Wynn Buffet Brunch vs Spice Market Dinner buffet.

Buffets in Vegas are somewhat legendary. Personally, I think the hype is more North American, because the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen was the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel and the best dinner buffer was definitely at one of the super buffets in Makati, Manila. The Filipinos definitely know how to make a ridiculous, over the top buffet … it’s truly astounding to the technical and logistic competence of seeing one of those buffets in action. However, I digress … today the #missioncurrypenguin crew did two buffets in one day! We started the day at the Wynn Buffet and finished the day the Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood. These two buffet epitomize the difference between standards and execution. Comparing a brunch and dinner isn’t too hard … in the end, I’m comparing the execution of buffets … and it’s sad to say that the Spice Market buffet is just poorly executed compared to the Wynn’s technical excellence.

Wynn Buffet Brunch

This is one of Vegas’ best buffets and their brunch spread definitely shows well. Not only are you treated to the visual splendour of walking through the Wynn and Encore hotels, but you’re served up an excellent buffet.

This is in the lobby!!
Winter Wonderland
Just a beautiful piece of art at the Wynn Theater!
Even walking around seems like an exceptional experience in the Wynn! Those shops that you see along the way … well one handbag would probably be half your house!

Finally after a nice walk through the hotel, you end up at the Buffet. It’s pretty simple (for the Wynn) but I like the way that things are laid out and the fact that you can see the line to determine if the wait is worth it.

This is the lineup … not much at all but still well laid out for you.

You see the level of detail placed into everything from the atrium right down to this epic gingerbread house model of the Wynn

After the whole visual feast that you’ve walked through just to get to the Buffet, you’re primed for something great and the food doesn’t disappoint. With any buffet, there are going to be some hits and misses, but for the most part … the culinary execution at the Buffet is excellent … it’s almost “Filipino like”. With the huge, clean spaces … and loads of selection and excellent visual presentation of the food, you really can’t miss here.

As for all the food porn … well it speaks for itself.

Dark chocolate rice crispy squares
Candy Apples
Lost track of how much sweet stuff was here …
Roasted Poblano peppers, Chipotle Meatload, Cranberry Salmon, Honey Glazed Pork with a Grain mustard sauce … all excellent!
Can’t beat a Candy Cane chocolate cupcake!
How about 10 types of sausage .. yeah I said it!
No … Thank You Stevo for your buffet
I don’t know the team of designers, but I’m sure they make a LOT of money!

 … I would pay full price just for the desserts in this buffet.

Spice Market Dinner Buffet

I like the Planet Hollywood hotel … they’ve taken the Hard Rock concept and just upscaled it. This being said, if you’re taking kids to the Spice Market dinner buffet … just don’t! Unless you’re prepared to describe and explain “daddy issues” to your young daughter and “stripper education” to your son. Walking through the Casino with kids would just be terrible …

Who doesn’t like strippers with their Blackjack … hmmm most women! This is “Pleasure Pit” in Planet Hollywood
You know who likes strippers with their Blackjack and poker? Most straight men! This was at the Hard Rock Cafe!

As for getting to the buffet … because of the promotions and Groupon provided, we were faced with the three levels of Hell in the form of the buffet line up

  • Level 1 : Line up to get down the escalator to actually line up for the buffet
  • Level 2 : Once you get down the escalator, you’re faced with the actual ridiculous lineup
  • Level 3 : You have a line up to wait for a server to take you to your table
Level One : Hell Line, just to get into the door down the escalators
Level Two : Lining up to pay for the buffet!
Level Three ” Lining up after you paid, to get a hostess to seat you! Fucking unbelievable!

All told, we started lining upstairs at 8:20pm, we were not seated and started eating till about 9:35pm. This completely set the mood off for the night and annoyed everyone. The lesson learned here is that one should not be doing dinner buffets … however the lineups aren’t unique to Planet Hollywood, but the way that it was handled was completely preposterous, especially in the days of hand held check in, line servers treating you while you’re in the line and other customer service improvements. Who ever is running the Spice Market buffet should be taken to the back and shot … it’s too old school in the way that they handle the customers in the line up. I’ll never recommend this buffet because of this.

… we started lining upstairs at 8:20pm, we were not seated and started eating till about 9:35pm #WTF?!?!?!?

As for the food … it’s not bad at all – but I would never pay full price for this, given the other standards that you see from hotels like the Wynn or Bellagio. Using coupons will get people through your doors, but once you get people through those doors … how you treat them and the food quality is what will stick with them. If you’re looking for a very diverse selection of food or you’re looking to treat the foodie neophyte in your life … then this is not a bad buffet at all.

The unlimited alcohol option for 14.99$ extra was pretty decent … since after a 50% Groupon, it lands you at $35 per person. This is not a bad price point at all for dinner, especially if you won dinner money at the Casino! However the picture below epitomizes all that is wrong with this place.

Don’t you love when your bottle of Champagne is put into a Miller Lite bucket of Ice!??! So f’n classless on their part! Totally devalues your upgrade!

As mentioned, the food isn’t the problem here though … I thoroughly enjoyed some of the food there.  The Tabouleh, BBQ Pork Ribs and Char Sue Pork were definitely favorites of mine. They were very well done.

Tabouleh, BBQ Pork Shank, Char Sue Pork and BBQ Ribs!
Mexican Variety plate … some stuff was very well done!
At this point, even D* tried to force a smile … but 90 minute line up will take the best out of a person!

… it’s too old school in the way that they handle the customers in the line up. I’ll never recommend this buffet because of this.

Overall Conclusion:

If you only have one buffet in a day to do … then go with the Wynn Buffet. Save yourself from the heartache and pain of the Spice Market line up tragedy

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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