We stayed at the President Palace in Bangkok’s trendy Sukhumvit Soi 11 in July 2012. As breakfast was included in the room rate, Mr Not Delia ventured down one morning to find out what it was like.
Service was very friendly – such as it was; in practice it amounted to the waiting staff welcoming guests, bidding them farewell, wiping the tables and keeping the supplies maintained. To my slight surprise I wasn’t even shown to a table; it was free seating, with minimalist place-settings (just knives and forks, with paper napkin holders on each table behind the salt and pepper). Actually, I could probably have chosen a table that didn’t have a place-setting at all, as there was a cutlery tray near where the plates were set out.
Working round the stations, there was:
- yoghurt and fruit (papaya, honeydew melon – and that was it!);
- three cereals plus cold milk;
- tea, coffee and hot milk. Self-service hot drinks – no waiting staff circulating with jugs of tea and coffee here;
- cold drinks: orange, apple, pineapple juices, plus water. The orange juice looked a bit watery but was actually very tasty (and not revoltingly sweet or DayGlo orange, which Thai orange juice often is);
- salad bar: including pork ham, chicken ham, tuna salad, various leaves, other salady things like peppers, a decent range of dressings, feta cheese;
- various South and East Asian stuff including chicken curry, veg samosas, tofu soup, curry with potato;
- Western breakfast stuff: streaky bacon, fried potatoes, pork sausages (Frankfurter style, not ones made with real meat), chicken sausages;
- bread: white and brown sliced, ciabatta, baguette, muffins, croissants – with jam, marmalade and Allowrie butter, plus a toaster;
- the egg station, which was in the outside seating area.
I had two slices of brown toast with butter, a few pieces of bacon and a two-egg omelette with onion, green pepper and red chilli (cooked while I waited – again, no waiting staff to bring the cooked egg to your table), and two cups of coffee.
Sorry for the lack of illustrations, but there wasn’t anything that made for a particularly attractive photo – almost everything that wasn’t cold was in chafing dishes, with the lids kept down. (Good, if a little surprising; it’s so common to see them left open.) That reminds me; the plates were warm, in spite of being set out on a table and not kept in one of those plate-warmer things. They were quite substantial, so presumably that helped them retain their heat that bit longer.
It really wasn’t a bad buffet at all (even the Allowrie butter didn’t seem to have its usual off-putting sweetness), and I’d go again if I woke up in time and felt a bit hungry. But I wouldn’t get up especially to make sure I was in time for it.