Hotel buffets

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Hotel buffets

Post by span @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:47 am

I'd never had a hotel buffet before, aside from breakfasts, but last weekend we went away to a beach hotel and since spanlet just wanted to spend the whole time in the pool and on the beach, we ended up having a couple of meals in the hotel.

What I do at a buffet, I found, is go and fill a plate up with a tiny bit of everything that looks nicest. And then I do it again and again, until I feel sick. Mr Span does the same. But then we noticed other people just use the buffet as a means to create a perfectly sensible, normal meal - e.g. a mixed salad for the centre of their table, and everyone takes a portion of fish or meat or whatever, then afterwards some cheese and biscuits, one dessert, and they're done.

I'm 37 and if I was going to mature into someone who did this, I presume I would have by now. Or do I just love food more and so get more excited about it?

What do you / would you do? Don't just say you would never do a buffet, that's not impressing anybody.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:58 am

My only buffet experience was in Las Vegas, where, as you can imagine, the choice and quantity is overwhelming. I also take the 'I want to try everything' approach, but it would have been impossible in Vegas (though many people seemed capable of seconds, thirds, fourths etc). In the end I just concentrated on getting my money's worth by piling lobsters on top of steaks, on top of ribs...
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:45 am

I think I’d do something between the two. Go and get a mixed plate of nice things for starters, then a mixed plate of nice things for a main, ekcetera.

I feel terribly guilty at buffets for taking loads of a thing I really like though. Once, I found some devilled egg things which were so nice I ate four of them but I took them surreptitiously and hid them under some salad I definitely wasn’t going to eat but took so people didn’t judge me for having four devilled eggs and no greenery.

Las Vegas is the worst for buffets. People just pile everything into a mountain of jumbled food on one plate and it looks horrifying.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:09 am

I was at wedding once where the catering was via buffet. One particularly fat couple dispensed with plates and used two serving platters instead.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Il Duce @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:12 am

I've only ever had a breakfast buffet in a hotel and I only ever have caffelatte and crusty bread and jam. Sliced ham and bendy cheese can piss off that early in the morning.
Sorry Spanga.

I like the idea of creating a meal out of the buffet as suggested but I've never been in a hotel with enough people to be able to do this.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by span @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:19 am

Blimey, I think a vegas buffet would be bad for me, I'd burst.

One day on the holiday I said to Mr Span 'I was thinking tonight I might just have a big plate of salty chips and some white wine' because that's a hard-to-beat combination. But then when it came to it, I had everything.

The only thing I don't have much of is meat, in fact. You can't eat much meat before being full, and unless it's something special then it just tastes of boring old meat. But I piled up different salads and mixed veg. Not through healthiness (I had about four desserts per meal) but just tastiness and making the most of it.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:28 am

After dinner mint Span? It is 'waffer thin'...
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Damien Thorn @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:41 am

span wrote:You can't eat much meat before being full, and unless it's something special then it just tastes of boring old meat.


It's not often you're wrong span, but my goodness you are now.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Turntable @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:54 am

You mention you return again and again until you are bursting.
I find that a bit girly. Despite the fact that it is very easy and sensible to do that, I still feel the need to pile my plate up to extraordinary levels almost as though a second visit to the buffet was illegal.
And even if I like 10 things on the buffet, I would narrow that down to three or four that I like the most and just pile my plate up with that.
Plus unlike you, span, my plate is meat heavy. If I was going to have a plate of mixed stuff that wasn't meat, as far as I am concerned I might as well just eat a pot of coleslaw.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:01 pm

The last tremendous buffet I remember was in Waikiki and a mate who I was with, and is my quantity god, taught me how to be the most efficient at it.

The key, it seems, is to build up slowly a bit like running. If you take off too quickly then you'll never last the distance.

We managed to perfect the technique to this:

Go straight to the omelette man and get him to make the omelette of your choice. Whilst this is happening, have a little miso soup and get your juice, coffee & tea sorted.

