Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marriott Breakfast

On Friday morning, I attended a breakfast for the University of Queensland's Justice and the Law group. It was a very well run, well attended event. The speakers were interesting and topical, with Stephen Keim SC as the main speaker. (Mr Keim SC was the barrister for Dr Mohamed Haneef, in the well publicised scandal of Dr Haneef's arrest on terrorism charges with almost no evidence.) The JATL group, which includes the amazing Amy of Iron Chef Vegan, did a great job, securing interesting speakers and illustrious attendees, planning the event and running it. They are to be congratulated.

The breakfast was at the Marriott, which I blogged about for another recent function. So, was the vegan breakfast any better than the vegan dinner? Unfortunately, not really. I had hoped it would be good, so that I could balance my earlier review with a better one. In all honesty, I can't.

While omnis were served a first course of waffles (admittedly with oddly brown bananas), vegans and gluten free folks had the ubiquitous fruit plate. This was 3 types of melon, pineapple and strawberries. It was mostly tasty and fresh (one piece of strawberry had an unpleasant large bruised/off mark on it), but arrived at our table after the omni's plates for the first course were being cleared away.

The second vegan course was baked beans. No toast, no sides. Just a bowl of beans. They were obviously not just from a can, as there were a few pieces of carrot and celery in them. They were nice baked beans. However, they were a bit bland to be an entire course. It appeared that vegetarians were served the beans with egg and mushroom. I am not sure why the two vegans at my table could not have had a few mushrooms, tomato or greens sautéed in olive oil, to go with the beans. The beans also came out significantly after the other meals for the table.

So, once again, the meal was a bit bland and lacking in imagination. There was also no need for the food, especially the fruit plate, to be served much later than other meals. As we had booked well ahead, with the dietary needs of guests well explained, it was not like the chefs had to make something at the last minute.

I regretfully have to advise vegans against expecting great food at Marriott Brisbane functions. This is not a whole Marriott issue, as I have seen an Irish poster on the PPK be offered amazing food at a Belfast Marriott. However, it appears from the two functions I attended, that the kitchens at the Brisbane Marriot simply don't know what to offer a vegan guest. As there are so many other Brisbane venues that can do amazing food for vegans, I would not have a function at the Marriott.

However, the rest of the function, the company, speakers and organisation more than made up for an unimaginative breakfast. Thanks to Amy and the whole JATL organisation for inviting us to a very enjoyable function!


  1. I'm glad you've posted your Marriott experiences as I'm attending a function there next month. I'll enter with low expectations.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the breakfast (except for the food)! I went straight home and had leftover burritos from Thursday night's dinner. :)

  3. No toast? Seriously? That's weird. And disappointing. But at least the speakers were good!

  4. Disappointing about the food. Surely they could have managed some toast!