Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bacchanal Buffet

Among other things, Vegas is known for its buffets and this year, we were lucky enough to be able to try out the new Bacchanal Buffet that opened 2 months earlier back in September 2012 at Caesar's Palace. Boasting over 500 different food items by master chefs at 9 kitchens, you'll get a chance to sample Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, American cuisine along with some samplings of Seafood, Pizza, Deli and Dessert.

Overall, I'd rank it the same as the Bellagio buffet although they are somewhat different in focus.

Located near the back of the casino, once you enter Caesars Palace, you just need to keep heading further back until you hit the huge lineup of people for the buffet. I'm not sure what time is best to go line up as the buffet is still quite new but be prepared to wait up to 2 hours before you get to the cashier and another half hour after that to wait for a table. There is an additional line adjacent to this where you can pay an additional $15 (or $20 on holidays) per person to skip the long line although you'll still need to wait half an hour for your table during busy times.

The decor of the buffet was kept quite simple and felt like a lounge/lobby with comfortable chairs surrounding raised coffee tables. The environment felt quite warm and modern with a very classy, upscale flair. Strangely, the new Bacchanal didn't seem to have much in common with the Roman-style theme throughout the rest of the casino/hotel.

My first dish was to sample the seafood station and that certainly didn't disappoint. The seafood chowder was delectable and the cocktail shrimp was nice and plump. The salmon was also rather well seasoned for a buffet although the crab legs were a bit of a letdown, especially compared to the Bellagio or even Paris buffets.

The legs didn't taste overly fresh and were certainly not sweet enough. The oysters on a shell were also a bit of a disappointment as they were rather small and also did not taste as fresh as could be. On the other hand, the cold seafood gazpacho was a true delight and I went on to get two servings of this as I just couldn't get enough of the soup. The oyster shooters were another favorite of mine and definitely worked out better than the oysters on the half shell. The small clam bucket and mussel dish though were solid fare and tasted great.

As for the Asian stations, Yelpers had specifically mentioned to try the juicy siu long bau and the comments were proven correct as these juicy dumplings burst with flavor in your mouth. In addition, the bowl of ginseng chicken soup on the right was probably one of the best items there.

I had forgotten to take a picture of the prime rib but that was also superb although I hear Cosmopolitan's Wicked Spoon outdid even the Bacchanal on this. I couldn't resist having another bowl of the chicken soup and extended my feast with their rather decent siu mai which was quite up to Chinese restaurant quality.

After gorging plates of food, next up were the fruits and dessert. The selection of fruits was quite plentiful as you can see and for desserts, they offered everything from chocolate covered strawberries and macaroons, to crepes, yogourt and creme brulee (although this wasn't done too well). The gelato station also featured a variety of flavors although it was a bit of a disappointment as the intense gelato flavor was missing and tasted quite diluted.

All in all, for the price of $44.99 (holiday pricing for brunch before 1pm) and $49.99 (holiday pricing for dinner after 1pm), the Bacchanal was just so-so. While it did have certain items which left you craving for more, there were some disappointments (especially for such an extravagant buffet). Perhaps the Bacchanal is a better deal for those able to come on a weekday when lunch is just $28.99 from Monday to Friday. For more information, you can check out the Bacchanal here.

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