Flashback to February!
Remember that “Buffet of Buffets” pass? We made good use of it for sure! Despite an inauspicious dinner at the Paris’ Le Village, we did have good luck with it elsewhere. The Spice Market Buffet was definitely one of those!
I have to admit I have an unexplained fondness for the Planet Hollywood Casino. It was renovated and had its grand opening during our previous vacation to Vegas, and it still shines super sleek and hip. I love the giant disco-ball chandeliers, and I’ve purchased several overpriced drinks at the Heart Bar on the gaming floor. Why? I don’t know. But I do like it a lot (though our visit to the Cosmopolitan during this most recent trip to Las Vegas, which I’ll be reviewing soon too, is poised to take over this top spot!)
Similar to many buffets that either opened or reopened in the mid-2000′s, the Spice Market Buffet is segmented into various “stations” – this one in particular is regionally themed. Smelling the delicious spicy aromas from the kebab grill, most of my first plate came from the “Middle Eastern” station. Grilled meats were still nice and tender, and the “tandoori chicken” (which was a poor version of the dish, but very good for grilled chicken) was actually juicy. I enjoyed the stuffed tomato with grilled lamb, and more so the bed of Israeli Couscous that it was nestled in. From the cold dishes, the grape tomato and bocconcini salad was okay (needed more dressing), but the dolmades with spiced feta were delicious.
Instead of searching for the right tools, or even struggling with them to get the slippery meat out of the cold steamed seafood, the Spice Market Buffet folks made my day with the pre-sawed snow crab legs. These were so much easier to eat (especially with lots of hot melted butter) and were delightfully *not* waterlogged. I saw huge piles being devoured – what a scary thought to think about how much crab they must go through!
I went off the deep end with plate #3 – normally I try for some kind of thematic balance when putting together a plate at a buffet, if not for flavour sensibilities, then for at least visual appeal. Here I screwed up! From the poppy seed crackers with goat cheese at the top, to a soft taco/fajita, followed by fettucini a la vongole, then another one of those tomatoes with lamb and couscous, smothered by grilled eggplant and turnip (not a good choice), everything on this plate tasted, individually, very good, but made for such a crazy melange, that I got taste overloaded.
I should have been better prepared because I ended up skipping desert too :( I think the food there was of good enough quality, and wide enough variety that I would have had an excellent dinner there but chose poorly and ended up with a crazy confused meal :( Oh well, Spice Market Buffet – I will have my day with you at some point soon! :)
Oh, and throughout the meal, I must note that our server was quite good. Plates were cleared, drinks were refilled, and general cheerful conversation was had despite the fact that she had a very full section (including a tableful of tween girls who were SO LOUD). I also have to point out how different this place feels (so much more modern) than the other Buffet of Buffet locations – the less formal experience (or at least attempted formality) actually made this place feel more put-together. I was surprised at how at home everyone felt – from fancy-dressed couples, to multi-generational families. I also enjoyed the food-themed movie posters used throughout as decore, including a very CanCon one for The Peanut Butter Solution :)