After I posted about my fabulous Peking Duck dinner last Saturday, my friend and sometime guest blogger, Ali Swanson, asked if we could meet at the Pen before she heads back to Canada. Of course I said yes! We’ve been friends since middle school and always enjoy talking about travel and where our lives have taken us. As luck would have it, Ali and I were in Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, and China) at about the same time in the 1990s. Amongst other things, Ali studied at the University of Hanoi and often had brunch at the famous Metropole Hotel with Anderson Cooper!
We chose the Peninsula’s Lobby restaurant because it serves Chinese breakfast and we thought that would be fun and nostalgic; something also to celebrate her new job in Winnipeg and my upcoming memoir. Here’s our view of the Terrace from the Lobby.
And here’s Ali with her Chinese breakfast:
The breakfast up close. Starting counter-clockwise on the bottom right, there’s a plate of fish (possibly haddock), baby bok choy, pickled cabbage, fried bread (you tiao in Chinese), cucumber and hot sauce, hundred year old egg (that’s just the name, not the real age), sweet pickled radish, a plate of Shanghai pork dumpling and a shrimp dumpling, with a bowl of rice congee with shredded dried scallop in the middle.
Minutes after I snapped the above photo, they brought out little plates of omelets.
The only glitch with the morning was that when we arrived, the menu we received didn’t include the Chinese breakfast, whereas the one online did feature it. Several days earlier I had confirmed with the restaurant that they still served Chinese breakfast. And the answer was yes. So I explained this to the waitstaff and they were very accommodating. They did explain that the Chinese breakfast is on the room service menu and that diners need to give the restaurant a 24 hour notice to order it at the Lobby. Despite the “rules”, our server was very gracious and the chefs put together a delicious, eye-catching meal that was the envy of our neighboring diners.