With great power comes great responsibility & with great reputation comes great expectations. Atlantis hasn’t been averse to either attention, reputation nor expectations. The tip of the Palm Jumeirah is adorned & visited by millions & tourists across the globe. But, after having visited 3 restaurants in Atlantis, I can say this… the food is definitely not up to the standards of a landmark hotel.
Saffron is the multi cuisine buffet restaurant with an essential South East Asian theme. The night we visited was made even more Asian by their “Asia Asia” theme night. This essentially means we get to taste Street food or wok fried Singaporean or Malaysian delicacies. That excited the small South East Asian cuisine lover in me.
Ambiance: It is RED. I mean everything is just Red, be it the lighting or the carpets. Maybe someone told them that Chinese lanterns & red color means South east Asian cuisine. They tried to offset it with very bright yellow lights below the counters but then its just jarring on the eyes. The chairs aren’t very pleasant to sit on & the tables too look very basic for a 5 Star Hotel. The spacing between 2 tables is so less that 1 baby chair between it & your child is rocking the other table.
Service: The bright spot of our otherwise somber evening was the Service which from the word go was excellent. They accommodated our change in timings on the reservations & were glad to give us a detailed tour of the buffet. The managers, staff & chefs kept checking on the food with us on a regular basis. The dishes were cleaned in time & the checkout process was very smooth as well.
There were a few hits & loads of Miss.
The array of food was vast with Chinese, Sushis, Salads, Roasts, korean bbqs, Indian & Desserts counter. Still, I can’t pin point 1 dish which made me go …Wow!
Chicken Soup made with our choice of dumplings/ Veggies etc was great with its simple broth.
Sushi was decent, especially the Tuna & Salmon Nigiri.
The Turkey Roast & the stuffing & roasted potatoes was a good addition for the carving station considering the Christmas festivities around.
The Breads on Display were a varied lot & the Focaccia stood out from the pack.
Ice Creams again were of a varied flavor profile, but the Coconut Ice Cream which was a Coconut Milk flavor was my pick.
The Candy Shop was a treat & the kid in me absolutely wanted to fill in as many as I could in my palms & pockets.
Miss: Everything else
Chicken Satay was way too sweet. Chili Pepper Crab should have been a ripper, sadly the crab meat looked overdone.
Indian Section wasn’t enticing enough. Ditto for the salads.
Thai Chicken Green Curry was way too hot & lacked the slight sour spicy balance of a good Thai Green Curry.
The Duck lacked a flavor of its own, roasted turkey should have had a crispier skin.
Dumplings: None of them stood out in flavor.
The Oysters weren’t shucked properly & I had to cut the Oyster from its shell.
None of the Desserts bar the Tiramisu tempted me for a second bite.
Pricing: 225 AED for a pax. Priced on the higher side for a buffet.
Final Verdict: Saffron doesn’t do justice to the Atlantis brand name as well as the South east specialty buffet restaurant tag. For this price, Dubai offers way too many other better buffets. Give it a skip!