A Little New York in Singapore

Eighteen days into a three week swing through Asia, I was done with hotel breakfast buffets. I wanted a breakfast that hadn’t been under a warming light or in a steam tray. Fortunately, when I checked into the delightful Courtyard by Marriott Novena, the young lady at the bell desk on the ground floor told me I had to try this place. Given that it was about 20 steps from the front door, this was a no-brainer.

This was just what I needed, and more. The bagel served at 8 am was still warm from the oven and the schmears were cool and tasty. The menu told me that I was coming back, and tomorrow I’m buying for the office. Two Men Bagel House has redefined the quick breakfast in Singapore. As long as they are here, I am staying nearby.

Presentation Counts

The real art of eating at a buffet is plating your food in an appealing manner. I am biased: nothing kills my appetite faster than the sight of an overladen plate that looks like a trough into which the kitchen scraps have been dumped.

Okay, I’ll own it: this is all a bit OCD, but do us both a favor and try this next time you find yourself facing an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord:

  • Walk the whole buffet first, making your selections;
  • Then take a plate and resolve to put no more than three different foods onto it;
  • Set the food on your plate while pretending you are serving someone you want to impress.

I wager that when you get back to the table, you will eat more slowly, savor your meal, and feel better afterwards.

Morning Curling

Monday morning at 10:00am at the Marriott in Shanghai, and there is a small crowd of foreign guys sitting in the lobby bar watching a curling match on television.

I am torn between pity and envy as a shuffle into the long taxi queue and head to the office. I was never much of a curling fan, but I have of late become a great admirer of leisure.

UPDATE: took one look at the taxi queue and turned around and went back into the lobby and ordered a double espresso. I am 13 years and 4 months away from Social Security, but I am definitely too old to stand in any hotel taxi queue with more than four people ahead of me and no cabs in the rank.