TAJ PALACE has flagged off Delhi NCR's peak brunch season by rolling out a Saturday offer at Kafe Fontana in addition to the standard Sunday deal, with four live stations heightening the sense of kitchen drama. The Claridges has unveiled its popular Sunday Champagne brunch on Sunday, November 22. As has Fio, at its sprawling outlet at Epicuria below the Nehru Place Metro Station. As winter can be short and fleeting, here is my list of eight unmissable Sunday brunches for the weeks ahead.
Price Per Person: Rs. 30,000 for two for Dom Perignon brunch; Rs. 4,950 for champagne brunch; Rs. 3,795 for no-alcohol brunch. Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
With ten champagnes plus other drinks on offer and a new theme every week, this is one brunch where you should go in a cab or with a designated driver. The choice of the liquid nourishment will make you want to linger forever, but even if you are a teetotaller, you'd be asking for more – more of sushi, more of dim sum, more of Indian curries and more of the gelatos made in the restaurant. And the view of The Oberoi Gurgaon's famed water body will make your breaks between courses much more relaxing.
Price Per Person: Rs. 2,499 with soft beverages or sparkling wine; Rs. 3,499 with champagne. Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
This is definitely the Sunday brunch with a spectacular view of the Ridge that is as appetising as the food (and the servers are generous with their pours of champagne). From West View's famed antipasti spread to meats and seafood grilled to your specifications, to an array of flans and chocolate desserts, to a fairly accomplished crooner, there is a lot to recommend this brunch offering. Smokers find it very convenient because a short walk takes you to the terrace.
Price Per Person: Rs. 1,399 (with non-alcoholic beverages); Rs. 1,799 (with wine, beer and cocktails); Rs. 799 (with activities, for children under eight). Add VAT, Service Tax and Service Charge.
An all-season favourite for years, this one works not only because of price points that are gentle on the pocket, but also because the restaurant's sushi conveyor belt just doesn't stop delivering sashimi and rolls. You can dig these evergreen favourites, savour the dumplings (the crystal duck is my personal favourite), gorge on the restaurant's unputdownable barbecued spare ribs and then spoil yourself further with the Rocky Road ice cream. Here is one place that believes value for money is not only about pricing, but also about good food served in generous quantities.
Price Per Person: Rs. 2,600 (without alcohol); Rs. 2,900 (with Indian sparkling wine); Rs. 3,100 (with Champagne). Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
An old favourite of Sunday brunch lovers, Kafe Fontana fell off the radar some time back, but it has now upped the ante by spinning off a Saturday brunch. Buzzing with live stations and greeting you with a dessert display as soon as you enter the Mediterranean-themed all-day restaurant, the high point of the brunch is the grill where the fresh catch of the day from the seas is cooked appetisingly for your viewing pleasure. The Malwani Prawns, Chicken 65 and Kathi Rolls are absolute must-haves. And if there is a table in the extension out in the sun, next to the mini golf course and swimming pool, just grab your place.
Price Per Person: Rs. 3,995. Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
This is one of the most sought-after brunch deals because of the sheer joy of savouring the sense of being at a garden party. The nip in the air, the buzz of animated conversation, the steady supply of alcohol, and an array of live stations dishing out cold cuts and cheeses, grilled meats and sausages, dim sum and pasta, among other goodies – it is a sumptuous treat for the senses. And then there is always a surprise. Last year, it was Dal Muradabadi served with choor-choor naan. I wonder what it will be this year.
Price Per Person: Rs. 5,600 (with Moet & Chandon Rose); Rs. 4,050 (with Moet & Chandon Brut); Rs. 2,600 (with Chinese tea). Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
After the Dom Perignon brunch at threesixtyone°, this must be the most expensive Sunday offering, but I will still recommend it for the Peking Duck. Without doubt, China Kitchen is the go-to place for Peking Duck and if it is included among the brunch offerings, why should anyone complain? Add to this mix a procession of dim sum, wok-tossed meats or vegetables, noodles and ice cream made at the restaurant, and you have a treat worth the fortune if you can afford it. Keep this option for a special occasion, but experience it at least once in your life!
