Dinner Buffet at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

A few weeks ago on June 17, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald had their kickoff to their Friday night dinner buffets. I have always enjoyed going to the Fairmont for meals. Their Confederation Lounge and patio has a great view of the Edmonton River Valley and serves classic cocktails and casual food. The High Tea at the Harvest Room is one of my recent favourites along with the tour of the Queen suite. Based on the previous experiences I knew that the dinner buffet would have a good selection of food. I was invited to attend and offered a discount of 50% for me and a dinner companion.
Chilled Crab Legs!

Unfortunately Dan was out of town so I ended up going to the dinner buffet with one of my friends. The dinner buffet was served in their largest ballroom - the Empire Ballroom. There was a good variety of dishes in the cold buffet such as different salads (quinoa salad, caprese salad, build your own salad bar), seafood (smoked salmon, shrimp, mussels, smoked fish), cheese, and charcuterie.
A beautifully presented caprese salad
All the seafood you could eat!
I am a huge fan of smoked salmon and crab legs, so I had to restrain myself to not only eat those two items despite all the various seafood items that they had available. Eating crab legs can be a bit messy, but luckily they give you all the tools you need to get the delicious meat out! 

For the hot buffet, there were eight hot dishes and also a lamb carving station. It is likely that the hot dishes will change depending on the day. For the night of the kickoff there was a cheese tortellini with pesto cream sauce, mixed vegetable, fall off the bone short ribs, oven roasted chicken in a mushroom onion sauce, a seafood medely with yuzu butter sauce, chorizo chicken seafood paella, mini quiches and scalloped potatoes. In talking to the management we also learned that the Fairmont, as a policy, ensures that all their buffets and even meals in the hotel have gluten free options. This was evident on all the sign placards throughout the buffet. 
Some of the dishes from the hot buffet

Freshly sliced lamb from the carving station
The dessert section is always a part I look forward to in a buffet. The Fairmont Buffet was no different, as they had a selection of cakes, squares, mousse and a chocolate dipping station for fruit. I really enjoyed the berry mousse but I had hoped there would be a larger selection of desserts. Compared to the appetizers and main courses there didn't appear to be as many special types of desserts and variety that I had hoped for. Perhaps, mini crème brûlée or even a crepe making station would be a great addition to the desserts. 

While it is on the pricier side ($69 / person) compared to other buffets, you do get to sit in the historic Empire ballroom with the beautiful chandeliers and frescos and you get a river valley view. I feel that their Sunday brunch buffet ($59 / person) may be a better value given that it has more stations (crepe, omelette, and meat carving) and includes a sparkling wine and orange juice.

According to the Fairmont's website, they are having this dinner buffet on select Friday nights. Remember to call ahead to ensure that you get a table as the dinner buffet dates may change.


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