Fra Martino | Breaking the buffet stereotype

When’s the last time you’ve eaten at a buffet? If you’re a foodie, the answer is probably not in the last year. Buffet tables don’t have the best reputation for quality food. Fra Martino, at the Corinthia in St George’s Bay is breaking stereotypes, offering the best in surf and turf right there at their buffet. AMY MICALLEF DECESARE gets converted into a buffet lover

1 November 2017, 4:26pm
Last updated on 1 November 2017, 4:35pm
It’s a chilly Saturday evening and yet again, you’ve found yourself sitting in front of Netflix with two (or five) slices of buttered toast. Well, stop right there. I’ve got an alternative for you and it goes by the name of Fra Martino. Situated in the lavish Corinthia Hotel St. Georges Bay, Fra Martino Restaurant is truly a delight for all, including you, your partner, your large group of friends, even your two little kids. 

My guest and I arrived, ravenous, and were escorted into the beautiful dining room, complete with warm atmospheric lighting, a pianist and highly attentive, friendly staff. A few seconds later, we were seated. A few seconds after that, we were bouncing out of our chairs. We caught sight of the buffet and let me tell you, it was a beautiful sight. 

Just a little disclaimer: I am not the biggest fan of buffets, primarily because, let’s be honest, one does not generally associate buffets with the highest quality of food. Fra Martino have not only dashed that stereotype, but they have successfully converted me into a buffet enthusiast, or more specifically – a Fra Martino buffet enthusiast. 

Here’s what makes the restaurant’s buffet one to jot down in your planner. It’s a surf and turf buffet, meaning that the usual chips and chicken nuggets, chewy, over-cooked pasta and lukewarm hash browns are nowhere to be seen. 

Featuring only the best kinds of meat and fish, the buffet table was straining under the weight of sumptuous-looking food and the freshest of ingredients, including salmon and octopus on one side and grilled rib-eye steak on the other. There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching chefs oozing talent as they swiftly grill a rib-eye in front of your eyes and then effortlessly present it to you on a plate. 

Assistant chef, Keith Cassar, prepared three beautiful dishes for my guest and I, featuring only items that could be found on the buffet table. In this way, we were able to compare and contrast the chef’s meticulously prepared dishes and those which I could potentially assemble myself. Truth be told, the only difference was the way in which they were plated. 

Not one detail was overlooked. Each and every item on available on the buffet table was prepared and cooked with the same exact amount of love, care and passion. Seeing as I am the clumsiest of people, my attempts at visually re-creating the chef’s dishes were, at best, an embarrassment. 

As if the surf and turf tables weren’t enough to complete my Saturday evening, cue the dessert table. Out of the 15 or so desserts that were on display, we thought it necessary to try… well, 15 of them, just to be sure. To name a few: baked cheesecake, pecan and chocolate tart, warm bread and butter pudding, chocolate and cream profiteroles. Feeling like we may have exaggerated slightly, we thought it best to end the experience on a healthy note – so we threw in some fresh fruit for good measure.

It’s been just over a week since I visited Fra Martino and dare I say, it’s time to go back. Ditch those slices of toast, I’ll see you there next Saturday at 8pm. 

 

Fra Martino

Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay 

Tel: 2137 4114