Eat the omelette and return for the main event. We tended to need 2 or 3 visits to the bacon/egg/sausage etc counter to really fill up. Then get a bowl and have fruit and yoghurt and repeat x2.

After that, I tended to be in a semi comatose meatsweat that meant I didn't need to eat till lunchtime.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by tanglerat @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:45 pm

Reminds me of this:

https://youtu.be/qBCLXZmMQNs
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by thekungfury @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:10 pm

I’ll do things at buffets that I’d never dream of at home. I will fusion the shit out of it and throw the rule book right out of the window.

Roast beef and Yorkshires sharing a plate with Thai curry? Sure, why not?
Teriyaki salmon with potato dauphinois? Load me up.
Pasta, potatoes and rice? Carb me, bitch!
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by S1K @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:56 pm

If confronted with a buffet my natural tendency is to eat until I’m feeling queasy then fill any bags or containers I have about my person.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by span @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:03 pm

thekungfury wrote:I’ll do things at buffets that I’d never dream of at home. I will fusion the shit out of it and throw the rule book right out of the window.

Roast beef and Yorkshires sharing a plate with Thai curry? Sure, why not?
Teriyaki salmon with potato dauphinois? Load me up.
Pasta, potatoes and rice? Carb me, bitch!

That's EXACTLY it. When you're normally quite particular about your meals (loving decent food as most of us do) it's ridiculous how all your ideas of portions and compatible foods just vanish, when you're confronted with Plenty.
Tokyo Sexwale wrote:Go straight to the omelette man and get him to make the omelette of your choice. Whilst this is happening, have a little miso soup and get your juice, coffee & tea sorted.

Eat the omelette and return for the main event. We tended to need 2 or 3 visits to the bacon/egg/sausage etc counter to really fill up. Then get a bowl and have fruit and yoghurt and repeat x2.

See I'm envious, that wouldn't work for me as protein is too filling (at any time of day but certainly in the morning)
ttwiggy wrote:After dinner mint Span? It is 'waffer thin'...

Twiggers I just popped to the supermarket and you'd put after dinner mints in my head, so I bought some!

It's occurred to me that being able to carry on eating is something I prioritise when choosing food - for example my favourite crisps are those puffed ones that you can practically eat constantly all your waking hours, just about maintaining satiety, like a vole. Sure, nacho chips are delicious, but at what cost?
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:08 pm

span wrote:just about maintaining satiety, like a vole.

:D
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by ttwiggy @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:11 pm

I don't think I've ever considered longevity in my food choices. This had been eye-opening Span.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Turntable @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:36 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:After that, I tended to be in a semi comatose meatsweat that meant I didn't need to eat till lunchtime.


Unfairly ignored.
Good sentence.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Greg66 @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:41 pm

I do something like this

span wrote:What I do at a buffet, I found, is go and fill a plate up with a tiny bit of everything that looks nicest. And then I do it again and again, until I feel sick.


But it’s more like this

span wrote:What I do at a buffet, I found, is go and fill a plate up with a a very healthy portion of everything that looks nicest. And then I do it again and again, until I feel sick.


I often find that after doing this I feel as uncomfortable as a snake that’s been force fed a goat, and just want to roll around on the floor feeling sorry for myself.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by NNK @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:52 pm

I don't buffet very often but when I do its a carnivorous frenzy.
I may (if its fresh) have a small amount of salsa on the plate but other than that its just meat and fish.
"Oh you must try the rice salad' or 'mmm the penne is memorable' doesn't cut it for me, I want a TS type meatsweat.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Clown Ice Skater #4 @ Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:34 pm

Does anyone else find it surprising that the dishes on buffets are not often labelled so you know what they are or what’s in them?
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Paul H @ Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:05 am

Not a fan of buffets because, as noted, you just stuff your face. If confronted with one I will inevitably pick the nicest looking meat and enough roast potatoes to feed an Irish regiment. I stagger back to my seat with what at first glance appears to a scale model of the great pyramid of Giza.

I do like a breakfast buffet though. Experience has taught me the best way to approach these is to select the nicest looking bread option and add cooked pig until all possibility of ‘closing the sandwich’ has vanished.

