Adapting buffet brunches for takeaway in the pandemic times

‘The buffet is dead. Long live the buffet.’ Luxury accommodations’ strengths are service, atmosphere and lavish frills. How can that be home-delivered? Chennai’s cooks experiment with boxed brunches and weekend pop up menus

Sunday brunch used to imply reside bands, sunny swimming swimming pools and chilled flutes of champagne. Dim sum, roast hen and festive macaroons. Friends, households, cooks, waiters, singers, guitarists, balloon artists, painters, clowns…

Now, it’s lukewarm porridge over a patchy Zoom name.

Mark 2020 as the yr the buffet died. In an age of bodily distancing, anxious disinfection and fixed handwashing, the breezy appeal of a row of heat chafing dishes has been changed by an ever-lurking concern of contamination.

Fortunately, this has pushed the metropolis’s accommodations into discovering artistic methods to package deal luxurious, from concierge companies to door supply by liveried waiters (reside band not included).

The Westin Chennai Velachery

“Brunch is an experience,” says Chef Biju Philiph, of The Westin Chennai Velachery, explaining why it was such a problem to rethink their celebratory Sunday buffet. “The whole idea is having everyone out together, in the ambience of a five star hotel. And honestly, if you had asked me six months ago to put it in a box, I would have said it is impossible.”

Yet, The Westin now affords a 5 and eight course brunch, launched final week, all packed in biodegradable, compostable packing containers.

The first possibility lets friends select 5 appetisers (together with almond crusted cottage cheese, murgh Lahori tikka and barbeque hen wings), two salads plus tandoori hen or a quiche from the carving counter. Then for the essential course, they will select six dishes (with choices like Goan prawn curry, Asian stir fry hen and lasagna) with 4 sides (like papad, chutney, kimchi), adopted by three desserts (apple crumble, brownie, moong dal halwa.) That’s 23 objects in all, for two folks (₹2,200). The eight-course possibility, which incorporates mezze, wraps and khau suey, is equally aggressive, providing 34 objects (₹3,600).

This week, in what could also be his grasp stroke — given Chennai’s weak spot for this dish — Chef Biju is providing a biryani field (₹1,800) to have fun Independence Day. It will embody three sorts of biryani: Ambur hen biryani with ennai katrikkai, Hyderabadi mutton biryani with mirchi ka salan and Thalassery prawn biryani with ulli teeyal.

In an try and embrace the extravagance of a resort buffet, it contains curry leaf hen as a starter, in addition to roasted garlic raita, beetroot pachadi, shahi tukda and moong dal halwa.

The vegetarian model (₹1,400) options an intriguing jackfruit biryani — biryani from Kerala with tapioca and the dish Awadhi fashion, with korma — together with yam kebab, served with uncooked mango chutney, as a starter. In traditional resort brunch buffet fashion, there may be an earnest try and have one thing for everybody (clown not included.)

Order by 9 pm on Friday for Saturday brunch. Call 8939892056.

Latitude by The Park Chennai

After a decade of chic tea events, Latitude by The Park Chennai closed their Good Earth location in July final yr. Now, it’s again, however in a 2020 avatar: as a cloud kitchen. But, in contrast to a lot of the different lockdown launches, this one is helmed by a luxurious resort’s kitchen.

Adapting buffet brunches for takeaway in the pandemic times

“Very honestly, we always wanted to revive it,” says Ashutosh Nerlekar, government chef, explaining that the relaxed house had impressed a distinctly European café-style menu, intentionally totally different from 601, the resort’s fashionable espresso store.

“There is an emphasis on sandwiches, burger and appetisers. We have retained classics from the outdated menu, but additionally launched a ‘pukka native’ part with egg podimas, kothu parotta and podi idli,” says Chef Ashutosh.

However, provided that Latitude runs out of the 601 kitchen, their edge appears to be the “classic five star breakfast,” he provides. This contains omelettes with hash browns, grilled tomatoes and sausages (₹245), in addition to their in style French toast filled with mascarpone, topped with berry compote and Chantilly cream.” (₹225)

Meanwhile at 601, which has already been on Swiggy for a yr, Chef Ashutosh has began working weekend specials, highlighting their strengths. “It is a competitive market now: everyday you have a new cloud kitchen launched,” he says, explaining why they should keep on their toes, regardless of providing a menu that’s priced at about 30% lower than their dine-in menu.

Adapting buffet brunches for takeaway in the pandemic times

So far the specials have featured Bento packing containers, a Mediterranean path and a burger menu. The resort additionally did ‘Ribs ‘n Bellies’ from their Thai restaurant, Lotus. This week, the plan is an all-dessert menu, served in mason jars.

Of course, with the present Sunday Lockdown, you’ll need to shift all of your celebratory brunch plans to Saturday for now. And possibly save a few of that French toast for your Sunday porridge. (Vaccine not included. Yet.)

Call The Park on 9962288601 to order from Latitude or the weekend menu.

This weekly column tracks the metropolis’s shifting culinary panorama. Heard of a brand new meals enterprise? Tell me: [email protected]

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