Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Big Breakfast of the Week 4: Swissôtel, Ankara

Generic business hotels tend not to be very good for cooked breakfasts, oddly.  Yes, you get the usual buffet full of girls food, like yoghurt, pastries and tropical fruit.  Sometimes you get a local dish (we often enjoy the pittas, olives  and houmous you get in the Middle East) or a dish aimed at Asian people (who can eat rice for breakfast?).  Increasingly, you will get a European selection of cheese and ham (which we have also been known to partake in).  Cooked breakfasts, however, tend to be aimed at the American and British markets so it often depends on the makeup of the hotels' clientele as to how good it is.

The cooked selection at the Cafe Swiss in the Swissôtel was rather thin.  We took the usual lukewarm scrambled egg, streaky bacon (at least it hadn't been carbonised as in North America), a grilled tomato with cheese and some mushrooms served with red pepper (ugh!).  To appease the Swiss owners there were some small  Rösti (actually in Switzerland it would probably be spelt Röschti) potato cakes.  The best part of the breakfast, however was the slice of spicy sausage.  We have no idea what it was but it was delicious. 

Danel Lambert

In fact, there weren't any other cooked options other than what we had.  Triple P tends to only eat twice a day on overseas trips, otherwise we would look like famous eighteenth century porker, Daniel Lambert.  It is important, therefore, that our breakfast carries us through until, at least, cocktail time.  We first observed this camel-like phenomenon when staying for extended periods in the Excelsior Hotel in Rome back in the late eighties.  Japanese tourists would descend on the buffet and promptly work their way through the continental breakfast, the fruit, the cold meats, cooked breakfast etc, etc.  The waiter told Triple P that as they didn't speak or read English or Italian they were unable to get lunch when out and about in the city so needed to stock up in an environment where food was plentiful and communication skills were not needed.  Perfectly logical, really.  Actually as breakfast cost £17 more than 20 years ago then it was probably sensible to get good value from it!

The Cafe Swiss itself was rather canteen like and whilst adequate for breakfast would have been a bit lacking in atmosphere for dinner.  The service, however, was good and we were brought an appropriate newspaper by the waiter without requesting one, which was a nice touch.

All in all, though, a rather disappointing 4/10.

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