Breakfast is served at the hotel from 06.00 until 10.00. This is civilised timing. It is a self service buffet with a number of service areas catering for most tastes starting with a caffine dispensary.
On three sides of the rectangular central island are a selection of regular European breakfast ingredients including flavourless cheese and thin ham looking stuff which is not-ham-but-as-close-as-you-are-likely-to-get-here, fresh fruit and fruit juices, feta, olives, grapes, humus and salad.
The fouth side has a stonkingly hot curry on a daily fish/chicken/dall rotation and some interesting variations on bread, rice and evil green and red compounds to keep things unpredictable.
I think they are related to food, “but not as we know it, Jim”. I have not confirmed if Jaggery is named for the red and swollen lips that result from eating too much of it.
Yesterday they moved the stuff on the central island round through 90 degrees confusing everyone who had been there for more than a few days and thought they knew what was what.
There is a ’diet corner’ which is just as boring as it sounds and is actually in a corner. Its saving grace is the low-sugar strawberry jam. The regular strawberry jam is so sweet it makes my teeth retract inside my gums for fear of decay-on-contact.
There are a number of chafing dishes serving a bizarre assortment of foods including spaghetti with vegetables; oats which are a sort of watery porridge, but not quite grits, baked beans, chicken sausages and sometimes chicken livers, parsley potatoes, and boiled eggs.
All the other types of egg you may want are prepared by one of the two Yolk Meisters from the Egg Table.
Here is Andy being served with some eggy creation. His verdict, 'Fantastic'. This is a common response when asked about things he has found to be satisfactory. For some reason they call him Fantastic Andy.
This table has a display of vegetables, dried pasta, beans and pulses in jars, alongside a bowl of yoghourt, a jug of date syrup, bowls of dates and sultanas and some grey crumbly stuff, the exact nature of which I have yet to ascertain.
There is yet another table with a selection of cereals and milk, all of which are fairly pedestrian and sugary.
Finally there is a vast assortment of breads, rolls, croissants, pastries and other grain-based foodstuffs.
In case things get a little humdrum there is a three-phase electric toast maker which is permanently set to ‘destroy’.
It is so restricted at the back that it only really works with standard sized sliced bread exactly 7mm thick, any thinner and is it is instantly vapourised. Any thicker and rather than deliver it gently down the chute to be served, the machine grasps it to its fiery bosom where it is converted into carbon, with copious amounts of smoke to add some atmosphere. I am not quite sure how this affects my carbon footprint but it is a source of great amusement to the staff who have to come and open the secret door at the back to release the immolated remains. I’m sure it is possible to set it to ‘stun’ but damned if I can find out how.
Bread also features as art, with a number of bread-based life forms, including fish and crocodiles.
Everything is labelled so, assuming you know what Upsa and Masooba are there should be no mistakes.
The box on the left of the picture is one of two boxes both crammed full of more labels. I expect if I were to go through it I would find any number of exotic and delights and inspiration for a whole series of cook books.
Mrs 'cabbage should be cooked for a minimum of 30 minutes' Beaton, eat your heart out.