The following blog post below has been copied from my archives from 2011 august 30. Back then I was the queen of eating big lunches and dinners, and All you can eat Buffets were the perfect 'paisa vasool' . since then and having got now acquired the finesse of ala carte ordering, and frankly age (and the weighing machine) do not allow me to eat with such abandon as I previously did.
But How to eat at a buffet like a champ is still one of life's greatest skills. read on.H
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti
We all know that cooking is an art, but what many people don’t know is that eating is an art too. There is method and technique to eating.
A buffet is an ‘all you can eat’ adventure, where all varieties of culinary delight vie for your attention. People in the hospitality world will tell you how it’s an economical concept for the ‘hoteliers’, as they make a set number of dishes, and the guests are happy too because they get a variety of dishes at a pretty reasonable price. Win- win concept; but I ask you, are you getting the most from your Buffet?
As I said eating is an art, but my brother and I have Buffet eating down to a science. For all those who have yet to master the art of eating, here are my gems of wisdom. HOW TO EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH A BUFFET.
First. The preparation: Know thy buffet. When is the best time for eating yourself sick? I would say lunch. Lunch buffet’s is probably the best way to spend your Sunday, and then sleep your way through the evening. Another awesome time for Buffet eating is midnight. Midnight buffets start at 12 at night till 3 in the morning.Yes it’s a bit unconventional, but then that is why most midnight buffets are at half price, and don’t we all love a 50% off offer? Personally though I love breakfast buffets; that’s when we get the best muffins and doughnuts,danish pastries and eggs made to order. Breakfast, lunch or midnight, choose your pick.
Next. Should you starve before the binge? No. It’s scientifically proven, that after a point of being hungry, we just stop feeling hungry. So keep having small bites through the day and stop having anything 3-4 hours before you hit the buffet.That ways you won’t plough through the first thing you see at the buffet.
The entre. Always do a survey of what’s on offer. You don’t want to realize half way through your meal “Oho, they had waffles with maple syrup? Oh, they have gajar ka halwa and rabri?! Caramel cake too!” Survey is important. Find out; what they have for starters, desserts and main course. Which are your all time favourites? which ones your mom/wife doesn’t make at home? Which ones are too expensive to order ala carte? These make up your ‘do-not-miss’ list.
The secret. What does Lasagne, shepherd’s pie and pineapple pastry have in common? Layering. Layer your food. Have a course of savoury items, then a course of sweet. If you have all the desserts at one go, then the goey chocolate fudge, overpowers the delicate taste of the bread and butter pudding. The tangy strawberry tart doesn’t get it’s justice after the Mango meringue.
So, have a course of grilled fish with lemon tarts, then butter chicken and naan, with gajar ka halwa, then mutton rogan josh with the rasmalai…
The trick lies in layering savoury and sweet. Course by course.
The finale. As you draw to the end of your adventure, ask yourself this question; what is the one dish which will give you nightmares?Yes, nightmares. You leave behind that piece of prawn pancake, and the next day as you sit through another boring day at work, it comes back to haunt you. You realize that you should have had that piece. Every buffet has apiece de resistance, the best dish of the day. After your meal is done, reflect on your meal and ask yourself, what was it that will make you want ‘one more taste’ tomorrow. Then go forth, and have that extra piece, because Kal ho na ho.
Live a life without regrets. That piece of the Christmas pudding, the lemon cheese cake, that warm croissant, the lemon coriander soup, is the only dish you remember in the years to come, let it be a memory of contentment and not of deprivation.
This is the knowledge and experience that I offer you today. Go forth, and make your own rules, and experience the joys of over eating.
As Lord Alfred Tennyson says in ‘Ulysses’
…I cannot rest from travel; I will ‘drink’ …
…For always roaming with a ‘hungry’ heart…
..Much have I seen and known.
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.