2007 was probably when the city of Chennai was introduced to the lavish brunch. Courtyard Marriott made headlines with their super lavish spread and while it seemed to have taken other hotels by surprise, slowly but steadily we now have a lot more options. Here are five of my favourite all round brunches in Chennai.
Courtyard by Marriott, Chennai
Yes, this is the place that started it all, but a dozen years later, it is still in the reckoning. It is certainly the most value for money brunch with buy 1, get 1 offer. Frequently, they have themed brunches and they take on a very different avatar, while the regular Sunday brunch, with an entire (next) restaurant dedicated to the kids' area, there is something for everyone in the family.
Live counters are the attraction here, with the menu changing every week, look out for one that serves Kathi Rolls. You would not be disappointed. The new executive chef has now made changes that are visible and lovely.
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Love meat? Then this brunch is hard to beat.
With a focus on carving meats, a typical brunch will have at least two carving stations, and if it is themed, then another station makes an appearance. While a glance at the dessert station can fill half your tummy, do not miss their multi-city breakfast dishes to start off, before heading for the decadent carving and the outdoor live stations. Besides balloons and hand painting for kids, there is a small but dedicated kids-corner with some slides and a place to jump along with finger sandwiches, smileys and potatoes on a kids table so they can help themselves.
Earthen Oven, WelcomHotel Chennai
Want some dedicated and decadent Indian food and want to be served on the table? The Earthen Oven at the WelcomeHotel offers a variety of Kebabs, all served unlimited on your table.
The Burdwan Kebab with its scooped out and filled potatoes are yum and hard to stop eating, even for the hardcore meat-eaters, but save space for the giant Grilled Prawns.
Dal, breads and of course, the Biriyani follows the starters. If you are a table of four or more, you even get to take a dip in the pool and working up an appetite before getting ready to polish off the potatoes and prawns.
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Focaccia, Hyatt Regency, Chennai
Why only Sunday? Why not brunch on a Saturday?
IL Grande Pranzo
Focaccia decided to answer this question with the IL Grande Pranzo - the Saturday brunch. The only one in the city on Saturdays, this Italian restaurant doles out an excellent brunch. Salads can be boring, especially if you are brunching away to gluttony heaven. With excellent Buffalo Mozzarella, Mushroom Croquettes and the likes, you might be wondering why not salads are this good. Follow this with some cheese, make your own pizza, carve out some meat and drown them with some Pumpkin Soup, all under the watchful eyes of Chef Mauro, who makes sure he attends every table.
The Flying Elephant, Park Hyatt Chennai
At the luxurious end of the spectrum is the Sunday Brunch at Park Hyatt with options to add champagne to help wash down the humongous brunch. Spread over five floors of lounges and a few live and show kitchens, you might need two Sundays to try every dish at the Flying Elephant’s brunch. Asian stations take centre-stage along with a live band in the bar and lounge floors, along with some mid-eastern fare, while kebabs take over at the first floor. Go a floor up and there is the Italian kitchen in all its glory doling out pizzas and pastas of choice. Do not fill yourself with their yummy bread that comes along as soon as you arrive as you will need all the space to try everything else. The PDR on the fifth level is dedicated to the kids, with balloons, art, play area and more. Finally, come back to the lounge floor and have a week’s worth of dessert as you find ways to roll back home.
Sundays are great for lazing away and the food from these places will ease your way into a food coma as you get back home and straight to bed or Netflix!
Wasim, a doctor by profession, practices preventive and wellness medicine, and, therefore, food is a large part of his practice. He started off writing about food to tell the world that good food and good health are not mutually exclusive. With work having taken him to more than 25 countries, he has started looking at food habits and food history from around the world. His work has been featured in leading publications including Conde Nast Traveler, BBC Travel, The Week, The Hindu among others.