There is one thing you can say about hotel eating: it’s consistent. Which is like hearing the person you’ve been set up on a blind date with is ‘nice’. At least in hotels, the concept of service exists (that at the Ritz far exceeds that at the Hyatt – more later) and the lunch prices are a steal!
At Mesa the 3 course lunch is €15. The portions are petite, especially by Berlin standards. At the Ritz lunch is €14 for the special, a non-alchoholic drink and coffee. It’s less food, with my portion of Quiche Lorraine, pivoted in such a way as to visually occupy maximum space on a busy plate and a fluffed up bit of herb salad (quite nice it was too) and some creme fraiche piped onto the plate in a fat braid.
Mesa does German food ‘family style’. I know the last bit because my father and I were stumped when the waitress kept putting all our food beyond our reach on the left side of the table. I figured there must be some reason to the contrived plate handling, so I looked it up on their website and there it was: “German dishes served family-style in the middle of the table”.
Even the small serving of pumpkin soup.
It’s an amusing illustration of how things are often followed to the l-e-t-t-e-r here, even though sometimes it might not make much sense to do it exactly the way you’ve been told. But deviation is not common.
Neither are smiles. The women serving us are pretty, trim blondes with their hair neatly bound and their cheeks rouged but in the two hours that we sit there, not one of them smiles maybe that doesn’t come with the lunch deal? Maybe you have to go for the more expensive dinner if you want a smile? Read more of this post