Sunday brunches at most hotels in Hyderabad are an opulent, indulgent affair with an endless stream of food and beverage. While people staying at Cyberabad are often spoilt for choice, Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre has long been the only option for people staying in the older parts of the city. Marriott Hyderabad, which recently turned ten, has revamped their Sunday brunch to make it more lively and more personal, and I was invited to experience their revamped brunch.
The Sunday Brunch is hosted at Okra – the all-day diner. The brunch is spread out across the restaurant as well as the outdoor pool-side. Mr. Yogender Pal, the executive chef at Marriott Hyderabad, explained to me that the focus of the overhauled brunch is on live stations. Through a diverse array of live counters, Marriott hopes to make the brunch more interactive and interesting. I spotted over half a dozen live counters dishing out an eclectic mix of delicacies.
The first counter to catch my fancy was the Eggs live counter that was serving up the usual favourites like Sunny Side Up and Omelette as well as more sophisticated preparations like Egg Benedict with a choice of Hollandaise flavours such as Mustard and Paprika. Also on offer were popular street-food like Keema Pav and Kaleji. If you’re in the mood for more breakfast dishes, you can head to the ‘Dosa Land’ live station that offers the usual favourites like Aalo Masala Dosas as well as more interesting combinations like Beetroot Dosa and Lamb Keema Dosa.
One of the most intriguing live stations is the Chaat counter that served up ubiquitous Indian street food like Pani Puri and Chaat with a modern twist. I ordered a plate of Paanipoori and discovered that Marriott is using Molecular Gastronomy (presumably Alginate) to serve up an almost dry Pani Puriwith a spherified version of all the usual ingredients like the tamarind water, the sweeet chutney, and curd. While nothing can beat the taste of a road side Pani Puri wallah, the Molecular Pani Puri is certainly fun and interesting.
Unsurprisingly, my favourite counter was the Tandoor and Grills counter. Chicken is not my usual order, but the Atta Chicken definitely caught my fancy. This is a unique preparation from a small village in Punjab called Kotkapura. A whole bird is marinated for hours and then covered in a muslin cloth and sealed inside a kneaded dough. This dough is then cooked in Tandoor and cracked open once its completely charred. Sitting next to the Atta Chicken was a rack of ribs. The Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs was spectacular and had me craving for more. The quality of the pork was great and the dark chocolate and balsamic vinegar marinade was phenomenal.
The live grill counter offered up a choice of a live grill with a choice of fish and meats in assorted sauces. There were vegetarian options too, but I didn’t try them.
I was told that the live Pasta station would be featuring some of the rarer forms of Pasta on a rotational basis. On the day I went, the Pasta being showcased was PapparDelle, but I stuck to my usual order of Aglio e Olio.
Besides the live counters, there was the regular buffet spread featuring both Indian and Continental preparations. However, I was too stuffed to try the main course, and decided to head straight for the desserts. Thanks to the plentiful quick eats being offerd by the live counters, I suspect that a lot of patrons might end up doing the same.
The Marriott buffet always features some awesome Bengali sweets and the brunch is no different with sweets like Ras Kadam, Kesari Raj Bhog, and Chhana Pan on offer. Other Indian desserts on offer included a live counter for Jalebi and Rabri and sweets like Anjeer Toast. The ones that really caught my fancy were inspired creations like Grand Marnier, Sachertorte, and Gianduja that are bit of a rarity in the city.
The bar counter at the Okra Sundar brunch now stocks Belgian beers like Hoegaarden and has some crafty cocktails on offer. I was served a wonderful Liceorice Smoked Whisky and a Beer Sangria.
The Marriott Sunday brunch has three tiers. It’s priced at Rs. 1941 all inclusive without alcohol, Rs. 2850 with alcohol, and Rs. 3580 with Champagne. I’m not the kind of person who can even come close to trying everything that’s on offer at a usual brunch. Instead what I want are a select few surprises and signatures that’d make you want to come back again. And Marriott definitely succeeded. The Pork Ribs were stupendous. The drinks were expertly crafted. And the live counters are not just fun, they had some genuinely great stuff on offer.