As you wander the streets of Gothenburg, whilst the architecture and surroundings may be significantly different to that at home, the ‘smörgåsbord’ of eating and drinking venues have a good mix of the new as well as familiar such as McDonald’s, 7-11s or Pizza Hut.
Scandinavia is the home of the ‘smorgasbord’, buffet-style food service with many dishes on display for guests to help themselves that are popular for all sorts of restaurants and occasions. Of course, we see them everywhere nowadays.
One of the most popular smörgåsbords is the breakfast buffet, especially for hotels. I love a cooked brekky, it’s even better when it’s cooked for you. After my ‘not-so-mixed grill’ on the plane I was very much pleased to see a vast array of brekky foods on display for my choosing with of course …bacon, and not just any old greasy horrible bacon as you sometimes find but just the right amount of ‘crispy’. Let’s face it, get your bacon right and I’m a happy girl.
Other foods included a wide range of breads (not your run-of-the mill plastic wrapped loaves, REAL bread, cheeses (including brie) and cold deli meats, picked veges, cereal, ‘sour milk’ (clearly rather popular here based on the 3 large jugs available) alongside yoghurt, cereals, porridge (ingredients and microwave available for you to make it fresh), caviar (hmmm, but in a tube?) and then a selection of hot foods.
There were 5 minute or 9 minute eggs in their shells (presumably baked or boiled), scrambled, sausages and of course …the bacon. With juices and coffee or hot chocolate also the only thing that made it better was our beautiful view of the harbour on a gorgeously sunny July morning.
Our day ended as it began with a smörgåsbord of sorts as well. Downstairs from our hotel is a Mongolian restaurant. We had already done a LOT of walking so it sounded ideal, regardless of the menu. Whilst there is an a la carte menu available, the restaurant is known for it’s ‘create your own dish’ catering. For a reasonable charge, there is an all-you-can eat option to select a plate of various vegetables and/or meats, add a sauce (more a flavoured oil, BBQ, curry or soy) which is then passed to the chef to cook right there on the grill before you.
I’ve never been to a tepinyaki-type place before so I imagine this is quite similar.
With some added stock when the dish is cooked it’s handed back to you where you can add more sauces (BBQ, Curry, OR Sweet n Sour) then move to the salad bar for salads and mini spring rolls. I thought there might be some shrinkage in the cooking process but no, I returned to my table with a huge plate of food reminiscent of a Noodle Box Combo Box …mega size!
..but wait, there’s more!!! We returned to our table and the lovely waiter (who appeared to be the owner) brought us our soup. Yes, apparently soups is part of the deal. Fortunately it was a very light stock-based soup not unlike the liquid from 2-minute noodles, except with out that processed powdery taste to it and teamed with some toasted baguette. We had time on our side so we gradually worked our way through it.
…but wait, there’s more!!! We couldn’t fit another thing in! Fortunately, this was in the form of a parting gift. All diners receive one with their bill. Some small Chinese ornaments and a fan (hmmm, more stuff for the suitcase) but it certainly was a lovely way to finish the night. i can see why this place is popular with the locals, a great feed in a lovely atmosphere with friendly staff all for a good price too. Win Win Win, and for me, another interesting dining experience abroad.