8-14 August 2014 #719

The Café at Hyatt

Someplace Else by Ruby Tuesday

PICS: RUBY TUESDAY
Now that Narendra Modi has departed, we can head back to the Hyatt for the weekend brunch. Lavish and sumptuous do not begin to describe the feast spread out for your gustatory as well as visual pleasure. There are live stations for pasta and shwarmas, a salad bar, bread baskets and lots of desserts.

The salad leaves and herbs are sourced from the in-house chef’s garden and deliciously fresh. The rocket leaves have a snap and crunch to them and I chose the freshly made pesto as my salad dressing of choice. The spiciness of the basil and the creaminess of the nuts in the sauce elevate the simple salad to absolute sublimity. What impresses me about the Hyatt whenever I dine there is the emphasis on freshness and providing locally sourced, organic fare as far as possible.

The bread and cheese counter have a variety of cheeses, flavoured butters and an assortment of pickles and cold cuts to choose from. The smoked fish in particular is delicious. There are also mini chicken burgers, spicy sausages and crisp French fries catering particularly to the taste buds and palates of the young, and the young at heart.

The chicken shwarma is marinated overnight and then grilled for over four hours till the meat is so soft and succulent and infused with all the flavours that it is sliding off the spit- this is chopped up and sandwiched between two warm Turkish pitas with onions, mint and tomatoes and a slight drizzle of Greek yoghurt- each bite an explosion of Mediterranean freshness and flavours. I chose the red cabbage with apple salad, cucumber tzatziki, hummus and Greek salad with feta cheese as accompaniments and each was tastier than the next.

And then I had another plate of food. This time I went for the saffron rice; it was actually one dish that I thought I’d give a miss, but the aromas that wafted and then lingered so fragrantly had me convinced otherwise. The mutton rogan josh was spiced piquantly and was rich and delicious. The dal- mixed lentils with a rich ghee and garlic tadka- was thick and the proteins had broken down to create a luscious and silky texture that was delightful.

At the Café, they make the favourite Thai snack, Som Tam with citrusy raw papaya, tomatoes, peanuts, lemon, basil and all sorts of other good things that are vigorously pounded together in a stone mortar and pestle in front of you. The end result is amazing-- alive and bursting with flavors and freshness. I have to also put in a good word for the fried fish: basic and simple fried fish fillets that are flaky and moist and oh so tasty.

And then onto the desserts: sticky toffee pudding, assorted cupcakes, fruit gateaux, shot glasses of fruit salad, dudh malai, chocolate mousse and tiny bite-sized bits of apple tart and the most delicious passion-fruit Bavarian. There is also ice cream with dried fruits and nuts, syrups and a homemade (well, hotel made) strawberry sauce- freshly macerated berries with just a hint of balsamic vinegar.

If I do have a gripe with this meal, it is that there is so much of it and it all looks and smells so appetising, but it is just not humanly possible to eat and enjoy them all at one seating. But maybe that’s their strategy- lure them in knowing that we will be back for more.

How to get there: The Hyatt Regency is in Boudha.

The weekend brunch at the Hyatt Regency (Rs 1800 per person, includes all you can eat, a tea or coffee and swimming) starts at 12.30pm and carries on late into the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays.

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