London's Cool New Breakfast: Bento

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A traditional Japanese breakfast. The items being served in London hotels sound more like Japanese-influenced breakfasts that hoteliers are calling "bento." [Photograph: Joi on Flickr]

Seems like some London hotels are moving away from the traditional full English or continental breakfast and offering something new (at least to Western diners): Japanese bento breakfasts.

The move, hoteliers hope, will increase bookings for the first meal of the day, as curious diners may be likely to try something new.

I still remember the first time I tried a traditional Japanese breakfast, with miso, grilled fish, rice, tamagoyaki (rolled omelet), and dried nori.* It was a totally foreign breakfast experience (as well it should have been, since I was visiting Japan when I ate it), but was eye-opening both literally and figuratively. Getting outside the breakfast food I was used to kind of forced me awake and got me prepared to check off all my sightseeing for the day.

Anyway ... what about you? What breakfast foods have you tried that were outside the norm? [via Food News Journal]

* The one thing the various Japanese folks I stayed with on my trip kept threatening me with—but then frustratingly never followed through with —was natto. Apparently, they thought I couldn't handle the fermented soybean breakfast item. I guess they didn't want it to go to waste. Hmmph.

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