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Taj West End @ Bon Appétit – Best Sunday Brunch in Bangalore Series

In the outside garden for Sunday Brunch with my fabulous tour guide, the Taj West End Sous Chef Ankur Gulati

Although there are a few Taj properties in town to choose from, it wasn’t a tough decision to hit the Taj West End brunch first on my list.  I LOVE that place.  For me, Blue Ginger serves the best scallops in town, plus I just love the elegant, open-air ambience and service there.  On top of that, Blue Bar is an amazingly wonderful bar presided over as resident DJ by my friend DJ Yon – and in fact, it’s where I recently spent my New Year’s eve.

This particular Sunday brunch out I hit the town with one of my dear Indian girlfriends.  We both made jokes about wearing loose-fitting sundresses so we could eat like piggies and funny enough that is exactly what each of us turned up in!  Ahhh, bless pre-planning!

So I’m starting to learn very quickly that not all brunches are created equal.  So far each spot in town has its own charm and appeal, its own particular niche and something special that stands out.  On my recent girl’s day out at Bon Appétit at Taj West End, my eyes were opened to the most amazing service experience in my quest to find the best brunch spot in Bangalore so far.   Admittedly the food was to-die for as well but I definitely left there feeling pampered –and not just by the wait staff.

I make it a point to contact the restaurants or hotels in advance to say that I am coming to review the brunch and to make a request that the chef or person responsible for the brunch is on-hand to speak with me for a few minutes.  Sometimes my request is granted and the chef proudly escorts me on a tour of what is on offer and sometimes only the manager assists me.  Well, at Bon Appétit I was so pleased and so touched that not only did the Sous Chef, Ankur Gulati, come to generously offer his time as my tour guide but Farheen Mansoor Singh, the Public Relations Manager, also took time out of her Sunday to greet me.

First things first, though!  Champagne, Champagne, Champagne!  If you follow my blog you know that one of the things I miss most is good (not insanely priced) Champagne, so I was over-the-moon happy to discover that they serve Moët & Chandon with brunch!  Bless them!!  I was in heaven.  My girlfriend is more of a mocktails girl so she asked them to whip up something fruity for her, which ended up being a yummy, frothy fresh juice with pineapple and other fruits.

Mmmmmm the chocolate fountain is fun for kids AND adults… and the faint hint of strawberries made it irresistible. I went back for more helpings than I should have! 🙂

Now with that fun task sorted, instead of digging into the food right away as we would normally do,  I took the opportunity to interview both Ankur and Farheen to understand a bit more about the Taj philosophy on cuisine and guest relations.

Ankur has been with the Taj for six years now and ensured me that his first passion was to learn the internal psyche in the kitchen and then learn to cook and cook well.  And it was a real treat to hear that putting a smile on the face of their guests and offering warm and above-and-beyond service to each and every guest – young and old – was their number one driving force.  They also offer up child-care during brunch in the form of a “camp” so everyone can enjoy the best experience possible – the parents by enjoying some down time and the kids by goofing around at a fair distance from the adults.  It’s perfect!

Brunch is a combination of South Indian (of course!) and Mediterranean cuisine that includes Italian and Lebanese food.  As I am a cheese nut, my first stop was to the cheese and olive zone where I piled on a serving of everything!  The Gouda and Danish blue were my favourites but you also have to try their soft feta and assorted olives.   They even have gorgonzola potatoes that are dreamy, do try those if you go!

Next we sampled some treats from Little Italy.  The chef whipped up his specialty dish of porcini penne pasta and it was aromatic and truly delicious.  After that we tried the hand-made pizzas, which the chefs here have learned to prepare from Sicilian chefs and are cooked in a traditional fire oven.  For me, the pizzas were just ‘okay’ but I personally like mine a bit cheesier than what was served.  Plus I have eaten the best pizzas of my life in Rome, Milan and Venice so unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan of the pizzas.

The brunch is quite diverse and I was so excited to see Mediterranean charcutería products like salami and prosciutto that are sliced in-the-moment.  The same meats zone also had wonderful carved lamb and pork that literally melted in my mouth they were so tender.  And perhaps because it was close to the holidays there was also a turkey complete with stuffing and a sweet cranberry glaze!  Yum yum!

The food is decadent, from the salads and hummus and Baba ghanoush to the freshly baked breads and pastries.  I about jumped for joy when I realized that they made fresh Belgium waffles and served them with strawberries and fresh, sweetened cream.  The waffles were so thick and so tender I could have eaten ten of them but my dress was already starting to feel tight so I resisted!

Farheen and Ankur also shared with me the fun way that they make kids feel extra special at brunch, which I’m sure the kids must love since sitting around while parents talk is about the most boring thing on the planet.  For food, the kitchen whips up smaller kids burgers, little cutlets and smiley-faced chips and other fun kid-friendly choices.  For dessert they have gummy sweets at the candy counter, chocolates and even a chocolate fountain where the kids can dip marshmallows and toffees and other nibbles into, which was also one of our favourite parts of brunch too so I don’t think this is just for kids!  Entertainment includes bouncing rooms, a tattoo artist, hair braiding, and games….all presided over by six to seven counsellors who care for the kids.

Now, one last negative I have about the brunch was the music.  There was a live band as I believe there always is but unfortunately we were so close to Christmas that they were playing Christmas music which makes me personally want to scream.  NOT a fan.  But Farheen assured me that this was for a special time only and the normal mix of soft, modern songs are played throughout brunch on most every other Sunday.

If you go, try to arrive early to grab a table outside.  The lush greens of the outdoor area are fantastic and really made the perfect setting for our girls’ brunch out at Bon Appétit.

Website:  http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/City-Hotels/The-Taj-West-End-Bangalore/Fine-Dining.html

Coo Coo for Cheese 5-star rating:  4* {the Danish blue and Gouda are FAB!}

What I liked best:  they serve Moët & Chandon instead of sparkling wine!  The slow cooked tagine with lamb is so tender that it literally falls apart on the fork.  Oh…and last but not least, you have to try the tomato, mozzarella and parmesano wrapped in thinly sliced aubergine.

What I liked least:  the veg potato with tomato dish.  My girlfriend wasn’t a fan of the mixed fruit and cinnamon mocktail, although I liked it (Indian vs. Western taste maybe?)

Cost: Rs. 3,000 with unlimited Moët & Chandon and cocktails.  Rs. 2,000 without alcohol.  Children 6 years and above Rs. 1,300

Opening times:  12:30am – 3:30pm but they very kindly keep the dessert bar open until around 4pm.

(reviewer Angela Carson)

© 2012

I started Angela's Bangalore from my hotel room on the very first day I moved to India in 2011, while struck with jet lag! It was my very first blog, the country's very 1st luxury travel blog. Now I'm rocking YouTube as @ExpatAngela, hope you'll subscribe.

This article has 7 comments

  1. Bibi

    I miss European cheese….boo hooo!!!
    Oh well, we have ‘yak cheese’ here in Nepal- it is very rich & tasty- sort of like a cross between a Parmgiano- Reggiano & an Emmentaler. 😉

    • vic

      Hi Bibi….forget Yak cheese in Nepal….go down to the saturday farmers market on kantipath and try the Tomme de Himal…made by francois on a Tomme de Savoie recipe …its the best artisan European cheese made in South Asia !!

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