It was for the long­est time that I re­sisted the lure of the ho­tel room-ser­vice menu. It didn’t seem right to or­der a generic din­ner when the streets were lined with bistros, din­ers, iza­kayas, trat­to­rias and so on that de­fine the eating cul­ture of the city or coun­try I was in.

Af­ter all, what bet­ter way to get to know a place than to sit side-by-side with lo­cals, charg­ing your glass and cheer­ing “kam­pai” (or cheers or salute or what­ever the ap­pro­pri­ate nod to good health)? And, try­ing new food or en­joy­ing au­then­tic dishes in the places in which they orig­i­nated is close to my No.1 favourite thing about trav­el­ling.

But, once in a while, play­ing the tourist can get the bet­ter of us. It might be af­ter a day on the cob­ble­stone streets of Siena, Italy, or climb­ing the more than 300 stairs to the first floor of the Eif­fel Tower in Paris. Per­haps you’ve spent hours on the slopes of Whistler in Canada or con­quered ev­ery adrenalin-rush­ing ride at Walt Dis­ney World. What­ever the cir­cum­stances, some­times we get tired or jet-lagged and, es­pe­cially on long trips, we need a night to recharge.

And so to the room­ser­vice menu. There’s never a doubt in my mind that the best op­tions are the burger or club sand­wich. Why? They are the most beloved of all and if a ho­tel can’t get the hero prod­ucts right, then grab your coat and head out to din­ner.

ESCAPE Ed­i­tor Jana Frawley jana.frawley@news.com.au Deputy Ed­i­tor Su­san Bugg su­san.bugg@news.com.au As­so­ciate Ed­i­tor Rowena Ryan rowena.ryan@news.com.au Ad­ver­tis­ing Colin Shugg (03) 9292 1154 Pro­duc­tion Elaine Sng, Mike Frost De­sign Sean Thomas, Joanne An­der­son Cover The Painted Cliffs of Maria Is­land, Tasmania. Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages De­sign Di­rec­tor Chris Davies

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