All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.
-John Gunther, American journalist
I know. You’re taking a look at all that food and thinking that I must’ve been out of my mind or really hungry ”“ or both (!) to have eaten all of that.
Actually, I did eat all of it, but I had help. Just a little help.
My best friend, Bal, and I share an inordinate love for a good Danish pastry ”“ the flaky ones that scatter everywhere like pixie dust when you take a bite. We see if we can count the layers that are visible after a bite, but after a few seconds, we give that up too, so intent are we on the second bite, and the third and…
Danish pastries are rich yeast breads based on an enriched dough of milk, butter, eggs, and more butter. The folding method is similar to the one employed in making croissants, which accounts for the ethereal flakiness of these pastries. Fillings for Danish are countless — among them various jams, flavored sugars, marzipan, and even dried fruit. There are also myriad ways of shaping pastries, each of which has its own name. After baking, the pastries are usually glazed with syrup or powdered sugar.
I’ve found that most good hotels serve a good Danish. On this morning, Bal and I were at the Mandarin Deli. The somewhat elderly woman behind the counter was more than a bit shocked with our order: three Danish pastries, three doughnuts, and two croissants. “These are all for dine-in?” She asked, the incredulity so evident in her tone. Bal and I nodded, grinning like the soon-to-be-stuffed goofs we were.
The croissants are P37 each, and they come in plain or chocolate-filled. The Danishes are P50 each — sugar-glazed, custard, or with preserves. The doughnuts ”“P30 each”“ come in sugar-glazed, Bavarian, and chocolate. All good, and all guaranteed to satisfy the pastry monster in you.
Eating at the deli of any hotel will slap you with some nasty service charge, but sometimes the extras can’t be beat. In this case, we were served a plate of miniature jams: apricot, strawberry, orange marmalade, and raspberry. I came close to snitching the entire set, but the waiter said they were for dine-in only. (What a kill-joy, eh?)
Do come here though for their wide selection of breads, which include the pretzels (P27 each). I’d stay away from the cakes since they often look better than they taste, in my opinion.
All around us, corporate types were having hushed meetings over a lone bread roll and some black coffee; and there we were, two freaks-for-Danish smearing jam and munching away, unmindful of the “crumb-y” mess we were making, and having a plain good time. It was cool. I love breakfast.
Related Post: Homemade Danish pastry