Continued from Weekend at the Hyatt – Part 2
On Monday morning we went downstairs to the restaurant for a buffet breakfast.
We waited politely by unattended host’s podium, trying to catch someone’s eye. Next to the podium at the front of the restaurant was the cold items section, where a selection of cereals, yoghurt and fruit were on display. A chef was on duty at this section, pouring muesli into a large serving bowl and arranging various items. Jac asked the chef if we should take a seat. “No, wait to be seated,” she said, unsmiling and in a tone one uses to reprimand a naughty child. I think I will call her “Surly”. Surly proceeded to ignore us, continuing with her chores while we stood there. Given that there were only a few customers seated in the restaurant at the time and there was no one waiting for her to serve them at that moment, Surly could’ve left her station briefly to get the attention of one of the floor staff to come and seat us, instead of leaving us to stand there like idiots waiting. And you know, even if she couldn’t do that, she could’ve been a little more welcoming, a little more friendly. *sigh*
When we were eventually seated, our waiter seemed unnecessarily confused about how we’d pay for our breakfast. I thought it was pretty simple in a hotel; I tell you my room number, you give me an invoice to sign which is charged to my room. I don’t know, maybe she was new.
Thankfully, things got better once the initial confusion and awkwardness was sorted out and we were settled with a pot of English breakfast tea for two and helped ourselves to glasses of juice. The chef at the hot station was the Anti-Surly – she was very friendly and smiled at everyone. As only scrambled eggs were on offer in the bain marie, Anti-Surly offered to cook eggs in different ways for anyone who wanted them – omelette, fried, poached. An omelette sounded tempting, but I couldn’t go past the scrambled eggs. They were a gloriously vivid yellow and a perfect consistency.
Jac went for a selection of hot breakfast items (bacon, mushrooms, scrambled eggs – she’d liked the look of my scrambled eggs from the room service breaky and was eager to try them for herself), and smoked salmon, cheese, capers, red onion and pickled onion.
I went for more a traditional fry-up – sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, potato cake – plus stir-fried egg noodles. Yep, in amongst all the more traditional breakfast fare was a dish of stir-fried noodles! And of course I could not resist. :) I also had a piece of fresh, chewy cheesy bread, which another staff member cheerfully sliced from the loaf for me. I spread butter and strawberry jam on it before I realised it had a cheesy crust. I am pleased to report that cheesy bread with butter and strawberry jam tastes great! Our sausages the day before had been pale and tasted porky; these ones were a shiny brown and tasted beefy. The mushrooms were springy and juicy but a tad too salty. And I’d definitely call that a potato cake.
The eggs were so beautifully soft. My only complaint was that they were unevenly salted. Some mouthfuls were just perfect, while others were “Geeeeeez, that’s #@*%ing salty!”. Whoever salted the mushrooms and the eggs needs to do something about his/her technique.
Surly was in charge of cooking pancakes and waffles to order – there was a waffle iron and a frying pan for cooking pancakes set up at the cold station at the front of the restaurant (well, I guess the pancakes and waffles mean it wasn’t a cold station after all). I asked for one of each. Interestingly, the same batter mixture was used for both items. When I had my pancake and waffle freshly cooked on my plate I poured maple syrup over both of them and plonked a blob of cream on the pancake. I also grabbed myself a mini strawberry and custard danish and a slice of iced almond bread (with flaked almonds on the top of the bread, and sweet ground almonds in the bread itself – can you see the brownish patches?). I bit into the danish and custard squelched out of the flaky pastry…mmmmm. I’m sure there’s some law of physics to explain that teeth in, custard out effect. I usually stay right away from danishes (and croissants, for that matter) as they are so buttery and fattening, but I do indulge when I’m “on holiday”. :) The waffle didn’t look that good but it tasted fantastic – soft and chewy but with crispy edges, with lovely deep squares to hold that sticky syrup.
While I indulged in my plate of sugary treats, Jac tucked into a plate of cheese and fruit. The dark blob above the watermelon was stewed plums, which Jac said were cooked to perfection – sweet and soft without being too mushy.
I really wanted to get another waffle and fantasised about drowning it in lashings of maple syrup, but knew I was just being greedy. We wouldn’t need lunch after this breakfast! When we could eat no more, we went back to our room to finish packing and to get ready to go home.
As I’ve already said, we had a lovely weekend away together. None of the negative aspects I’ve described over these last three posts ruined our weekend, but all the little annoyances combined to leave us feeling dissatisfied, unimpressed and irritated. I had expected better from the Hyatt. Thank goodness the food was mostly tasty.
Got any hotel experiences (good or bad) to share?