Price Per Person: Rs. 2,650 (with soft beverages); Rs. 3,250 (with alcoholic beverages and sparkling wine); Rs. 3,550 (with champagne). Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
I have always loved this brunch for its antipasti and Indian offerings, which are continually replenished, so the kababs don't get cold and inedible, and the curries don't taste stale. To that extent it reminds me of the spread at The Pavilion, and I'm told that the hotel is going to hire regional specialists to make signature dishes to add depth and quality and line-up. I also love it because of the variety of ice cream flavours and presentation styles on offer. People with a sweet tooth can get addicted to it.
Price Per Person: Rs. 2,750 (with free-flowing cocktails, beer and mocktails); Rs. 3,500 (includes free-flowing Moet & Chandon); Rs. 1,500 for the children's buffet. Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
Doing a round of Tamra's Sunday brunch spread is like taking an appetising stroll through a park. There is so much to see and do that it becomes difficult sometimes to decide what to eat and what to leave. I follow the principle of digging whatever I can get made in front of me at a live station, so I could start with a California roll and conclude my meal, washed down with generous amounts of bubbly, with a laksa or a braised pork belly spike with Sriracha sauce. Do check out the cheeses – Tamra lays them out generously – and don't give the dessert counter a miss.
Price Per Person: Rs. 12,500 (with Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, premium spirits, wines, beer and soft beverages); Rs. 4,500 (with Taittinger, premium spirits, wines, beer and soft beverages); Rs. 3,500 (with Prosecco with premium spirits, wines, beer and soft beverages); Rs. 2,350 (with soft beverages only). Add VAT and Service Tax. No Service Charge.
Inspired without doubts by the Roman food orgies, this is the only Sunday brunch in Delhi NCR that extends till 9 pm. And although its starting point, price-wise, is a little cheaper than the Dom offer at threesixtyone°, it is within the range of the other brunch menus if you settle for Prosecco or soft beverages. But what really sets the deal apart, is the way the food is served – it is cooked afresh and brought to your table. Start your day with a generous dollop of burrata, the creamy cheese from Puglia that has suddenly become everybody's favourite, and end it with lobster ravioli as the sun sets behind you. Yes, Zanotta also offers spectacular views of the greenery that has survived Gurgaon's relentless expansion.
Price Per Person: Rs 3,475 (all inclusive)
For a restaurant with a daily lunch buffet, it is not easy to make the Sunday brunch offering special. But ever since the plush restaurant inaugurated it, the brunch has continued to be a big draw, for it was the first to offer seven cuisines and copious quantities of alcohol in one deal. From sushi rolls and cheung fan to Thai stir-fries and Peking Duck, and signature kababs, the brunch has thrived on variety – both of ingredients and flavours. These are also the months to spend your time at Set'z soaking up the sun, so go early and find yourself a nice corner on the terrace.
Price Per Person: Rs. 999 (for Sundowner BBQ with beer at Sky Bar); Rs. 1,495 (with beer and soft beverages in the restaurant downstairs); Rs. 1,995 (with free-flowing wine, sangria and martinis). Add VAT and Service Tax.
Kylin Premier's Sky Bar is a multi-sensory treat on a winter afternoon and the BBQ brunch with free-flowing beer and contemporary music, which extends till 5 pm, can leave you with quite a buzz in your head. The meats are well-chosen and there is no stinting on portions. If I prefer the Sky Bar for the sun and the mood, I love the line-up of sushi rolls, especially the dragon rolls, and dim sum at the restaurant below. And the items from the teppanyaki grill, especially the miso-drizzled silver cod, will make your afternoon that much more scrumptious.
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Sourish Bhattacharyya, co-founder of the Delhi Gourmet Club, is a freelance writer, editorial consultant, food columnist, restaurant critic and blogger. He has contributed regularly to the Mumbai Mirror, Times Life, BBC Good Food, Travel & many more publications. Nothing is dearer to him than the joy of writing, which he blends with his passion for food.