When I’m in Amsterdam my first choice hotel is The American. If I can’t get a room I will usually go there anyway one morning just for their breakfast. Their buffet seems to offer everything you could possibly expect. And champagne. On the buffet!! What a start to the day.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Disastrous @ Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:56 am

Never given it any thought but just smash out plate after plate of meat and things I like. I’ve never cared so much for what things go together anyway so a buffet is a functional way for me to fill my boots.

I am a fan of the ‘live stations’ where a man might grill you some mahi mahi or make you a crepe or omelette or sonesuch. I will visit all of them usually.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Disastrous @ Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:57 am

But never after 7.43pm or after ingesting tiny quantities of milk...
Last edited by Disastrous on Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Il Duce @ Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:31 am

Disastrous wrote:But never after 7.43pm or after ingesting tiny quantities of milk...


If you actually followed this rule you wouldn't be so... so... big boned.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Deuteronomy @ Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:56 am

Disastrous wrote:I am a fan of the ‘live stations’ where a man might grill you some mahi mahi or make you a crepe or omelette or sonesuch. I will visit all of them usually.


I love a teriyaki hot plate station thing.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:03 am

Disastrous wrote:But never after 7.43pm or after ingesting tiny quantities of milk...

:D

Foolishly I added a splash of milk to my tea this morning then couldn’t face eating my toast at all!!

Of course not, I am not a tiny calf.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by HappyGoLucky @ Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:22 am

The buffets over here are pretty epic in their proportions and then they add freeflow beer/wine/cocktails & champagne into the mix.

They usually run from around 11 - 3pm and have all the local specialties, mounds of seafood plus suhsi & sashmi stations there's normally a full on roast/carvery section and most have a decent indian selection too to ensure the carbcoma is a long one. Given that they're normally in the better hotels, they also tend to have an in-house patissiere so if you haven't overloaded on swimming crabs and beef wellington there's a whole new section of gluttony to explore.

I tend to start at the sushi station before moving onto the seafood one for oysters, crab and lobster in order of density. At this point I'll usually take a breather and another of those wonderful mojito's if you'd be so kind before moving into the asian selection for some pan seared scallops or spicy tiger prawns with bee hoon - think Singapore noodles with a bit of extra class.

Another cocktail break and it's time for the heavy hitters at the indian and carvery sections, you'd be amazed how well lamb dum biryani goes with a rosemary or mint gravy. Yorkshire puds with dhal makhani? Bring it on.

One of my favourites was at the Hilton on Orchard, at 2:55 sharp they'd clear all the beer or wine glasses from the tables and set up dainty little teacups and saucers in their place explaining that they could'nt serve alchohol after 3pm. They then delivered teapots full of champagne to the tables as an acknowledgement that the brunch was over, if anyone asks, it's just tea, ok? we knew to keep Mumm.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:33 am

That sounds amazing HGL, I think I would explode.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by HappyGoLucky @ Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:52 am

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:That sounds amazing HGL, I think I would explode.


Our local tapas bar has started a sunday brunch thing with all you can eat tapas, a handful of mains & deserts with free flow beer wine prosecco or sangria for less than 35 quid a head.

Having had family over for the last 10 days, the thought of eating out again was too much to bear so I hit the MTB trails with a buddy for a couple of hours. As is our wont, we had post ride roti prathas and teh tarik instead of tapas. Currently lying on the sofa on the terrace contemplating whether the grass really needs cutting before the gardeners come in 10 days, I'm hoping the dark clouds to the west mean I won't have to mow the lawn or water all the plants.

Beer butt chicken tonight, mmm getting hungry again.
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Re: Hotel buffets

Post by Careless Whisperer @ Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:54 pm

I adhere to the unwritten rule that it's rude to have more than two trips to the buffet (dessert excluded).

For that reason, it's important to understand the structural integrity of slices of meat etc, which can overhang the edges of the plate thus providing a greater area to fill with everything else.

I'm normally too full to go back for dessert...
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