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01 October, 2003

There will always be another buffet

If dodgy seafood appeared at a typical media event, the flower of a generation of Dubai's press would be wiped out in an instant. Or at least its fattest, greediest members, so around 95 percent.

New migrants to Dubai should really be given booklets on the ubiquitious buffet threat, so here is a four point survival strategy:

1. Don't bother with stuffing down enormous, fat, cold, bland prawns, just because they're expensive and luxurious in your home country. Plates of the pink crustaceans will be at every buffet you ever attend, and they'll never taste as exciting as the ones in Marks & Spencer sandwiches. Ditto smoked salmon.

2. No matter how much you eat, and no matter sick and overfed you feel, you will be hungry again a few hours later. And you will curse yourself for not eating more. Because of this, if you can secrete items away (a cunningly folded A4 press release makes a great emergency cake box) by all means do so. After all, you're allowed to eat as much as you want, so legally and morally, the entire buffet is your property.

3. Never bother "leaving a space for pudding" unless you have thoroughly checked out the buffet first. Only one buffet in twenty provides edible deserts. After a while, you will be able to spot false-mousse and powder cake at twenty paces.

4. Umm Ali: avoid. Don't dare even to lift the lid.



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