How to prepare the perfect hotel room meal

I am traveling again for work this week.  Lucky for me I am in Melbourne which – as you know – is home oodles of fabulous restaurants. There are many reasons that I love traveling for work, one of which is the opportunity to try new culinary delights.

On the flip side, I can’t eat out EVERY night, and not being able to use my own kitchen starts to get to me. (Oh, and of course I miss the hubby!).

Most of the time when I’m traveling, I prefer to stay in a serviced apartment or hotel with kitchenette which allows me to cook my own meals. These small kitchens do have their limitations and I miss so many of my appliances and utensils.  During a rather long period of fly-in and fly-out work last year I managed to come up with a list of essentials.

Having these basics in your kit and simply changing the fresh ingredients you purchase allows quick, tasty and easy meals from even the smallest of kitchenettes.

  1. Olive Oil
  2. Salt
  3. Pepper
  4. White wine vinegar

(I kid you not, I actually pack these in my bag!)

I then choose a few fresh, easy-to-find items near where I’m staying to create a meal.

The first fresh item I always get is a lemon – to squeeze over salads, fish, meat or veggies for that extra flavour.

Next some mixed salad leaves, asparagus and a bunch of radishes.

Finally, the protein, and that choice is up to you – chicken, steak, fish or some tofu or tempeh for the vegetarians.

Which protein you choose will then guide your wine selection. Simple pan fried Chicken is amazing with a Chardonnay or Semillon, while a piece of Sirloin steak will marry beautifully with a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. 

One of keys to cooking in a basic kitchen is to limit the number of pots, pans and utensils required to make the meal. This dish only requires a stove top burner and a frying pan.

How to prepare the perfect hotel-room kitchen meal

1. Open the wine and pour a large glass. Essential first step, non?

2. Heat a frying pan and lug in some olive oil.  Take your protein of choice and season (salt and pepper), the place in the pan and cook to your liking.

3. While it’s cooking, rinse the salad leaves and throw in a bowl, slice the radish and add to the bowl. In a cup mix 3 parts olive oil to one part white wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper and stir.  Drizzle over your salad and toss.

4. Remove the protein from the pan and put aside to rest.  Remove woody ends of asparagus add some olive oil to the pan and lightly grill. Asparagus is best served a little crunchy so a couple of minutes will do the trick.

5. Once done remove and place on a plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and squeeze with more lemon. Add you protein to the plate and enjoy!



  1. Diane-Marie Campbell

    Well, okay, but that’s what I cook at home. If all you the hotel has is a toaster and an electric kettle ….. Get the salad, some capers, smoked salmon, marscapone and a packet of tagliatelle or similar from the chilled food section of the supermarket. Frozen “baby” peas if you wish. This sort of pasta – and baby peas – cook perfectly adequately by having boiling water added and left for a few minutes; rinse and repeat if you want it thoroughly cooked. Add the rest – pour a chilled white wine and you have an excellent meal. Inner cities where most of the hotels/serviced apartments are located often have sushi bars closing for the day at 18:00 – pick up what’s left for pennies, chilled white or dry rose if you can find one – what else do you need?

  2. Katrina

    love this!

    1. The Fabulous Ladies

      Cheers Katrina!

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