As the end of 2023 draws near, I can’t help but feel excitement in the air. The holiday season is slowly creeping upon us, and with hotels and restaurants offering their tantalizing festive offerings, there is no better way to celebrate and indulge in the flavours of the season.
I recently had the opportunity to experience a preview of the delightful festive food selections at Equatorial Hotel from all its dining establishments and I can tell you it put me in a very festive mood!
During the preview evening we were not only able to sample all the dishes that will be on offer at the different hotel outlets, but also were informed of all the activities taking place.
Restaurant Kampachi offers a non-traditional yet elegant celebratory meal. This legendary and acclaimed institution has got a serene atmosphere and a wide selection of festive Japanese cuisine, complimented by specially imported cold and warm sake.
One of the most popular dishes was the Zuwaigani Nabe hot pot – in other words a Snow Crab hot pot. Quite a delicacy and very unique.
If you want to experience the height of elegance with more traditional Christmas dishes then Sabayon, EQ’s renowned fine dining restaurant, is ready. You will be able to indulge in a lavish seven-course Christmas Eve dinner including a bottle of 375ml champagne per person. On Christmas Day, you can continue the festive tradition with the ‘Chalet’ Christmas Day buffet lunch. The Chalet dishes will include my favourite one: raclette! According to my husband, the veal with rosti was also amazing. This corner was by far the most popular during the preview evening !
Meanwhile, Bistro Etoile will be delighting diners with an impressive assortment of mouthwatering grilled dishes, including the highly sought-after Wagyu tomahawk steak. For those looking for a special Christmas feast, Etoile will be offering Christmas platters featuring a variety of delectable seafood and meat options. Since I had overindulged on the raclette I did not sample the Christmas platter but it looked huge, possibly a portion for two rather than one.
The next outlet, Bottega Lounge, will offer a delightful festive Afternoon Tea experience from the 1st of December. The festive Afternoon Tea will be available every day with a selection of sweet and savoury treats.To add to the experience, Bottega also offers an impressive range of wines.
Much to my disappointment, the sweet section was a little bit limited. It did offer classics like panettone and gingerbread houses, but I was missing the wow factor. Saying that, the classic Yule log was delicious.
When it comes to buffets, the feasting will begin on Christmas Eve at Nipah’s. They will be hosting a Christmas Eve buffet dinner, starting with an authentic antipasti selection and appetizers like cold decorated roasted chicken, chicken liver spread, fish terrine in smoked capsicum, seafood cocktail with berry compote, and capellini crayfish with spicy tomato basil pesto.
Your taste buds will be further delighted with mains like whole Cajun roasted turkey, slow-baked herb-crusted New Zealand lamb leg, and baked dill-salt crusted barramundi. The barramundi was exceptional – probably my favourite dish of the evening.
Nipah will also host a lunch buffet on Christmas Day with a variety of delicious options such as a seafood selection, festive cheese platters, and a Christmas roast selection. Pasta and EQ’s famous chicken rice counters will also be available, along with a sea food grill. For dessert, there will be a spread of mini-cakes, Christmas cookies, cut-out cookies, stollen, and mince pies.
Eggnog and glühwein
Last but not least the preview evening also included the drinks section – another very popular corner during the evening. Whilst serving a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic offerings, the highlights were definitely eggnog and glühwein which will be available throughout the festive season. If that doesn’t put you in a Christmassy mood, then nothing will!
As you can see EQ, with its wide variety of options, aims to cater to every individual’s preferences. If any of the offers appeals to you, you can download EQ’s annual holiday catalogue here. More info about the Christmas buffets here.
We were invited by EQ. As always, our opinion is honest and our own.