Some of you may know the coffee house by this name at the Mandarin Singapore – it was around already when I was there in 1973. These days, it seems to be the place to be when one wants to eat chicken rice – in style at almost SGD30 a set. I know of people who went and tried and according to them, at the end of the day, it was what it was – chicken rice…with a touch of class.

Well, the coffee house at the hotel where we stayed in Miri has that same name and when I did the booking, I opted for their breakfast as my girl used to love that when she was small. I guess the novelty of going through the buffet spread, picking a bit of this and a bit of that was a novelty, something that she enjoyed. After all, it was only RM10 per head – I don’t know if that is what you will have to fork out if you are not a house guest though.

I remember once, I went to see a friend at a hotel here in Sibu and she insisted that I joined her and her sis for breakfast and  I had the shock of my life when she had to pay RM50.00 for mine (their hotel room rate was inclusive of breakfast for two). It wasn’t even anything that I would look forward to, not many selections to pick and choose and nothing really nice.

Well, our family room was inclusive of breakfast for two adults and two children. I told the nice receptionist when I checked in that I only had one child and she was no longer a child and he said that would not be a problem and he converted it to breakfast for three adults instead.  As for what we had for breakfast, it was more or less like any other breakfast that you would get at any hotel here, there and everywhere – you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

The first morning we were there, I had this…

Mega Hotel Miri buffet breakfast 1

…for my first round. The nasi in the nasi lemak was so-so, not as lemak as I would have liked it and the sambal was so very salty – I did not have it anymore on subsequent mornings but when my missus had it a day or two later, she said it was all right. The chicken curry was salty too and all in all, I only enjoyed the fried bihun.

I think I enjoyed what I had for my second round…

Mega Hotel Miri buffet breakfast 2

…more except for the potato wedges – that too was very salty! The omelette from the egg station was great and I liked the croissant stuffed generously with butter and the beef rashers. The waffle and pancake were fine and so were the sausage and the baked beans.

On another morning, I went for the waffle and pancake again and I asked for scrambled eggs by the side…

More pancake & waffle plus a danish and egg

Unfortunately, the scrambled eggs were not done the way I like it, with lots of cheese and butter and milk, rich and creamy – it was like a badly-messed up omelette…

Scrambled egg

I had one of the Danish pastries that morning and I quite enjoyed it so on another morning, I had some more…

More danish, croissant and a cupcake

…alongside another croissant and a cupcake.

They had kolo mee at the noodles station that first morning but they had run out of noodles and I did not want the kway teow. I was thinking they would have it again over the next few days but no, they did not and I was kind of surprised that they did not have Sarawak laksa either. They had other soup noodles, a different one each morning and I tried the beef noodles…

Maga Hotel Miri buffet breakfast - beef noodles

…but no, I was not all that impressed.

I didn’t quite enjoy the porridge…

Mega Hotel Miri buffet breakfast - porridge

…either – the salted egg was not to my liking and adding one half-boiled/cooked egg in it did not save the day.

I did not think much of the fried 老鼠粉 ( lǎo shǔ fěn)…

Mega Hotel Miri buffet breakfast lǎo shǔ fěn

…that I had on the second morning as well and the fried kway teow

Mega Hotel Miri buffet breakfast fried kway teow

…on another morning did not sweep me off my feet either.

I remember on one of the previous times I was here, they had mashed potatoes with lots of cheese and the fragrance filled the whole place. I enjoyed that a lot and there has been no turning back since – everytime I cook mashed potatoes, I must add cheese to it. This time around, they no longer have the cheese in it and I did not quite fancy the black pepper on top – it would have been nicer without that.

As you can see, after a few days, we were back to the same things in the buffet spread but there was fried mee on one of the mornings and the nice and friendly chubby boy at the egg station who did not get my fried eggs quite right the first time…

Mega Hotel Miri buffet breakfast fried eggs

…got them perfectly done that second time…

Mega Hotel buffet breakfast fried mee & the rest

Actually, he did it very well but he flipped the eggs and the second time I got him to fry some more for me, I told him not to do that.

On the whole, I felt the food was decent, just that we would be so full and would not be able to have much for lunch even so we were not able to go round and enjoy the local delights at the coffee shops and hawker centres.

CHATTERBOX is on the ground floor of the Mega Hotel, Miri (4.396921, 113.987965), located right in the heart of Miri city centre at 907, Jalan Merbau.