Sunday Brunches have become an integral part of the food scene in Hyderabad. Many of my friends are avowed fans of the Sunday afternoon spreads at various hotels, and they visit a different one of them every week. Some others are loyal to particular hotels. Whereas for the residents of Banjara Hills and Hitech city there are many options to choose from, Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre near Hussain Sagar is the only place offering a gourmet fine dining experience close to the older parts of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. For this reason, the hotel boasts of many loyal diners especially from this part of the city.
Okra, the all-day dining restaurant at Marriott has recently revamped its Sunday brunch, bringing in many more items as well as variations in the food they offer. Executive Chef Yogender Pal and his team have added interesting twists to many dishes and the chef promises that every week the brunch will offer some exclusive fusion food and some using molecular gastronomy.
Dark Chocolate and Balsamic Pork Ribs The brunch was recently showcased at a bloggers table. I reached early for the brunch and as I was having a look at the buffet spread, my attention was automatically drawn to the Roast Counter. The Dark Chocolate and Balsamic Pork Ribs looked ravishing. I am a huge fan of fat-laden pork, and using dark chocolate in the sauce seemed to be a very interesting proposition. My first helping had two observations – the quality of pork was damn good and I needed to add a little more of the thick sauce to the ribs to enhance the taste. The preparation was mildly sweet, and I had three helpings of it during the brunch.
Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken Next to the pork ribs was Lemon & Thyme Roast Chicken served with a lot of vegetables. This looked enticing too, and the taste did not belie the expectations. The continental main courses included some delicious Polenta in Tomato Ragout, as well as a Fish Stew with prawns and squids.
That was not a conventional way to start a brunch, but then I always follow my heart.
At this point, Chef Yogender took me to the Molecular Chat Counter. The Panipuris and Dahi Vadas here were presented with a twist. For the pani puri, flavours like yoghurt and mint were turned into small caviar-like balls which were being added to the puri. And the tamarind based pani was in jelly form. An interesting and fun presentation which will appeal to the experimental foodies. Dahi Vada was also prepared with a twist, the vada covered with yoghurt foam and crispy crumbled idli.
Dahi Vada with Yoghurt Foam The Beverage Counter set up in the corner had a nice collection of cocktails. One could take his pick from spiced cocktails, frozen margaritas or daiquiris. For people with more traditional choices, there was wine as well as beer. You have the option of going for champagne in this brunch too, at an additional cost.
Interesting Cocktails and Shots The live counters were placed in an interesting way in the poolside area. A number of pushcarts similar to the ones you find selling street food all over the city were positioned around the poolside area. To start with there was a Corn Cart, where you have the option of savouring your corn with smoked chicken or bacon butter.
The Poolside Street Food Carts * Next to this was the *Egg Cart, serving a range of egg preparations. I was advised to try out Egg Benedict with Tamarind Hollandaise, again a nice variation from the chef team which worked very well for me. Smoked Paprika Hollandaise was another option available for the egg preparation.
Egg Benedict with Tamarind Hollandaise The Jalebi Cart was dishing out some delicious Paneer Jalebi with Rabri. Finally, at the far corner, we had the Barbecue and Fry Counter. Lamb Bitok with Barbecue Sauce and Blackened Chicken with Passion Fruit Chutney were the two dishes of note here, and both were well marinated and succulent. Macchi Rawa or boneless fillets of fish fried with a semolina coating is one of my favourite dishes, and the preparation today did not disappoint. Tawa Kumbh and Kurkure Paneer were the fried items available from here.
Grilled Vegetable Terrines Back inside the restaurant, there was a huge spread of main courses. Apart from the continental food I described earlier, there was the South Indian Counter serving some nice Keema Dosas. Ulavacharu with rice was another of my favourites from this section. From the Indian section, my pick was Jungle Maas, a spicy mutton preparation and the homely and flavourful Matar Ke Tehri. There was also Kaali Dal aur Kheema Ke Pulao which caught my attention.
There were also a host of other cuisines, Italian pasta and wood-fired pizzas (do not miss the Peri Peri Barbecue Chicken Pizza if it is on the menu for the day), Chinese (my favourite here was the Chilli Fish) and Salads (I did not try anything here).
The Desserts And finally, the dessert spread was quite attractive too. My friends were literally feasting on them. I tried a little bit of Orange Crème Brulee and Paneer Jalebis with Rabri to end a very satisfying meal.
Drinks By the Poolside Some of the favourites of these children were also presented through a Kid’s Buffet. The poolside had live music and a kid’s corner, so while the parents could relax and enjoy their food and drinks, the children took part in various fun activities. Thus the brunch holds promise as a perfect destination for a Sunday outing, with delicious food, awesome drinks, soothing music and happy kids.
The Sunday Brunch is available from 12:30 to 4 pm in three versions - Rs 1940 without alcohol, Rs 2850 with alcohol and Rs 3580 with champagne.
Hyderabad Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre
Tank Bund Road, Hyderabad
Telephone: 2752 2568
Disclaimer: The review is based on an invite from the restaurant.