The hotel in which I am staying in Dubai, The Palace, has the most amazing breakfast buffet with the largest selection. There is too much choice, especially for someone happy with a croissant or piece of toast and tea, but it is interesting to see the variety. There is something for people of all cultures, from corn flakes to miso soup to goat’s milk, not to mention Indian, Chinese, and vegetarian fare. The only thing missing is pork bacon, because only beef and turkey varieties is offered (which do not taste as good).
The photo does not do justice to the size of this breakfast offer. The main buffet is 15 meters long, but there are also six islands each with four sides. In addition to the food, the service is equally impressive. Busy-bee workers immediately replenish any plate/bowl as soon as one persons takes something.
As I sipped my tea, I thought about the logistics behind such a buffet. One must plan and order the ingredients, all of which must be imported to this desert land (with, perhaps, the exception of goat’s milk). I have a hard time keeping milk in the refrigerator and have the luxury of being able to pop out to a nearby grocery store.
No matter how luxurious the hotel and how good the food, one can only take both so so long. Especially breakfast, where variety is always limited. Most hotel breakfasts are the same everywhere in the world; only better Asian hotels offer western, Asian, and Indian cuisines on the breakfast buffet. Sushi or sashimi anyone? Or curry?
The cost of breakfast in hotels of the same category is similar around the world, if one converts to dollars. None are worth the price, because I always have tea, toast, and orange juice. When breakfast is included in the price of the room, I might add muesli and fruit. This time, I am trying the french toast (good), pancakes (not good), and waffles (good). I think about sashimi, which is great for lunch or dinner, but I have yet to overcome my years of eating the same things for breakfast.
The fruit in this hotel is excellent. It is flown in from India and Sri Lanka. I doubt that any fruit grows in the Maldives, because there is little or no arable land. There are fish and hotels: everything else is imported.
I do not enjoy breakfast in bed. When awake, I get up. I prefer to eat at some place other than bed. It’s okay in a hospital, but I try to avoid such situations.
That said, I do not mind serving breakfast to my wife, who enjoys having it in bed. I do not understand this joy, but add it to the list of things which I do not understand...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.