5.279 Assorted Hot Mezzah

Cycle 5 – Item 279

11 (Sat) October 2014

Assorted Hot Mezzah


in my room

(Oryx Rotana Hotel)

-Doha, Qatar-


Mission to Russia (Day 1)

In transit, on my way to Moscow.  There to provide technical/legal support to Member States from the Western Pacific Region at the 6th Conference of the Parties (COP6) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).  Very exciting, both as the biggest tobacco control event of the year, and my first mission outside our region.


Last night, arriving back home in the Philippines yesterday evening after a week on duty travel in Papua New Guinea, my first task was to launder my underwear.  Without the luxury of a tumble dryer, a wet load requires at least 12 hours hanging in front of the air-conditioner to dry.  I had to repack in the morning and to catch an afternoon flight to Russia.  The underwear + the suits that I’d recently purchased in Bangkok + the winter duds that I’d picked up in Seoul last week – much ado about clothing.

Before heading off to the airport, I squeezed in lunch at Tao Yuan.

Clams in Salted Water (3.5): light and lovely, classically Cantonese in its simplicity, a strong contender for the permanent rotation.
Asado Rice Roll (2.5): contains barbecued pork, not too bad.
Fried Noodle with Assorted Seafood (1.0): generally, this is one of my favorite Cantonese dishes; here, the gailan and seafood were fine, but the noodles tasted/felt pasty.

Try Every Item at Tao Yuan (9) (see also TEITY)

Eating my way through the restaurant’s entire menu, currently at 222 items.

Tasted 3 new items tonight, bringing the total to 41 items tasted thus far, 181 items remaining, averaging 4.6 items per visit, on pace to finish at TEITY 49.


As per WHO protocol, duty travel in excess of 9 hours one-way entitles staff to fly business class.  The main rationale is that the seat would facilitate better sleep during the flight, minimizing the impact of jet lag on work productivity upon arrival.  Yeah yeah, I’m in it for the better food, better booze.

Qatar Airways Flight QR 933 Manila Doha

Classic Arabic Mezze (3.5)
Herb and Lemon-Crusted Salmon Fillet with Tomato and Olive Caper Sauce (3.0)


In addition to quality and variety, another plus is that the food in business class is offered at will, whenever the passenger feels like it, not just during the scheduled meal service – like, say, a few hours after dinner, after a couple movies, after several fat glasses of whisky, I’m feeling kinda peckish, how about a grilled chicken sandwich?

Grilled Herb Chicken in Pandesal (3.5): despite the burnt bread (I didn’t notice at the time), an excellent drunk snack.

My first experience on Qatar Airways, I was thoroughly impressed.


With a long layover in Doha, the airline booked me a room in their hotel Oryx Rotana.   I would’ve been happy to hang out in their ultra swanky business class lounge in the airport.

Even better, I was given a food voucher for room service, though it was nearly 0600 (Manila time), so I wasn’t in much of a mood to eat, but I was happy for a chance to register my first meal in Qatar.

Unfortunately, the mezzah here were meh.  Dumplings with various fillings, including beans, chick peas, potatoes, minced lamb.  Too much of the same kind of thing, all deep-fried.

As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel internationally, whether for fun or for work, whether on economy or business class, especially business class, including airport lounge access.

(See also IN FLIGHT)




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