The Breakfast Buffet Buff

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

The best thing about having the Comrades Marathon behind me is that I can now dedicate my weekend mornings to a favourite pastime – eating. For me, there are few things more pleasurable than having a big hearty breakfast at the end of a difficult work-week (it would be the ultimate experience if this breakfast could be served with wine, but I have found that people think less of you if you order cabernet instead of coffee before 10am).

Our first stop is the Fish Shop in Weltevreden Park. You will find some fruit, yoghurt, muesli, sausages, bacon, scrambled egg and one or two side items such as fried onions. Fruit juice, instant coffee and tea are also included in the deal. A vegetarian might not enjoy this buffet as it does not offer much variety, but if you would like to eat your bodyweight in bacon you will be more than satisfied. We went on an icy morning when the place was filled with people on a conference. They greeted us as if we were also delegates and I had hoped they would pick up our tab, but our waiter was on the ball and made sure the bill found its way to our table rather than our new friends. I wasn’t too upset at not being able to pull a fast one as the Fish Shop breakfast is only R55 per person. The menus is quite limited, but worth it for the price.

Seattle Coffee Company at the Food Lover’s Market in Fourways hosts a weekend breakfast buffet that makes it worthwhile leaving a warm bed. It’s also a fairly basic buffet that offers all the usual suspects – egg, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and a small selection of cereals, yoghurt and fruit. Be sure to save space for the muffins which are a perfect accompaniment to the coffee on offer. While the buffet is a very reasonable R45, Seattle warm drinks can be a bit on the pricey side.

Chef and the Fat Man is an eatery on Witkoppen Road that is increasingly popular. Their portions are reasonable, their prices fair and the meals of a decent quality. Their breakfast buffet is also a winner – if you aren’t there early to grab a table, you may have to wait a bit. They serve eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, potato wedges, beans, tomatoes, cereals and pancakes. At R55, this buffet is my favourite – they dish up a mix of sweet and savoury eats and have treats for the diet conscious. Arrive early or book - 011 658 1273.

Popular chain Ciao Baby was possibly one of the first eateries, outside of hotels, to offer a breakfast buffet. They still have one of the better ones as their menu includes items you might not expect to find, such as thin-base pizza slices. The assortment of dishes and the quality of these items makes the R69 cost seem insignificant. The Ciao Baby franchises are mostly found in shopping malls, something which has pros and cons. On the upside, a mouth-watering breakfast is the best way to offset the misery that people, particularly men, feel in overcrowded shopping centres. The downside is that they often fill up fast and early.

Most hotels offer a breakfast buffet and as a rule of thumb, if it’s the kind of hotel where celebrities or visiting sport stars stay, the food will be brilliant, both in scope and taste. You may be a little aggrieved at paying in excess of R100 for a breakfast though. If you can find one that is hosting a national conference and pretend to be a delegate you may be able to eat for free. Or be banned from the hotel.

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