The Emperor’s Buffet

My hotel room is  next to an all-night cabaret show.  When I arrived, reception warned me that the room would be noisy, and that they’d be happy to move me the following day when they would have more available. 

I assured them that I doubted it would be a problem.

It wasn’t. 

With the soothing beat of Dancing Queen coming through my window I slept solidly through the night.

I awaken feeling refreshed. 

I peruse the hotel services menu, looking for some breakfast. 

Having not quite mastered tipping etiquette (the taxi driver gave me a look of disdain when I tipped him 15%), I decide to opt for a buffet breakfast.  Plus, I haven’t eaten since I got off my flight, and I’m famished.

Half an hour later I finally locate the buffet, after negotiating my way through the extensive casino maze.

There’s a queue. 

I make it to the front of the buffet. It is easily the largest I have seen, offering everything from ice-cream, to breakfast steak.

I notice the people in front of me have armed themselves with two plates. 

Crafty, I think. They’ll probably layer the first plate full of fruit and eggs, and layer the second one high with pastries and bread rolls which they’ll stuff into their hand bags for lunch.

I’m mistaken.  The first plate is layered high with fried eggs, some drippy crispy brown bits, which I can only guess must be bacon, as well as a number of other unidentifiable meat products.  This is then topped off with a layer of cheese.

The second plate is for ‘dessert’.  It is layered with pastries, which are drowned in cream pudding, and some sort of chocolate mousse.

I usually have a healthy appetite.  But I’m no match for my fellow patrons.

I keep my eye out for some toast. The closest I can find is the French variety that has been marinated in sugary egg syrup before being dropped in a vat of boiling fat.  I pass. 

I head over to the fruit section.  Maybe they’ll have some mandarins, a crunchy apple and possibly a banana.

There, I find a bowel of sliced bananas. But to serve them I need a ladle, as they are floating in a soup of cream.

I finally locate some fresh pieces of fruit that have not been augmented with ice-cream, whipped cream, or sugar.   To go with my fruit, I find a plain croissant*, which also hasn’t had a food-makeover.  

Breakfast is good.

But as I see the family of four next to me wolf their way through eight plates of food, I can’t leave fast enough.

Time for the conference.


*Blueberry and cheese croissants seem to be a popular breakfast choice.

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2 Responses to The Emperor’s Buffet

  1. Brian says:

    Right, I must do some shopping. What flavour of icecream do you prefer with your breakfast steak? And, does it have to be happy breakfast steak?

  2. Simon says:

    Speaking of food are you guys coming over for election night? I found a great recipe I should try out:

    Mrs. Fowle’s Mock Turtle Soup, from Martha Lloyd’s Household Book: “Take a large calf’s head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender, then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop’t very small. A ¼ of a pint of oysters chop’t very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chop’t. Stand all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the forcemeat balls made small and the yolks of hard eggs.”

    The forcemeat balls sound very Star Wars but I am completely unsure how one goes about juicing an onion? Perhaps I need some kind of machine?

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