Brunch at Verandah, Vivanta by Taj Connemara
The new found joy of stepping out on Sunday has happened and though it is not happening every week, I must say that I am enjoying this not-sleeping-late on Sundays. Yes, I said it. But then, this happens once a month and I don't know if I will walk around like a zombie if I step out EVERY SUNDAY. After Leela's brunch which was followed by two breakfast Sundays, this time the decision was easy. It was easy because I didn't have to make the decision as Taj invited me to try out their Sunday Brunch at the Verandah, Vivanta by Taj Connemara. The invite itself was inviting! Soak in the pool, eat a lazy brunch, enjoy some magic and go back refreshed, it said! With brunches now becoming the norm on Sundays, hotels are trying various things to woo the guests, but I like this 'Dip in the pool' type of wooing!
The pool opens at 1130 am and given the weather the last few days when the Sun decided to go on a hibernation, it was just about perfect! You can laze as much as you want and swim whatever you can in the four feet deep pool and just lounge. This is a great part of the Sunday brunch and is well worth getting out of bed if you're getting into the Taj pool. There is a live grill right next to the pool, so you can smell while you swim and boy, that does stimulate your appetite. More than stimulate your appetite.
The second part of it, the food, though good, wasn't extremely impressive. The grill next to the pool had sea food, but no meat, so we ended with a portion of grilled prawns that weren't great! The tandoor had broccoli and tandoori chicken, both of which weren't particularly impressive. The brunch is not extensive by any definition, so do not expect a huge brunch. There was an excellent bread counter with numerous choices of breads and four cheese options, though the choices of cheese weren't very impressive! Good old cheddar and Gouda and the only thing exciting for me was the Brie! There was a chaat counter which doled out some nice stuff and a momo station which served excellent momos.
Apparently Taj has a large Anglo Indian patron base, so there were quite a few Anglo Indian dishes. The Anglo Indian fish curry was exciting with the Anglo Indian version of Coconut rice and the flavours were quite different to what I am used to. The herb grilled chicken was excellent and the live sandwich counter was excellent. I had a sandwich with chicken salami, grilled lamb and sausages and you can go crazy with your choice of meat and veggies and make it large! I did! The biriyani.....well.....
Desserts were quite impressive for me, particularly the fig halwa was a stunner! Like most brunches, dessert was a mixed bag, but the ones that were good, were very good, especially the mango stuff! The mothers day special dessert that was offered was excellent. Like most brunches in Chennai, this is predominantly lunch, so don't expect dosa, idly, pancake, waffles and other breakfast stuff. I stopped expecting and so brunches are better for me these days! The magician with his card tricks was a joy. He came to our table, distracted us completely and was enjoyed by all of us!
Priced at Rs. 1750 all inclusive, this is a package and must be looked as a package. Go in at 1130, take a swim, relax, unwind, breathe in the smell of grilled food, stimulate your appetite, have the food, enjoy some magic and it is well worth the price. If you go there at 1 PM just for the food, you might not come back feeling good!
Verandah is the 24 hour coffee shop at Vivanta by Taj Connemara, Egmore.