“Give me wine to wash me clean of the weather-stains of cares” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Gurgaon is a city of high highs and low lows. We can marvel at the skyline, count Audis in double digits in the same breath as we weep about the infrastructure and the quality of the air we breathe! But what is it that keeps us grounded, that keeps us here? For me, a large part of the answer is the food! The initial wave came in the form of Sector 29 which is now a traffic nightmare but home to several favourites, and the second wave is the elaborate and chic-European Cyberhub. Curb your woes about parking and look at the bigger picture. Cyberhub is the only place in Gurgaon where you can enjoy this season in all its glory; home to stand alone properties that serve starred quality food and wine too! This observation comes from my love of wine, al-fresco spaces and long Sunday brunches that serve good food, and is reinforced by my afternoon at The Wine Company. As you walk in, you traverse their outdoor seating for diners. It’s the ideal place to flaunt your Gucci shades and floppy sun hats and on entering you find yourself in a European style wine mart. Complete with wines segregated by country, hand written chalk board signs and a smattering of wine facts that keep you glued long enough to buy a bottle or two and the good news is, you can! Floor to ceiling wood racks of wine is all the interiors this place needs, but the monochrome prints on the wall add to the quaint charm of The Wine Company. Though I’ve enjoyed their a la carte fare once before, a Sunday brunch is a great way to indulge in most of the menu and gauge the prowess of the kitchen!
Considering the price points, my first impression was – massive spread! While the wine keeps flowing, there is a whole lot of food to contend with! We sat across from the Shawarma station which was an adorable food cart and could well be on the side of a street in NYC! The shawarmas weren’t authentic if you’ve had them in the Gulf but they were fresh, juicy and light, with a slathering of Hummus, just the way I like them! Beside it sat the Roast Lamb, which was served with a jus or BBQ sauce, which had the possibility of drying up with time so I would suggest keeping an orange rub ready or keeping it covered because it was too well cooked to be ruined by drying-out! A big part of Sunday brunches with wine is the Anti-Pasti counter; this one was incredibly fresh, from the Cheese selection to the Cold Cuts – I should’ve had less of these! Among the salads, I suggest you don’t miss the Wasabi Prawn, Grilled Chicken and believe it or not, the Egg Salad as well! In fact it was the Egg Salad that brought back childhood memories of tea parties on Sunday. This is also the counter where you can see that the Chef has considerable prowess, with Salmorejo on the menu! An Andalusian delicacy, akin to Gazpacho, it’s quite welcome on a sunny, Sunday afternoon! I skipped the Pasta station only because the Pizza beckoned me! Thin crust, freshly baked with simple toppings is how it’s done; do have one on your table when you enjoy this brunch, I truly liked the one we had! Then comes the hot buffet with the main courses, which is why skipping the Bread station at the onset is probably a good idea! The spread is essentially Italian but well thought through; no repeat of colours, bases or flavours. Don’t miss the Aubergine Parmigiana, rich, creamy and loaded with Parmesan. And if you’re vegetarian, then this spread is skewed in your favour with yet another must-have, the Paprika Cottage Cheese! I’m not even a cottage cheese person but given the continental prep, it helped elevate the status of this ingredient, at least for me! For meat lovers, there’s lots of chicken: Colombian style grilled chicken, the Pollo alla Plancha and the oh-so-Brit Ultimate Chicken Pie, which to my surprise was a Shepherd’s pie made with mince chicken and not a pastry crust topped bake. I missed seafood in the midst and since I tend to avoid Basa, I can’t say how the Basa in Mustard Veloute was but after an hour or so of eating, half the casserole was empty!
Desserts at the Sunday brunch deserve a special mention, they’re all very well done and deeply decadent as desserts should be! Out of the 8, yes 8 at the station, I would recommend the following blindly – Raspberry Cheesecake, Whiskey Chocolate Mousse Cake
and the Carrot Cake! Going back to price points, this was a redemption Sunday Brunch for me, the one we had before this (elsewhere) was fairly disappointing for way more damage! Do ask for the in-house Sommelier for more information about the wines served with your meal and make your next Sunday laid-back and relaxing at The Wine Company!