The Sheraton Buffet

With amazing dressings and sauces

The Dining Out Team has just returned from a wonderful lunchtime experience. Miss Terry does not feel like working! And not one drop of alcohol has passed my lips.

We went to the Sheraton for lunch (old timers will remember it as the Westin), at the invitation of executive assistant manager Manuel Reymondin. This is a B. 450 net buffet, which runs every day, and in many ways ended up as an eye-opener. There is also a special deal for local Chiangmai Mail readers, but you will have to read through the review to find it.

The Sheraton is not a ‘new’ hotel, although the name is new to Chiang Mai. It has a ‘familiar’ feel to it, and the glassed in dining area overlooking the Ping River exudes ease and comfort. Large chairs with padded bottoms, high ceilings, a certain ‘hush’ and service personnel in their white shirts and black striped aprons who just noiselessly appear at the table, all add to this relaxed atmosphere.

There is a central buffet area which has the cold items and some very fresh salads. Bell peppers, celery with walnuts, golden needle mushrooms, radish, several dressings and sauces, including chilli, salsa, 1000 Island cocktail sauce, French, honey mustard, Italian, vinaigrette, guacamole, tartare, horseradish and wasabi, plus lots more that I didn’t write down.

Along the far walls there are various hot food stations, including a carvery and Thai kwiteo items. There is also a pasta station with fusilli, fettucini, spaghetti, penne and more sauces with bolognaise, pesto, seafood and curry.

Along another wall are groaning food warmers with items such as beef medallions with walnut sauce, breast of chicken with carrot, zucchini, shitake mushroom and orange celery sauce, or a roasted rack of lamb with green peppercorn soufflé.

And then there are desserts! And even more desserts!

We all chased our favourites, and returned to the table with different items. My first foray was into the Japanese section for the prawns, crab sticks and wasabi (Miss Terry loves wasabi). Following that I tried some of the Mexican items and made myself a guacamole/garlic brochette, attacking it with the heaviest of hands. A couple of salmon quesadillas did not go astray either!

By the time we got to desserts, we had already spent a leisurely time, involving much to-ing and fro-ing and laden plates! However, Madame finally came back with four desserts on one plate and a wicked grin. "That’s only the beginning," she said! I decided to try the cheese platter and selected some very good cheeses, all washed down with coffee (all inclusive in the price). To be honest, I did not want to leave, despite the rainy weather. Certainly one of the more enjoyable buffets.

I have actually gone to many buffets all over the world, and have come to the conclusion that the main differences between them comes down to range of items and the standard of the ingredients. The range at this Sheraton Buffet was enormous, and what is more, many of the items on offer are different each day. Manuel Reymondin said that they can present this full buffet every day as they are not just relying on walk-ins, but have a very steady large customer base in the guests staying at the hotel. As far as the standard of the items in the buffet was concerned, it was again excellent. The vegetables were decidedly fresh, the range of cheeses not stinted upon and the ‘khem thong’ (golden needle) mushrooms had me going back more than once. This is a buffet that can proudly carry Miss Terry Diner’s seal of approval. Very highly recommended.

Now I mentioned the special deal for locals at the beginning. This is a VIP 20 percent discount card and it is yours for the asking, but you can tell the ever so nice Manuel Reymondin that Miss Terry sent you! That gives you another reason to pop into the Sheraton one lunch time.

Sheraton Chiangmai, 318/1 Chiangmai-Lamphun Road, Chiang Mai, telephone 053 275 300, fax 053 275 299, email: [email protected] Secure parking in the hotel forecourt. Buffet open seven days, 11 a.m. until 2.30 p.m.