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Sunday Brunch @ Tamra

Sunday Brunch @ Tamra

By Aisha Bhattacharya

Very few things in life are as satisfying as a Sunday Brunch. Tamra, the coffee shop at the Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel in New Delhi offers one such Brunch. The true essence of George Bernard Shaw’s famous statement ‘There is no sincerer love than the love of food’ comes across at buffet spreads in my opinion. I certainly displayed all my enthusiasm at the Tamra Sunday Brunch when I was very kindly invited to review it.

A balmy afternoon, a table by the window, a gastronomic spread as far as the eye can see and a hungry stomach, are a match made in heaven. This buffet is like many others and at the same time unlike them as well. With a kid’s room adjoining the main coffee shop the Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel provides a space for your children to play Xbox games, watch cartoons, draw and play with building blocks all while being watched over by hotel staff and with the added bonus of their very own buffet spread with little snacks and a DIY sundae counter. For once, I wished I was a kid accompanying my parents to this buffet lunch.

The restaurant has a number of ‘Live Theatres’ or live cooking stations/counters as known in other places. I was rather overwhelmed. My previous visit to Tamra was for the Malaysian food festival and I have to say that this time in comparison was far better. Maybe a group lunch versus a lunch with just one other person was the deal breaker. I was accompanied by a member of the PR team and we had the most wonderful time getting to know each other with the generous help provided by Moët & Chandon Champagne throughout our decadent meal.

Chef Neeraj Tyagi visited our table and explained his vision of wanting to provide new experiences for people every Sunday. The menu is rotated so that no two consecutive Sundays are the same. Chef Neeraj has also been instrumental in adding a variety of speciality dishes ranging from Sugar-free to Gluten-free and Lactose-free items. It was wonderful to see how he intends to incorporate all kinds of health food so that people with allergies can also enjoy a buffet to the best of their ability as opposed to being relegated to 1/3rd of it as is generally the case. For example my mother and grandmother are diabetic and cannot even venture near the dessert counter. They do eventually end up eating teeny-tiny portions of dessert just for some soul satisfaction. But, if they were to get a wide option of even 3 sugar-free desserts, not including fresh fruits, they would be over the moon!

After a leisurely walk around the restaurant to see what was on offer I decided to begin my journey with the Japanese section. A plate piled high with fresh seafood, sushi and a glass of champagne was the start to a very fulfilling brunch. My plate had: Salmon Roll, Salmon Nigiri, California Roll and Yellow tail Maki from the sushi section, Scallop and Prawn Ceviche, Gazpacho with Shrimp, Calamari and mussels from the fresh seafood section. My plate below will hopefully convey what I feel words will do injustice to.

 IMG_20151011_155629My next attack was on the Asian Oriental section. I absolutely love Asian flavours and was keen to try the healthy section which is the Soup counter. Make your own soup by choosing ingredients from various noodles, vegetables and meats. The chef at the counter will then blanch these ingredients while you choose your broth. That day we had the option of Celery and Leek or Tom Yum. I tried both and the Celery & Leek soup hit all the right spots. The next item on my health binge was some Dim Sum. We tried the Broccoli & sesame seed, Lamb & black pepper and pokchoy wrapped Prawn dim sum. The prawn dim sum was mind-blowing. Perfectly seasoned prawn wrapped in a layer of pokchoy – the absence of flour makes this a super-healthy option!

 I wasn’t planning to try the Indian food because you know, how different can it get? Yet, when I walked past the Biryani station I couldn’t help picking up a plate and spooning a bit of each – Mutton, Chicken and Prawn biryani onto it. The visual indicator of the biggest handi with the least quantity says that Mutton was the most-loved Biryani of all. And, it truly was lip-smacking! I had also managed to cram some Fish tikka, Paneer tikka and Chicken Pudina tikka onto my plate all of which were pretty good.

