Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Shangri-La breakfasts – Yanuca Island, Fiji

Posted on: Tuesday 12 July 2011

Bula! We’ve just returned from a week at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa to attend the wedding of dear friends. This was our second visit to Fiji, our first trip several years ago to Botaira Resort was also for a wedding.

Unfortunately I would not recommend the Shangri-La as the service was comically abysmal. Every interaction with the staff at restaurants and the lobby was a challenge, their nonchalance could not be justified by the ‘Fiji time’ explanation.

There was unseasonal torrential rain on the day we arrived but we were blessed with beautiful weather for the remainder of the week. The sky was clear and there was a gentle breeze, making it ideal condition for both water activities and reading on a deckchair by the pool.

A buffet breakfast was included in our room rate and we retreated to the adults’ only Golden Cowrie restaurant to enjoy the stillness of the mornings. Our holiday coincided with the winter break for schools in Australia and the resort was full of families. Children eat free at the Lagoon Terrace restaurant and I braved it a couple of times, exiting weary of greasy fingerprints and food smears.

Eggs were cooked to order at all the restaurants. Scrambled, fried, poached, boiled or omelette, it was a novelty to watch the chef flipping an omelette while timing a soft boiled egg. Outdoor and spacious, the Golden Cowrie took egg, pancake and hot drink orders at the table. All other restaurants were self service except for tea and coffee which were poured for you if you can get the attention of the staff.

I love that we can have a leisurely breakfast on holiday, a meal that is functional when at home. There were cast iron pots full of bacon, sausages, baked beans and hash browns, and a carving board with a leg of ham. An Asian station had bowls of fried rice, fried noodles, sautéed vegetables, congee and oddly, spring rolls. Platters of cold meats and cheeses catered for a continental style breakfast.

Fresh fruit, fruit compotes, Bircher muesli and yoghurt were all on ice. Glass cylinders dispensed cereal and juices. A conveyor belt toaster browned slices of bread and there were trays of pastry, a rotation of Danish, croissants, doughnuts, pain au chocolat, muffins and cookies.

I tried some fried rice and it was tasty and not too salty. Eggs over easy were cooked perfectly, the oozing yolk was mopped up with the crispy hash browns. My favourite breakfast item was an omelette with capsicum (bell pepper), ham and shallots with a sprinkle of cheese. It was light and fluffy, and a good portion size cooked in individual saucepans.

Tropical fruits were greedily devoured! I have not eaten passionfruit in Seattle and I relished each spoonful of the sweet tangy pulp. Lychees, peaches and mandarins were steeped in sugar syrup and they would pair well with a pavlova. The almond croissant was sadly a plain dry croissant in disguise but the coconut twist was surprisingly flaky.

Shangri-La served Ronnefeldt tea bags and I got confused by the packets as one side had the name in Russian, Japanese and Chinese, and the other English, German and French.

We came home laden with buffet breakfasts and are looking forward to lighter meals for a healthy summer!

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