For decades nutritional experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies which find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism, and weight.
That’s a very good argument, but besides all that sensible stuff, we know that not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, it’s also the most delicious, versatile and varied – and it’s the best first step to beating a hangover, especially if you have over indulged a bit with the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice!’s famous naughty milkshakes the night before.
The first instinct might be to go for a bit of the hair of the dog, but executive chef Jason Scott at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town suggests otherwise: “We have a delicious Morning Glory milkshake that has a sharp double espresso hit, or guests can choose a pick-me-up from our new coffee station – a Protea filter blend, rich Mocha Java, African Gold and an all-new organic coffee.”
Every country in the world has its traditional breakfast; here we like to start the day with a mixture of carbs and proteins, either hot or cold. At Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch the hot breakfasts include two types of bacon, beef sausages, mincemeat, pork sausages, a chicken dish, a fish dish, fresh roast vegetables, fried potatoes and beans – and eggs done to order: fried, poached, scrambled, boiled or omelette.
Cooler options are cereals, yoghurts, fruits, cheeses cold meats, pastries and juices.
The Cape Town hotel pulls out all the stops with cheese baskets; cold fish dishes like roll mops, pickled fish and even salmon roses; savoury biscuits with cream cheeses and stewed fruits; fresh fruit platters and smoothies. Jason’s hot dishes include dukkha mushrooms, Cape Malay triple beans, sweet chilli pork sausages, beef sausages in his secret basting sauce, lean crispy bacon, thyme roasted potatoes and his daily special which could be anything from waffles to a stew. Plus of course “every form of egg dish you want,” says the chef.
While that throbbing head and dry mouth which are the high price to pay for a decadent night at the bar will have your body demanding something substantial in the morning, there are the healthy options too. “Eating fresh fruits for breakfast provides your body with natural sugars to help you sustain your energy levels throughout the day,” says Matthew Koury, F&B manager at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch. “Some healthier options for breakfast include: Bircher muesli, yoghurt, muesli and berry shots and fresh fruit salsa.”
Jason agrees: “Too much of one thing is never good. If you are suffering with that hangover some say oily foods are good, but do not pile on bacon, eggs etc. Find the balance and make sure to get all the natural nutrients and vitamins found in fruit as well.”
With bikini season just around the corner, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town is introducing a new healthy breakfast section for all morning breakfasts, says Jason. This will consist of bowls of healthy items such as gogi berries, dried pomegranate and seed packs. “We also have a chef making fresh health juices to order - from beetroot, carrot, ginger and broccoli to tomato, fresh berries and a good dollop of ginger all with a daily information board stating the benefits of the morning booster drink.”
Breakfast at both hotels is served in the restaurants from early (6-6.30am) until between 10.30 and 11am, although early risers with flights to catch can be accommodated, as are guests requiring room service beyond those hours, for medicinal purposes.
“Guests are more than welcome to request breakfast in their rooms no matter how they’re feeling, but we do like to encourage them to join us in the restaurant and experience the ambiance,” says Matthew.