Though the air is freezing, hotel dessert sections have already warmed up, gearing up for the strawberry buffet season.
Over the past decade, local luxury hotels have been presenting all-you-can-eat buffets filled with strawberry-related desserts each winter, following the trend of hotels in Japan and Hong Kong.
Though the buffet season used to start around February, the saturated market has moved the timeline as early as December. Most now start around the winter holiday season.
Intercontinental Seoul Coex, which virtually started the local strawberry buffet trend in Korea in 2007, presents its signature Strawberry Avenue dessert buffet at the Lobby Lounge.
InterContinental Seoul Coex’s Strawberry Avenue
More than 30 strawberry desserts are prepared and all guests are offered a cup of coffee or tea. The buffet costs 55,000 won ($49) per person, available from the first weekend of January to March.
Unlike other strawberry buffets mainly featuring only the sweetest of desserts, Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas’s Lobby Lounge presents a six-course meal, including foie gras, caviar and truffles, with a strawberry dessert buffet.
The fine-dining meal is 65,000 won per person and a cup of coffee or tea is included. Sparkling wine can be added for an additional 10,000 won. The offer is also available from the first weekend of January to March.
As the hotels’ menu items do not differ much -- with the possibilities of strawberry desserts being limited -- hotels are keen on getting the edge on the decorative aspects to attract more guests.
For those looking for an eye-entertaining experience, JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul has teamed up with all-time favorite fashion doll brand Barbie.
JW Marriott Dongdaemun’s Salon de Strawberry
Salon de Strawberry is in its fourth season, featuring sweet desserts, savory dishes and finger foods. For drinks, diners can choose between a strawberry milkshake, strawberry parfait, strawberry daiquiri or sparkling wine.
The Lobby Lounge is decorated with Barbie dolls and related graphic designs. The buffet costs 55,000 won on weekdays and 59,000 won on weekends. The promotion is to continue until May.
For those looking for a more affordable option, Courtyard Marriott Seoul Times Square Hotel’s casual Momo Bar may be the choice.
Courtyard Marriott Seoul Times Square’s My Strawberry Farm
The My Strawberry Farm buffet features strawberry desserts and snacks, with an unlimited flow of sparkling wine and strawberry cocktails.
Although the menu items may be modest in number, the price is more affordable at 39,000 won per person. The buffet will be available every weekend from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. until April.
Other luxury hotels -- including Lotte Hotel Seoul, Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel and Grand Walkerhill Seoul -- have started their strawberry buffet promotions as well.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org