The last two weekends have been ones of food exploration. We’ve gone from one weekend brunch to the next, munching our way through some incredible cuisine.
Salt Co. 531
This popular restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai has been named after its iconic location. As we take our seats overlooking the pretty pool outside, the team introduces us to a brand new brunch concept – Saltravaganza Refresh! We start with thirst quenchers that taste sweet and salty at the same time, and we’re told they contain Himalayan rock salt. How fancy is that?!
The new brunch spread includes a massive spread of vegetarian and meaty starters, a live grill station, a momo counter, a host of beautifully constructed salads, exhaustive main course dishes comprising Indian, Asian and Continental fare, a biriyani station, and a lavish dessert table!
The manager tells us we can upgrade our brunch to “Say Cheers” for bottomless alcoholic beverages, or “Splash A Lot” for access to the swimming pool. Settling into our food after taking in all this information, the one thing that strikes us about this place is that there are absolutely no qualms here. No fuss, no formalities – you just need to be yourself. Just as this crosses our minds, the staff breaks into a fun dance that they love doing!
We discover one interesting dish after another and are too full for words. But the chef insists with try his chocolate mousse – who can say no to chocolate mousse? What greets us is totally unexpected! A big dollop of rich mousse, served on a pink salt block, with a dropper full of extra virgin olive oil! It’s the best ending to any meal ever.
Sunday Sandai at Grand by GRT Chennai
Walking into the lobby feels like stepping into a Turkish bazaar, with the tiles, interiors and buzz. The entire floor is converted into a marketplace of sorts, complete with a cart selling organic vegetables, lentils and millets.
We start the Sunday Sandai (Tamil for market) at Bazaar with tangy soup in a mug and feel real fancy about it. Then comes the chaat from the live station, followed by chilled salads and starters. The pani puri is served with an unusual pani made with apple, ginger and mint – not a combination of flavours you will ever forget!
We roam the set-up picking up shawarma wraps, seafood curries, and quinoa salads from the healthy counter, while the bartender mixes mocktails and cocktails for the guests. We try an orange based fruity drink and are instantly fans.
The kids are having an absolute ball! Running around with their balloon animals, getting their faces painted and showing off their temporary tattoos to friends. When the staff breaks into their Zumba-style dance, the whole atmosphere charges up and we get to see the chefs in a whole new role!
Poolside Brunching at Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay Mamallapuram
The moment we step through the gates at the resort, a “holiday” feeling creeps in. That’s what the beach, a stunning swimming pool and great food does to you! The Chef explains to us that the Water’s Edge Café is a regular favourite for Chennaites as well as expats, who camp at the hotel every weekend.
Offering packages granting access to the meandering pool, the brunch is a vast spread that keeps us busy for a few hours. We start with the cheese platter and try a few varieties with crackers and bread. We’re careful not to eat large portions, and the chefs tells us he’s designed the entire spread to serve small portions, because the whole point of a buffet is to be able to try everything!
So we make our way through pretty salad bowls, fried starters, tropical coloured mocktails and lavish main course dishes as we watch the birds outside eye us enviously. The biggest surprise here is the themed concept. This weekend is about bananas, so we’re happily devouring an entire selection of banana desserts – banoffee pie and fritters being our favourite.
Brunching at this resort makes us feel like we could be anywhere – Bali, Miami, or Spain. The ambience is just that pretty. Tropical, breezy, sunny, relaxing.