far from tempting. But there are some restaurants that are getting it right.
Here’s our round-up of tables that will have you coming back for more.
Dim sum devotees swear that this Rivonia spot is the only place to go for Sunday brunch; it’s as authentic as Chinese gets outside of Beijing. Options range from pork bao and spare ribs to prawn dumplings and fried buns, washed down with a bottomless pot of green tea.
Moyo Zoo Lake
It’s hard to believe that Jan Smuts, Johannesburg’s busiest road, lies just beyond the Zoo Lake’s park setting – which is, of course, enjoyed to full effect from Moyo’s decks. The restaurant’s weekend buffets are outstanding value for money: for just R199 for adults, diners can enjoy an astonishing array of dishes, all paying homage to our beautiful continent. Look out for exotically spiced dips, unusual salads, traditional potjies, seafood, chesa’nyama and toothsome desserts.
When you can’t make it to Kirstenbosch, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens are a sound second choice. Eagle’s Fare, the gardens’ on-site eatery, certainly makes the most of its breathtaking setting, waterfall and all. Take your pick from a wide range of starters, salads, roasts and casseroles – in other words, a Sunday lunch like your mom would make – while the kids burn off energy on the playground outside.
Warning: if you’re a dedicated carnivore, then this vegan spread is not for you. If, on the other hand, your mouth waters at the thought of greens plucked from the garden just hours before being transformed into wholesome deliciousness, you’ll look forward to piling your plate high. Leafy Greens offers a superfood-packed breakfast buffet (think fruit salad with coconut yoghurt, chia parfait, steaming oat or brown rice porridge) and a lunch spread with over 30 dishes to choose from.
Qunu at the Saxon Hotel
Breakfast here is one of the very best ways to start the day. Although a variety of hot dishes are available, you probably won’t have much interest in them if you’ve checked out the cold buffet first. Look out for delicacies like sushi, smoked salmon trout, oysters and herring, a selection of cold meats, fresh fruit and danishes.
While some diners might be put off by chain restaurants, Adega’s fans take comfort in knowing that they can expect value for money and solid service wherever they go. The Bedfordview branch’s Sunday lunchtime offering has developed a following of its own – and what’s not to love about an all-you-can-eat seafood spread, including goodies like prawn Korma, sushi, ocean fresh oysters and seafood pasta. It’s not only the extensive choice that’s impressive; diners are assured that (unlike many other buffets), dishes are freshly prepared, especially for the buffet table.