Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hotel Breakfasts and Manakeesh

I love hotels.
The flawless air conditioning , the perfect shower head pressure and the pristine white beds are just a few of the many reasons why staying in a hotel is always fun. Well, actually for me they are the only reasons but I think they're substantial enough. No, the mini-bar and room service don't excite me, not in the least. It's just over paying for stuff that you do not need to overpay for if you learn to be scrappy. Chances are that  if you are in a hotel, you are in a different city, and if you are in a different city chances are you can shop. So really- its your call, do you want to spend money on overpriced macademia nuts from the minibar or shoes?

Yep, I thought as much. Plus who likes macadamia nuts anyway.

Coming back to the P,  the best part of a great hotel (it has to be great), is  undoubtedly the breakfast buffet.If you don't agree , I'm sorry but here is something wrong with you. Get help.ASAP.
Breakfast buffets are the only legit reason in the entire world  to wake up before 10.30am on vacation.Yes, that means even shopping is not a good enough reason, and coming from me that's got to mean something.
I recently traveled with my parents and their friends, which is an amazing experience because unlike when you travel with your friends you are not so (read: not at all) budget conscious. It means you stay in nice hotels, that have great breakfasts spreads and never are the one to pay for meals or cabs.Yes, that also means you are the errand boy but that's fair trade given that they are giving you awesome breakfast and have also given you life many years ago.

We stayed at the Makkah Fairmont, which was lovely, and the breakfast was everything I had fantasized about weeks and weeks ago with the small but heartfelt exception of smoked salmon.The absence of the salmon was some what compensated by the presence of Manakeesh with different toppings. My favorite to have on its own was obviously the  cheese one, but the tomatoes paste one was also quite exemplary when paired with  with roast beef cold cut,feta and labneh. Yes; I broadened my horizons and it was awesome. Don't worry, that doesn't mean I didn't have award winning hotel breakfast classics like waffles soaked in syrup* and banana bread in between, I did.Breathe easy.
 But, the winner for this trip was definitely the middle eastern stuff. Also, this was my only proper meal of the day so I could afford to stuff myself like no tomorrow. A few tawafs and you didn't even feel it.

Now, I crave Manakeesh.
Oh , for those of you not familiar its flat bread with Akkawi cheese which is stringy and sour and yummy, with some spinachy stuff going on as well. Yes- very similar to a pizza, but of a different taste altogether- middle eastern pizza if you must. Breakfast food for the arabs though. They're just so decadent na, calories are just not a concern. The middle eastern part of the breakfast was all sour cream, stuffed olives and cheese.
Coming back to the manakeesh ; it wasn't entirely new- I've had it before in Montreal at Al-Taib and have tried many different middle eastern grocery versions as well, but this was different.For starters I learnt it was called Manakeesh. For some reason the name that always came in my head was Fattoushi, because a different verison of it is called Fatayer.  Secondly, it was fresh out of the oven. And as we know,  fresh food is in fashion too (sorry couldn't resist). Given that all the ones that I have had previously had to be heated, this one was a universe apart because it would be too hot to touch with your fingers even let alone put in your mouth.
The joy of being burnt by cheese.
Its true.
All pleasures worthwhile hurt later.

* Its weird but pancakes that have been soaked shamelessly in syrup and have been sitting in it for a while taste dangerously close to Gulab Jamun. Coincidence?

1 comment:

  1. * Its weird but pancakes that have been soaked shamelessly in syrup and have been sitting in it for a while taste dangerously close to Gulab Jamun. Coincidence?.. Maybe that is why the pancakes at pancake lounge taste like gulab jamuns! Good observation!

    NOTHING beats great crispy freshly made waffles!