With a storm approaching, the temptation to bunker down inside the Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific was very high when we woke up on our first morning in Terrigal. We weren’t the only ones to feel this way. When we arrived at Seasalt Restaurant for our first Buffet Breakfast ($39.50/head) we were met with a confluence of in-house guests and Central Coast locals, who by virtue of their postcode, get to enjoy a cheaper Locals Buffet Breakfast ($29.50) at the hotel.
We were seated en masse in the larger lower dining space. It offers a great view of the darkened skies though the glass roof and arc of beach-facing windows, but is very loud.
Coffee orders are taken as we sit down, so my dining companion darts off to order our eggs from the highly praised egg station. Before he returns loaded up with toast, muffins and pastries, his chorizo, goat’s cheese and fresh chilli omelette has arrived. It’s a well-made egg dish, generously filled with chalky lumps of cheese. The pastries however are less successful – the croissants are undercooked, and their pastry is underwhelming.
My own selection - eggs Benedict – are nowhere to be seen. My dining companion had finished his omelette and started devouring a plate of fruit, cheese and a Belgian waffle before my eggs arrived, making for a long time between eggs ordered together for the same table.
Upon inquiry with friendly but harried staff, it’s because eggs Benedict comes from a separate kitchen.
“They’re out buying the marshmallows,” a father at the next table tries to pacify his kid, thirsting for their promised babycino. He goes on to gripe to his partner that forty minutes is too long to wait for a coffee. For us it’s forty-five, through which I make do with a palate-cleansing blend of orange and pineapple juice.
I distract myself with hot dishes - mushrooms, scrambled eggs, bacon, beef and sundried tomato sausages, a hasbrown and roasted tomato. I don't photograph the buffet stations, which look a bit woeful having been so rapidly depleted by the heavy crowds.
When I'm finished my breakfast our coffees finally arrive, strangely without teaspoons. The flat white is burnt, and the Vittoria coffee didn't come up well in the latte.
Our server shows a resolutely sunny attitude despite it obviously being a stressful day. When I ask if the restaurant breakfasts are always this busy, he agrees it was an exceptional morning. "For some reason the cutlery wasn’t cleaned so we’re also busy polishing cutlery," he volunteers, which neatly explains the missing teaspoons. I appreciate that he takes the time to pause and consider my question, and answered it honestly rather than with practised guile.
Despite it being Mothers’ Day, our second breakfast at Seasalt Restaurant was much better. Expecting to be busy, the hotel had farmed off local visitors into Florida Beach Bar, so the buffet was just servicing hotel guests. This time we opted to sit upstairs, which was much less noisy.
My cappuccino came in appropriate time, looking and drinking much better than yesterday’s flat white and latte.
Today my dining companion and I diverge over juice – I go back to my pineapple and orange pre-squeezed faithful, while he opts to create his own at the Juice Station.
We’re both happy with our resulting drinks.
You can also make your own pancakes with the push of a button. To me this feels a bit like end-of-days, but to a kid, watching a machine make your perfectly shaped, golden brown pancake would likely be the best thing ever.
With a selection of tart stewed rhubarb, passionfruit coulis and fruit, my resulting plate looks colourful, and is likely more healthy than pancakes pan-fried in butter in the traditional way.
With the benefit of hindsight, this time we both opt for omelettes. The egg station continues to deliver omelettes that are perfect every time. For me today that's one filled with chalky goat’s cheese, chilli, and golden button mushrooms.
Today the buffet looks more abundant, with constant restocking happening on nearly every hot dish.
The kitchen can’t keep up with the demand for the spinach and onion pakoras, which, though somewhat leftfield for breakfast, turn out to be my favourite breakfast dish.
Level 1, Crowne Plaza Terrigal,
Pine Tree Lane, Terrigal
Ph: (02) 4384 9133