Simply the world’s best breakfast

My career as a travel writer has taken me to more than sixty countries where I have enjoyed many memorable meals and while I don’t know about you, breakfast for me is the best meal of the day. A hearty and healthy breakfast can set you up until dinner time, especially when you’re travelling.

Several breakfasts stand out from my experiences ‘on the hoof’ as it were.

Unforgettable was beluga caviar for breakfast in Babolsar, a Caspian Sea resort in Iran. But equally memorable was a simple plate of fried egg and paratha when I awoke starving, one morning in Baltistan, a mountainous agency in north east Pakistan. Another breakfast I enjoyed was one Christmas in Bruges when the hotel served smoked eels for Asian guests. And loving eel, I have to confess to scoffing the lot before they came downstairs. Though many years ago now, I recall a splendid petit-dejeuner in a belle-epoque hotel overlooking Lake Geneva. Then just recently I found my pick of global breakfasts at the Grand Hotel in Kolkata.

While I’d travelled all over India, I had never been to Kolkata and as much as I wanted to visit the dowager city, I wanted to stay at the Grand, pleasure dome of society during the British Raj and jewel in the crown of the Oberoi hotels chain.

The surprise of this  majestic old hotel with its splendid location and attentive staff was the awesome breakfast devised by its executive chef, Saurav Banerjee, who presides over Oberoi’s restaurants enjoying a reputation for the best cuisine in town.

THE OBEROI GRAND  ON JAWAHARLAL NEHRU ROAD, KOLKATA DATES FROM THE 1870s.
SAURAV BANERJEE, EXECUTIVE CHEF AND MASTERMIND BEHIND THE SCENES. HOTEL GUESTS ARE INVITED TO HIS DAILY DISCUSSION ON BENGALI CUISINE
MORE THAN FIFTY DIFFERENT ITEMS FEATURE ON THE HOT AND COLD BREAKFAST BUFFET TABLES IN THE GHARANA RESTAURANT AT THE OBEROI GRAND.
TROPICAL FRUIT JUICES ARE PRESSED DAILY. MANGO MILKSHAKE (BOTTOM RIGHT) WAS MY IDEAL WAY TO START A DAY IN KOLKATA.
LASSI, SMOOTHIES AND AN ABUNDANCE OF FRUITS INCLUDE PAPAYA, PINEAPPLE, GUAVA, DRAGON FRUIT, BANANAS, MUD APPLE AND WATERMELON.
DELICIOUS GRANOLA BARS, FLAVOURED YOGHURTS AND MISTI DOI, A SWEET CURD WIDELY EATEN BY BENGALIS ARE MADE USING CREAMY BUFFALO MILK.
WHAT TO CHOOSE FROM THIS INVITING SELECTION OF CROISSANTS, DOUGHNUTS, MUFFINS AND BANANA BREAD? ALL ARE BAKED IN-HOUSE.
SUCH A VAST SPREAD WAS SERVED ON NEW YEAR’S DAY THAT BREAKFAST MOVED UPSTAIRS TO THE  OBEROI BALLROOM.
TRADITIONAL BENGALI BREAKFAST DISHES INCLUDE IDLI (RICE-FLOUR DUMPLINGS) AND SABUDANA KITCHIDI ( SAGO COOKED WITH PEANUTS, GINGER AND OTHER SPICES).
MORE FAMILIAR THINGS SUCH AS OMELET OR BACON AND EGGS ARE PREPARED BY ONE OF THREE ATTENDANT CHEFS
HERE I AM ENJOYING  POORI BHAJI AND HASH BROWNS WITH A SAMBAL SIDE DIP. NOTE THE MANGO MILKSHAKE.
COMPLIMENTARY PASTRIES FOR ANYONE WHO SLEEPS IN AND MISSES BREAKFAST ARE A THOUGHTFUL TOUCH BY CHEF BANERJEE.

 

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One Response to Simply the world’s best breakfast

  1. Jules says:

    Fabulous!
    Great pics and obviously a great commentatery on this incredible place.

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