Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Equatorial Hotel

I was staying in the Equatorial Hotel which is a 10 minute walk to my office. With our room, buffet breakfast was included. I was doubtful that the breakfast was going to be good because I did not have a good experience the night before. I arrived in Shanghai around 18:30, by the time I checked in, got to my room, studied the hotel and unpacked. It was already 20:00. I got hungry and decided to walk near the area of the hotel to see if there was a simple chinese restaurant I could have my first dinner in Shanghai. After walking around for about 30 minutes, I could not find anything and I was too hungry to continue so I decided to head back to the hotel and eat in the cafe. I decided to have the dinner buffet and that was one large mistake. Some of the worst food I have had in a long time. Now you know why I was apprehensive of eating in the cafe again. However, when I saw the breakfast buffet, I liked what I saw. I always like breakfast buffets that have an omelette chef cooking eggs the way you want them.

I was feeling a bit crazy so I started with bacon, pork sausage and fried rice. It was kind of an east meets west kind of starter for breakfast. The bacon was crispy (I hate soggy bacon) and the pork sausage was eatable. The fried rice was a bit dried out.

The next dish was dumplings filled with pork which were pretty much bland. You can always tell frozen dumplings from fresh ones and this was definately frozen. The skin was too thick and the pork was tasteless.

The next dish I had was rice congee with pork. I added compliments such as peanuts, green onion, fresh ginger, pickled ginger, shredded pork and a dash of fish sauce, vinegar and I was ready to eat. On the side, you eat rice congee with a chinese doughnut and a salty egg. For some reason, I have always liked congee for breakfast. I have western friends who get sick at the sight of congee. It is a filling but not heavy breakfast. Nutritious and not very fattening (well maybe the chinese doughnut since it is deep fried).

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