Friend, I don’t necessarily claim to be a “food expert” but I will admit that over the years, I’ve grown to love and appreciate meals of a certain quality.
Now, it’s no secret that I’m an Amazonian Warrior in stature, with a ‘lil extra meat on my bones. ? I didn’t get to be this solid and strong overnight. Oh no, it took over 30 years of eating my heart out to get to this physique. ?
I’m saying all of this to say that I enjoy food.
When I travel to different places, one of the things that I am intentional about is experiencing the local cuisine to see how it compares to that of my own culture.
Several weeks ago, I had an opportunity to try some of the local Hangzhou cuisines during my stay in Le Meridien Hangzhou Hotel located in the Binjiang district.
The hotel has two restaurants located on the third floor and an executive lounge (Latitude 30) on the 17th floor for dining options for guests. During my stay, I dined at Latitude 30 as well as the main restaurant, Le Mei Chinese Restaurant.
Le Mei Chinese Restaurant
Le Mei Chinese Restaurant was the primary place where most guests dined for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although I did not eat there for lunch, I ate there for breakfast (included in room rate) and dinner (paid separately).
Priced at 436RMB for two people, the dinner buffet was filled with savory selections of meat, a seafood bar, a variety of vegetables, rice, and local cuisine faves.
I tried the pasta alfredo, a samosa, sausage slices, potato wedges, fried rice, and some beef.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos at dinner so for this review, I will solely focus on my experience with Le Mei Chinese Restaurant for breakfast.
In every hotel in China that has some kind of breakfast menu, you will find Chinese food options. These are quite different from western breakfast options.
Chinese breakfast primarily consists of some form of rice, vegetables, root vegetables, lo mein, spring rolls – honestly, you’ll find what you would eat during lunch or dinner.
Thankfully, most international hotels in China also include western food choices. Those are the places that I appreciate most because I am able to have a wider variety of options to choose from.
Le Mei Chinese restaurant in Le Meridien Hangzhou included western options such as bacon, chicken sausage, potato wedges, pastries, and an egg omelet station.
There was also a station for different types of cereal and milk options.
The Hangzhou Omelet
As I perused around the mouth-watering selections neatly organized in their respective sections, Fred, the ADD Manager, recommended that I try the special local Hangzhou-style omelet.
He had the chef make a fresh omelet in which I was served 4 pieces of it.
Friend, she worked this omelet as if it was a masterful piece of art, you hear me? ? And I appreciated the level of pride and care she took in her craft.
The omelet was very different in comparison to my traditional western omelet but it was delicious and I devoured as much as I could from my plate.
Since I had a taste for eggs and bacon – who am I kidding? I always have a taste for bacon! ? ? – I headed over to the omelet station where the breakfast meat was also conveniently located.
After selecting the ingredients to add to my omelet, the omelet station chef started working on it immediately.
While I waited for him to finish, I continued to walk around and select other items to complete my breakfast tray.
Having peanut butter on what I affectionately call, “Tiger-striped-tasty-toast” was inexplicably good!
It reminded me of the days back home as a kid when I would toast a cinnamon and raisin bagel and slather it up with as much crunchy peanut butter as possible.
Ahhhh….those were the days. ?
Oh! And don’t let me skip over this insanely soft and silky Creamy Cheese Bun!
Now, friend, it may not look like much but it piqued my curiosity so I grabbed one.
Boy, was I glad that I did!
The bread literally melted in my mouth, followed by the gushing sweet and silky cream that was embedded in the center of the bun.
Breakfast is served from 7 to 10 in the morning.
When I walked into the Le Mei Chinese restaurant, there was a luring aroma that enticed me to see the meal options I would choose from.
Also, I usually try to go to restaurants when they first open (1) to avoid crowds of people (I mean…it’s still a pandemic out here in these streets) and (2) to get food when it is first made.
Fred Xiong, the ADD Manager, greeted me and walked me to a table that had a nice view of the outdoors. He pulled out my chair for me to sit, asked if I wanted tea, coffee, or a cappuccino.
I was loving this kind of treatment, friend!
I ordered a cappuccino and when I returned to my seat, a large piping hot cup was waiting for me.
Fred continued to check on me along with other servers who patiently waited to clean dirty plates from the tables as guests moved on to the next one.
Also, I must commend the dinner waiter, Wade Liu, for his specially concocted drink of 7-up, grapefruit juice, apple juice, pomegranate syrup, and little pieces of fruit.
Friend, let me just say that I had 3 glasses of this concoction. It was absolutely flavorful!
When I entered the restaurant, I saw many reminder signs to dress appropriately, stand 2 meters apart, wear my mask, and use hand sanitizer when necessary.
Additionally, every staff member wore their masks as a standard measure of practice.
Since I usually include breakfast in my hotel reservation, I didn’t know the actual price of the breakfast buffet, however, I found it listed on Le Meridien Hangzhou Hotel’s website for 188RMB.
There are also two other breakfast options listed: Continental breakfast (158RMB) and the Full American Breakfast (168RMB).
I wasn’t aware of the other two options prior to today, but I’m quite pleased with the breakfast buffet and don’t think that I would’ve chosen the other options.
The winner of the day???
It’s a tie between the Creamy Cheese Bun and the Hangzhou-Style Omelet!
Both were surprisingly delicious and satisfied my taste buds in ways that I completely didn’t expect.
If you’re ever in the Binjiang district and are able to check out Le Mei Chinese Restaurant, I would recommend visiting for an opportunity to experience local, Cantonese, and western meal options when you want to treat yourself. ?
I’d like to thank Le Meridien Hangzhou Hotel and the staff at Le Mei Chinese Restaurant for being welcoming hosts. They made my stay pleasant and memorable.