The Concept of Sunday Brunch:
The origin of the concept of a brunch seems to stem out of laziness. Several sleepy Sunday mornings that began at a time too late for breakfast and too early for lunch must have perhaps led a marketer to think of the concept.
Curious about the history I read a few links online and asked some food experts around. Some food historians say it all began in England while some say the concept is American. Some site the practice of Catholics feasting on a large meal after fasting before mass.
I am not sure of the origin but I have a fixed childhood memory related to the term. Sunday meals have always been special in my Punjabi home. Whenever it wasn’t aaloo paranthas for breakfast and rajma chawal for lunch, it was “chalo aaj brunch kar lete hain”. No questions asked, the brunch always consisted of chole bature from Anandji – a little shop in Krishna Market near my home. The greasy batura and spicy chole… what else did we need to call it a Sunday.
The number on our weighing scale and the size of Anandji’s shop slowly and steadily was on the rise. While Anandji laughed away to the bank, we gave in to the feeling of guilt eventually.
But hey, a Sunday brunch is supposed to be heavy right? It combines two meals after all! With exactly that philosophy in mind, Abhinav & I happily gorged on the delicious Sunday buffet at ‘Latest Recipe’ at Le Meridien Gurgaon recently. The brunch brought back my childhood memories of a hearty Sunday meal. Of course, chole bature were replaced by fancy Asian and European offerings.
Here’s our review of one of the largest Sunday spreads in the city…
Restaurant: Latest Recipe
‘Latest Recipe’ is an all-day dining restaurant offering world cuisine. Serene with its white décor, the restaurant is visually soothing. The place was buzzing with people that Sunday yet there wasn’t chaos. The restaurant is spacious and also has a Private Dining Room (ideal for 14 people). We took the ‘window seat’ from where we could admire the greenery outside. The staff, alert and hospitable, takes due care of serving when you need them to. The best way to enjoy the hearty meal is by taking a look around and picking what you like instead of ordering from your table.
There are five live kitchens offering about 250 varieties of food. Thai, Japanese, Continental, Arabic, Italian, North Indian, South Indian, breads and pastries – they have it all and a little bit more.
It’s a Sparkling brunch so you can enjoy the bubblies (champagne, wine, et al) but there are also ‘desi’ drinks such as kanji, bel ka sharbat, chach, etc.
The food options are never-ending and one will require several trips to actually relish them all. But since we were bingeing, we got a taste of most at Latest Recipe.
Japanese: We are not big fans of the cuisine so cannot comment on the authenticity or other such factors. We, however, loved the taste of Ebi Tempura roll and Crab and Crispy Pork roll sushi. On chef’s insistence, we had Okonomiyaki – Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. Interesting dish, but it did not appease our taste buds. Dim sums were delicious especially Prawn Hargow and Duck & Sour Curry; we couldn’t stop at one each.
Thai: Steamed jasmine rice with yellow curry with prawn and calamari made for a delectable combination. Other options included Stir fried brocolli , bambooshoot and asparagus in chilli basil sauce, Chicken and okra red curry, and Thai green vegetable curry.
Italian: This turned out to be our favourite. Fresh pizza from the oven, smoked chicken and feta were palatable. However, the lamb rack was a bit too chewy for our liking. Sole fish in paupiette is a must-try.
Indian: Keema parantha, anda parantha, dahi bhalle – there’s a lot of Delhi in here. Plus there’s prawn curry, biryani, Amritsari Tawa Machhi – a bit of all of India. Rich flavours.
Apart from these, there are 4 types of raita, 5 varieties of cheese, mezze – hummus, peri peri, zalouk, etc.
Desserts: I recommend a Sunday meal full of just the desserts here. Donuts, sweet breads, pastries, gulab jamun, kheer, marshmallows – there’s enough for a good sugar high. But a must-have is the Teppayaki ice-cream. We had it for the first time and simply loved it.
Except for the chewy lamb, we found the flavours appeasing. That said, if we were to go back to the restaurant it will be more for the sheer variety than the taste.
Price: Sunday Brunch starts at Rs 2450+ taxes and goes up to Rs 3250+ taxes.