The Royal Cliff Hotel and Resort has a pretty good reputation for service and quality restaurant outlets. In my experience, the ones I have visited live up to this reputation. The one that doesn’t, however is the seafood buffet at the Larn Thong and Terrace
I recently went there with a couple of friends. We were very enthusiastic about the promise of seafood at a very reasonable price of Baht 895++. At first look, everything looked great: we did a lap around the food offerings in order to plan our attack. After all, a buffet is nothing if not a personal challenge!
Before committing to the food, we ordered a bottle of the house sauvignon blanc. When we got back to the table with our first plates of food, the wine was nowhere to be seen. We ended up waiting for over 20 minutes for the wine, and when it arrived it was at room temperature. An ice bucket took another five minutes to arrive, and then we had to wait another ten minutes before the wine was at a drinkable temperature. The Royal Cliff trades on its wine menu and service, so it was very disappointing. The wine we ordered was one of their standard house-labeled wines, it was not a rare vintage. It was inexcusable for it to be served at room temperature and to be stored in a different outlet.
Despite the wine, our food was pretty good. There was a full array of seafood, Thai dishes and western faves. My only complaint about the food was that the teppanyaki cook had no idea that in a mixed teppanyaki dish, cooking time varies for different ingredients. The cook put the chicken, prawns and scallops on the griddle at the same time – meaning that by the time the chicken was cooked, the scallops were mush and the prawns tough and a little too chewy!
Our biggest complaint of the evening was the service. We had to ask waiters to clear out plates, and our humble request seemed to annoy them! Wait staff were yelling over tables, much to our discomfort. One staff member had a voice so loud, so shrill that I thought my ears would bleed!
The restaurant advertises that the buffet goes until 10.30 pm, but at 9.40 pm while we were still eating, the staff began to clear all the food away. As it happens, our “personal challenge” was near its end, but it annoyed us no end that they were clearing so early without any regard for the customers. And the clearing was in no way a silent process – more yelling and screaming across tables, more shrill voices, and more worries that blood would rain forth from my ear canals!
This was my first and last visit to the Royal Cliff’s seafood buffet.
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