 We save the best for last and that always means dessert. Considering the spread, it is rather difficult to mention everything so let me give you my top picks of the day:

1. Crème Brûlée – Oh! That crack followed by the creamiest custard inside. The portion just about enough to drive you mad with wanting at least 10 more!
2. The Chocolate hazelnut cake was absolutely divine.
3. Ice creams – Strawberry, Coffee and Banana Caramel
4. Sugar-free Berry trifle for the diabetics to enjoy with complete abandon
5. Choco lava cake made fresh on request was sinful and so good.
6. Chocolate truffles for those who like that little bite on the way out
7. The Chocolate Fountain – brings out the child in everyone and those who disagree are quite frankly lying. It is hard not to pick up a marshmallow and dip it in there!

As you can see I tried a whole heap of desserts to give you my top picks. This buffet was indulgent, decadent and luxurious. A bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne, nestled in crushed ice, that was poured for us at near-empty intervals kept us hydrated through the meal.

Package Details:

Rs. 2750++ includes free flowing cocktails, beer and mocktails
Rs. 3500++ includes free flowing Moët & Chandon Champagne
Rs. 1500++ Kid’s Buffet

Timing: 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm

All packages include complimentary access to the swimming pool.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Sunday brunch at Oasis, Vivanta by Taj

Sunday brunch at Oasis, Vivanta by Taj

By Anubhav Sapra

Surajkund, as a destination is famous for its annual fair which promotes Indian traditional handicrafts and handloom. I have been to the fair only once, certainly not for the handloom or handicraft but for the food. I remember having extremely palatable Pakistani food especially the chapli kebabs two years back at Surajkund fair when Pakistan participated as a partner country. Since then, I could not find any other reason to travel to Surajkund all the way from Delhi. However, an invite to visit Vivanta by Taj to savour the Sunday brunch dishes at Oasis restaurant provided a tempting reason to pay visit to this place again.

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The major highlight of the Sunday brunch at the Oasis, Vivanta by Taj at Surajkund is live counters for Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Italian appetizers. An important element of a live counter is the interaction with the chef while he/she cooks right in front of you. The other highlights are the lavish buffets which include cold cut counters, salads and Indian section.

I started my food journey with Sikandari raan, tandoori sabut murgh and baked whole snapper with kasundi, peri peri chutney, beetroot chutney and kachumber. All of them were marinated just right and grilled to perfection with the chutney and kasundi perfectly complimenting the meat dishes.

IMG_20150510_134001The zenith of the brunch was Chicken Kabsa, a delicious mix of rice and chicken, commonly available in the Middle East and regarded as a national dish of Saudi Arabia and is very closely similar to our own chicken pulao. Executive Chef at Vivanta by Taj, Mr. Joshi gave a detailed explanation of how the dish is prepared. The commonly used spices in preparing chicken kabsa are cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, black lime, nutmeg and black pepper. Rice is flavoured with spices, onion rings, slices of tomatoes and whole green chilies. Later, pieces of roasted chicken are mixed in to the rice. What makes it distinctive is the tomato base that gives it a light flavor and other aromatic spices mixed with whole spices. It was truly delectable. I enjoyed having it with Mutton chaap and Saag mutton both of which were thoroughly and wonderfully cooked to the core with the meat effortlessly falling off the bone.

IMG_20150510_143244The day I went to Surajkund coincided with Mother’s Day celebrations and I met a few Bengali families celebrating the occasion. I got to taste the Bengali sweets, rosogulla and sandesh and I ended my meal on summer coolers- smooth and creamy, pistachios and almond kulfi faluda with kiwi and apple toppings.

Vivanta by Taj, Surajkund runs another restaurant by the name of Pandara that serves Punjabi style dhaba cuisine. With this said, I believe, the association with Surajkund is going to continue!

Address: Shooting Range, Surajkund Faridabad

Sunday Brunch Timings- 12:00 Noon – 3:30 PM

Cost- Rs 1800 + tax (includes food and mocktails)

Rs 2300 + tax (includes food and sparkling wine)

Rs 3000 + tax (includes food and champagne)

 

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.