Saturday, December 18, 2010
Welcome smorgasbord dinner, Fairmont Empress Kipling room 12/2010 (Canada)
The Fairmont Empress opened the beautiful Kipling room for 50 or so guests as an introduction to a tour of the Rockies. This room, which would accommodate 175 diners, is built on reclaimed land at the edge of the harbour, supported by 90 columns. Intended as a mens billiard room
the Corinthian columns would have been wasted on the horses which were stabled here before the tables were installed. It has gone through many transformations over the years being, at times both an a la carte and a smorgasbord dining room and a reception centre. It was opened in 1908 and renamed some years ago after Rudyard Kipling, who stayed here for a few days.
Fairly typical of smorgasbord dinners there were cold dishes
including potato salad, pasta spirals with shrimps, asparagus and leaf salads,
smoked salmon, smoked cod and cold salmon. Hot dishes included steamed vegetables, roast potato, saffron rice and raisins, a beef Indian curry, chicken and mussels with salmon.
Desserts included a variety of cakes, mousses and a quite excellent crème brullèe.
As is so often the case with these meals, 'tho all ingredients were excellent they were also all thoroughly overcooked making a potentially excellent dinner into something quite ordinary. Dressings were also indifferent.
A fruit cocktail featuring cranberry juice, 7 Up, orange juice and pineapple was a sweet surprise. Two local wines, which were very ordinary left a worse taste at $12 for the Syrah and $10 for a Sauvignon blanc when better wines were available at half the price outside the hotel. What can we say - have a look at the room,
don't go for a smorgasbord.