For anyone who has stayed in a Japanese hotel, you know that the breakfast can be a little lacking. We aren’t talking about a ryokan, which is a Japanese-style inn that prepares a special Japanese breakfast for all their guests, because those kinds of hotels are in a class of their own. In most hotels, there are rice balls, miso soup and maybe a cabbage salad mix.
Luckily, TripAdvisor Japan compiled a list of the best hotel breakfasts of 2015, and the same hotel breakfast held its spot at number one again this year. That fact piqued our curiosity, so we decided to head to Kobe and try the breakfast for ourselves.
Does it live up to its reputation? Find out after the jump!
The Hotel Piena in Kobe has been the top ranking hotel breakfast on the travel website TripAdvisor for three consecutive years. Hotel guests and breakfast lovers have flocked to the restaurant thanks to word of mouth and its high ranking. So we had to find out for ourselves if this particular buffet is worthy of its number-one status.
The hotel is about a 15-minute walk from Kobe Station and since we wanted the whole Hotel Piena experience, we stayed one night in the hotel. The room was quite spacious, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. The real reason we were at the hotel was to eat breakfast, which is served from 6:30 a.m. on the weekends. Unfortunately, the breakfast is limited only to guests staying at the hotel, but even so, this restaurant is extremely popular, so it’s highly recommend that you make a reservation — guests without a reservation have experienced waiting times of close to an hour.
▼ We were so excited to eat breakfast, we had a hard time falling asleep.
The worry at a buffet, especially a Japanese buffet, is the selection available to you. What sets this buffet apart from all other breakfast buffets is the number of dishes you wouldn’t normally find in the morning. When was the last time you had bouillabaisse, pot-au-feu or bavette steak for breakfast? There are also a wide selection of delicious breads and jams to choose from. Those who favor a more traditional Japanese breakfast can gorge themselves on grilled salmon, mentaiko (marinated cod roe), tofu and many other expertly prepared dishes.
Not only is the food plentiful, the drinks are flowing as well. You’ll find non-alcoholic sangria, Perrier and even some black soy bean tea among the drink selection.
It’s one thing to have a ton of variety, but if the food isn’t tasty, it doesn’t matter how many options you can choose from. Thankfully, the Hotel Piena delivers on all fronts, and it’s easy to see (taste?) why this hotel has been ranked number one for the past three years.
Had enough? Well, make some more room because you haven’t even had dessert yet! Surprisingly, this breakfast buffet even has a huge assortment of cakes to try!
Hotel Piena is well deserving of its best hotel breakfast title and passes our inspection with flying colors. If you are in Kobe and love hotel breakfasts, or just eating in general, you should do yourself a favor and dine at this hotel. You won’t regret it.
Hotel Piena Kobe: Breakfast Buffet
Weekdays: 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (last order is at 10:00)
Weekends and Holidays: from 6:30 a.m.
Price: Adults – 2,200 yen (US $17.74)
Elementary School Students – 1,000 yen ($8.06)
Preschoolers (three to six) – 600 yen ($4.84)
Two and under – free
Photos © RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]