Oh Melba… we have shared so many fond memories together. I still remember vividly one of the times when I ate for over 4hrs straight, and I saw fear in the eyes of the lady at the Sushi bar. I didn’t think she could believe that a single person could eat so much, and I nearly had to be stretchered out on that particular occasion! The reason for my madness is because everything tastes so damn good and I just want to eat it all! In case you haven’t realised, Melba is a buffet restaurant.
Walking past The Langham lobby and up onto the podium level, you’ll be greeted by the grand entrance of Melba. It’s quite a classy looking affair inside with massive windows and a magnificent view of Southbank. Growing up, I’m used to eating at buffets filled with a lot of families, fighting over the first batch of prawns to come out of the kitchen! No such dramas here. As a matter of fact this would be a great place to take your date and have a romantic dinner. There’s very few buffets where I can make this claim.
Personally speaking I adapt the same strategy for all buffets. Line my stomach with carbs and hot foods before I attack the cold seafood dishes. I find that hitting the seafood too hard at the start makes me feel extremely sick. Everyone is different and it’s best to find a strategy that works best for you. Forget the notion of trying to eat your money’s worth, it’s simply not going to happen. It’s good to note that the seating times here are generous so you get the luxury of working through the food systematically.
Well onto the food…. where do I start? To begin, I would recommend starting off with either the peking duck, lamb/beef roast or the freshly cooked noodles. Pay close attention to the roasts, you can generally tell which ones have been dried out by the food warmer. Trust your instincts and move onto something else if this is the case. Roast is a good start as it allows you to accompany it with some of the many salads on offer. I like to then move onto the freshly cooked Wagyu steaks. These are high quality pieces. Since they are so thin, I generally opt for them to be cooked rare since they always end up medium rare by the time it hits my plate.
After this it’s seafood time! The oysters are really fresh here, with a creamy texture. The crabs are a bit of work to eat, because I’m lazy I prefer to peel prawns instead. The sushi bar is my favourite hang out spot in the whole restaurant. One serve of sashimi (salmon, tuna, kingfish) is roughly 3-4 pieces, so feel free to ask for double or triple servings if you don’t want to make too many trips. Finish off with some fruits/desserts/cheese.
Obviously this is my routine, so eat and do what feels best for you! The important thing to remember is that you cannot expect an absurd variety like some of the Asian buffets, but there’s more than enough variety to suit even the fussiest of eaters. The prices varies but you’d be looking at around $94 for dinner, cheaper for lunch. There’s no doubt that this is on the expensive end of buffet dining, but it’s truly a case of quality over quantity (I’d never thought I’ll be using a phrase like this to describe a buffet restaurant). I highly recommend going to Melba and eat till your heart’s content!
Approx $100 AUD per person
Address: 1 Southbank Ave, Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: 1800 641 107