Yay For Saturday Brunch!

Brunching is something we’ve all come to adore as a weekend activity. I have fond memories of Sunday brunches that my mum made – it would vary from paranthas and anda bhurji to bacon, sausages and eggs or farmer’s omelettes. It was something to look forward to, especially since she always rounded the meal off with one of her superb desserts. Fast forward a quarter of a century and brunching is still a favourite pastime. However, Sunday seems to be de rigueur for this activity, and after a late Saturday night, sometimes one isn’t quite in the mood. Plus you know, Sunday: day of rest and all that. But Saturday is the start of the weekend, one is peppy, bright eyed and bushy tailed, looking for something fun to do. Vivanta by Taj, Yeshwantpur decided it was time to step into the breach and present Bangalore residents with a new option – Saturday brunch at their Mediterranean Cafe Azure. Named Mou Taverna, the vibe was of a Souk – a little marketplace, that included Channapatna wooden toys for the kiddies to buy and play with, cheeses, sauces and potted plants for sale, and of course, a very delectable spread.

AN IMPRESSIVE SPREAD

Perfectly fried shrimp and we kept going back for second helpings.
Perfectly fried shrimp and we kept going back for second helpings.

There is a lot of food, arrayed across three spaces, so make sure you take the time to walk around and get a good look, else you’re sure to miss out on some deliciousness. The outside area has live grills, including Shawarma and crunchy fried shrimp that you’re unlikely to stop after just one of. These items, along with a few other starters were brought to our noisy table of children and adults. There was a bar set up in the middle of the room with Chandon sparkling wine (avoidable if like me, you are a bit of a champagne snob), good Jacob’s Creek wine, a range of cocktails, and a lovely bartender who will happily whip up a drink to suit your palate and mood. He offered up a lemony, fizzy concoction for us when we asked for something non sweet. Our walkabout had shown us apart from hot mains, a salad selection that was so beautifully presented that it almost seemed a sin to eat! In particular was this Italian sushi (no not really, but that’s the most apt way to describe the look and feel of it.) prawn dish that we went back for seconds of, and as befitted a Mediterranean feast, dolmas, hummus (carrot hummus – new to us and lovely), babaghanoush, mutabbal, moutawmeh and tabbouleh. Another standout from this section was the poached pears – so good we all attacked and probably could have kept eating had there not been so much more to try.

DESSERTS HAVE THE FLOOR

The not to be missed Poached Pears
The not to be missed Poached Pears

My brunch date dragged me to try the desserts long before we had hit mains, and a good idea it turned out to be. The spread, set up in a separate room, looked enticing and tasted delectable. The gateaux and puddings were rich and decadent, and there were a couple of lemony/raspberry laced ones that were tart and hit the spot. After this we headed to main course, which included a pasta station, beef, chicken, jambalaya and more – the standout here was an incredible pork belly. And then we made our way back to the by now gutted dessert section to sweeten the experience before we left, the last ones to do so, too! We are all thrilled to finally have a worthy Saturday brunch to go to, and it was well worth the travel to Yeshwantpur to partake of it!

Photos Courtesy: Sudhakar Prabhu

Natasha Ali

Natasha's first foray into food writing has been with Chef at Large. Who knew all those years spent eating food, reading about it and looking for the next restaurant to try or watching cooking shows would have left such an indelible impression?! She's back in India after having spent over a decade in the US where she studied as well as taught in academia and now works as a content writer seeing as she can write about pretty much anything. Movie mad, obsessed with the English language, and never one to turn down a glass of good wine, cup of tea, or a good book, she's open to trying any dish once, she enjoys a variety of cuisines with favorites being Ethiopian, Thai, and Lebanese. Natasha covers Bangalore for Chef at Large and can be reached at natasha.ali@www.chefatlarge.in