Breakfast Buffet: 140 NIS
140 NIS for breakfast! Blimey. You can have three breakfasts for that price normally. Fortunately, I wasn’t paying for this one – I was helping out with an event at the hotel and they gave me breakfast as a thank you. I gratefully accepted.
It’s hard to know where to begin with this breakfast. The buffet is, quite simply, vast. To give you an idea, there are various counters, each offering a huge range of foods: salad, fruit, cheeses, cereals, breads and pastries, cakes, yoghurts, juices, fish. Then there is the hot buffet: quiches, hot vegetables, hot chocolate cake, burekas, waffles, pancakes and eggs to order.
Obviously, it was a tall order to try everything on offer. I was aware of my responsibility though to the avid and numerous readers of this blog, so I decided to take one for the team. I did my best, as evidenced by the above picture, but sadly was not able to take on the entire buffet single handed.
Let’s start with the salad and dips. I took a mix of vegetables, together with a traditional chopped Israeli salad. All tasted fresh, all with good flavour. I tried a variety of dips and prepared salads, some sort of salmon pate, egg salad, tabbouleh, some aubergine. All excellent; the salmon pate was particularly interesting and unusual.
Onto the cheeses: some cottage cheese, cream cheese, yellow cheese, feta, mozzarella and Roquefort all found its way onto my plate (I do have a penchant for cheese). Again, all very good; the cream cheese was particularly thick and creamy; the feta also delightfully smooth and strong. And Roquefort is always a treat. By the way, I probably tried about half of the cheeses on offer.
Onto the hot stuff: I had an omelette cooked to order, and it was cooked very well indeed. Just the right consistency. I sampled some quiche, roast potato wedges and steamed vegetables, which were surprisingly good given that they were being kept warm on a hot plate. Particularly the steamed vegetables.
What with all of this hard eating, it was difficult to do justice to the bread board, but I had a small wholemeal roll and a chunk of baguette which were both most splendid; crusty and tasty; and went well with my dips and the premium jams that were on the table.
I passed on the fresh orange juice and had lemonade instead to quench my thirst; nothing special but perfectly pleasant. The chocolate milk was a nice treat though!
For dessert, I had a selection of some of the cakes. The cheesecake was disappointing, but to be honest, I should have expected it; I’m not a huge fan of Israeli cheesecake. The chocolate cake was good though, extremely chocolatey and a nice texture; the apple crumble muffin was superlative. I wish I had space for more. I concluded matters with a selection of the fresh and stewed fruit, coated in some yoghurt, for a sense that I had eaten something mildly healthy. There was a wide-ranging selection of fruit and it was all very very yummy.
In conclusion, the Hilton Tel Aviv certainly knows how to put on a breakfast. A vast range of high quality foodstuffs, a delightful view over the sea, unlimited returns to the buffet. All rather splendid. But then, it does cost 140 NIS. And that really is rather a lot of money. And yes, the experience is great, so you could argue about the value. But 140 NIS is close to 2% of the average gross monthly salary in Israel. And to be honest, although I very much enjoyed myself, I don’t think I would fork out that kind of cash. So, this one will go down for an honourable mention, and definitely worth a visit, either for a very special occasion, or perhaps if you can find someone to pay for you!