All You Can Eat buffets and healthy eating are surely incompatible – the launch of a calorie count on every dish at Croydon Park Hotel’s Oscars Brasserie’s allowed me to test this out.
The Altyre Road venue has a fantastic a la carte menu, with calorie information provided for many items also, but it is the £14.95 buffet I am keen to try.
A glittering altar of edible offerings awaits guests at Oscars, the first restaurant in Croydon to inform patrons of the calories in its dishes.
Plates of hors d'oeuvres, salads and a daily soup, options inspired by cuisine from around the globe including grilled haddock, lamb curry and beef bourguignon, alongside a carvery option and a huge desert trolley await me but conscious of my challenge I restrict myself to a small selection of starters.
Feeling pleased I begin calculating and the importance of the calorie count to a waistline watcher became immediately apparent; my “modest” portion comes to a whopping 865 calories, almost of third of my daily allowance.
Every morsel was worth it, but chastened I resolve to be stricter with myself come the mains.
Piri Piri turkey escallop , spinach and mushrooms and new potatoes is a more moderate 550 and feeling full a sensible man may have then thrown in his napkin, but with a great reluctance I resign myself to choosing my dessert.
Already sitting on 1415 only a selection from the cornucopia of exotic fruits on offer can save my starter extravagance.
Chocolate cake. No regrets. None.
So numbers out the window, how was the food?
The starters were excellent and, aside from the horror of discovering a tiny cream salmon roll was 180 calories, I could have gorged myself for hours on the selection.
By contrast the turkey, while adequate, needed a sauce to combat its natural dryness and never scaled the heady heights enjoyed already.
If judgement lay in the balance, an anvil fell in the hotel’s favour when I bite into the cake.
Quite honestly the best I have ever tasted, perfect in every way.
Operations manager Ata Khan explained the process behind the numbers.
He said: “We have employed a nutritionaist through our main suppliers and after every meal is devised, the exact ingredients are sent to them to be calculated. It has definitely led to a change in the way our menu is put together.”
Healthy eating is certainly made possible by the team, but when the foods this good, I’ll happily take the extra pounds.