How India eats brunch
The Lower Parel eatery launches The Big Canteen Brunch, a Sunday affair that whips up the best of the country staple breakfast dishes
What better than eggs Benedict for breakfast?
An eggs Benedict spiked with a Kundapur softshell crab on ghee roasted brioche. We cut the egg yolk which oozes all over the crunchy preparation held together with a brioche mattress. The spice of byadgi chillies and black pepper balanced with a curry leaf hollandaise. You get the drift.
Last Sunday, we were privy to Bombay Canteen's latest offering, The Big Canteen Brunch comprising 45 dishes from 20 states of India. "We have covered UP, Assam, Karnataka, Goa, Punjab, Gujarat, West Bengal as well as communities like Parsi and Sindhi. One section, Chef's Own Country, is inspired by my travels and we will focus on a different region every few months for this section. Like we do on our a la carte menu, parts of the Brunch menu will keep changing for our discerning regulars," says executive chef Thomas Zacharias.
Plum cup G&T
With a smoked peach bellini (Rs 725) in tow, our first state is home ground for us; Gujarat. A banana leaf-wrapped delicate panki has the ginger-chilli punch we are used to. Ba would approve of the green chutney.
The next halt is to the far east of India, to Assam where the Anda Apna Apna section comes alive. We dig into desi aloo fritata (Rs 375) stuffed with slightly nutty badami aloo, paired with a pool of sweet and sour tomato chutney.
Next, it's a stroll down the streets of India with a Bihari kachori (Rs 325) , a freshly fried puri made from sattu filled with aloo, pomegranates and dash of sour tamarind and spicy green chutneys. Our last halt in savouries is Chef's Own Country, we get the Salem soft-cooked omelette (Rs 675) which cloaks a mean mutton curry on a bed of curry leaf-treated sevaiya. The omelette is perfectly undercooked inside, and the depth of the meat flavours make it a marriage made in heaven. We wash it down with a plum cup G&T (Rs 575), which has a nice tang from the acidic punch of fruit bitters cuts the heaviness of the dish.
We've left some room for dessert and what makes it worthwhile is the appam crepe (Rs 425), holding vanilla pastry cream, a decadent jaggery caramel and candied orange. The quirkiest dish is the dosa waffles (Rs 425), which almost ran out due to high demand, with whipped cream and filter coffee ice cream.
While the highlight of the brunch was the food, the music playlist was a fun selection that pleased the soul as it took us back to the 90's with Peter Andre's mysterious girl and Billy Joel's uptown girl. Our sign off tip: If you are dropping by in a big group, order the family platters which offers a whole roast chicken wrapped in puff pastry and served with a smoked makhana gravy. It's their version of butter chicken. Sunday well made, we'd say.
AT: The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel.
TIME: 11 am to 4 pm, every Sunday
COST: Brunch experience of set menu Rs 2,000 (veg); Rs 2,400 (non-veg) without drinks
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