There's often a stigma around piling your plate at buffets and coming face-to-face with the borders of hygiene— namely, continuously handled utensils and the infamous sneeze glass. Luckily in this instance we're not talking about your average slap happy smorgasbord.
Eight is the main restaurant found within one of the finest metropolitan hotels in Auckland, Cordis (ex-The Langham). While the establishment has been around for six years, just last year it underwent a full refurbishment. The new look dining room now boasts shiny furnishings and contemporary yet sinkable bench seating.
Having dropped by for the immense breakfast once before, our belts were already screaming at the thought of turning up to the infamous dinner service, and buffet to rule them all. Where to begin, and a solid plan for the meal ahead is the biggest conundrum here. You've got to save room for the infamous chocolate fountain, after all.
There are eight international cuisines on offer at the appropriately titled, Eight. You could start at the tandoor kitchen and choose one of several Indian delights made fresh. We had the goat masala with a side of biryani and Indian pickle. You could even start at the newly introduced pasta station where you take your pick from a selection of fresh made pasta shapes and accompanying sauce. We had a nicely al dente truffle fettuccine with olive tapenade. Perhaps the Chinese steamed buns, dumplings or dim sum are more down your alley. We had all.
To throw yourself completely in the deep end, you should begin with the New York-style grill where everything from ostrich, alpaca, kangaroo, air-dried beef, venison and halloumi is up for grabs. Each portion is cooked to your liking before your eyes before you get to top up your plate with dauphinoise potatoes, steamed vegetables and whatever else the hell you want. That's the charm with Eight; you name it and you can probably eat it, or eight it.
I'd also suggest the all-encompassing salad bar where you'll find every vegetable under the sun or the freshly shucked oyster display, where an endless supply of the ocean delights are stacked. Further seafood is available at the sushi and sashimi section or along the protein wall, which boasts everything from fresh swordfish to prawns, tuna, monk fish and mussels.
The aforementioned chocolate fountain is just one of the treats on offer for dessert. Also available across the breakfast service, the display welcomes the dipping of freshly diced fruit in a continuous downpour of melted chocolate. For something else sweet there also happens to be a fridge decked out with tiny tarts, friands and sweets— it's an entire section in itself, and available to be purchased as its own separate buffet.
This place doesn't do things by halves, and by no means should you when you visit. Eight it all.
42 Douglas Street, Ponsonby