Spectra Brunch, Leela Palace
So where do I start? With the mixed fruit punch that was so refreshing and I was dying to find out what went into it? Or the Satay with the perfect peanut sauce? Or the round of sushi that I had, again? With an extra helping of Salmon sushi. Or with the superb fried wonton with chilli sauce? Or the corn fritters? Or the stir fried potatoes that we matched with the grilled chicken? Or the very nice chicken dim sums? Or the American Chopsuey with a twist like you see in the photo? The crispy noodles as a base and the sauce inside it, made to perfection? Or the round of Indian snacks? The nice sundal in a leaf? Definitely not the pani puri, which was average.
Or with the main course? The fantastic dhal makhani, or so I thought and it turns out to be dhal Khandari. Or the very nice biriyani? Or the Thai fried rice that we ate with the superb chilly fried beef from the Thai counter? Or the Thai sticky rice that we ate with the outstanding Thai Green Curry? Or the Appam which was the only breakfast item on the menu!?! Or the chettinadu fish fry that was very nicely spiced? Or the Thangdi chicken kebabs? Or with the hot pita bread that we stuffed with the outstanding hummus and tzatziki? And stuffed some grilled chicken from the salad into it to make it a mini shawarma? Or the grilled grouper fish with Indian Spices? Or the squids with the same spices?
Where do I end? With a small dessert counter? The size of the dessert counter paled in comparison the rest of the buffet, but the taste? The little glass of baked yogurt with broken macarons? The superb mango soufle? Or that little pastry with cinnamon? Or the blueberry dessert with an awesome crust? Or with that red dessert whose name I don't even know, but licked clean? Or the similar shaped chocolate dessert with the same problem of not knowing the name, but licked clean? Or do I end with the amazing Chef Avinash who talks to most guests, is always around and is willing to guide you through?
Or do I start with how this lunch happened? Yeah, that's where I'll start. So my nasty experience at Spectra had reached the GM of the hotel. After tracking me down, he called me on a Saturday, profusely apologised for the day, acknowledged that he liked my post on Sushi and asked me to come and experience the Sunday Brunch, because I had written that I wanted to try it out. When the GM of the hotel calls you, I think it is only polite for me to respond and though he asked me to bring my whole family, just the two of went!!!
This time, there was no problem with the reservations and we were seated next to the large windows. If only the government had allowed Leela to maintain that beach, the scenery from this window of the Spectra would have been outstanding. With the broken bridge preceding the sea, if you overlook the marsh, the view is still very good. Could have been outstanding, but it's still good. The buffet, is humongous. However, this is not a brunch, but a lunch, so we have to get that out of the way. The reason I say that, is because there was no waffles, pancakes, french toast and the kind of things you see in a brunch which is supposed to have both breakfast and lunch. I didn't see an omelette counter either. Either that, or it was there and I completely missed it.
Now, I know where to finish. The manager refused to charge us for the lunch. I insisted that the GM had invited my entire family over for lunch and there was no way he was going to bear the cost of Rs. 2350 for 8 people. I told him that the previous time, we had not eaten because of the botch up and not that we paid and were dissatisfied, but he didn't buy my argument. The manager refused and told me that he had strict instructions from the GM not to charge us. Coming to think of it, two of us went there because the GM had called and I wanted to reciprocate and put the old event behind me, but the hotel wanted to bear the cost of 8 people's Sunday brunch? I would have understood if we paid and were dissatisfied and they were making up for it, but this was an amazing gesture.
But I am glad that I finally got to taste the Spectra Brunch. Except for the lack of breakfast, this is an outstanding meal for a Sunday!!! A Sunday lunch.