There was a time when, come weekend, we would furiously start making calls to all restaurants worth its salt – or sugar! – in the city, to figure out the next Sunday brunch destination. Despite living in far-flung areas in the city, and having to wade through killer rush-hour traffic everyday of the week, when it came to a Sunday brunch, any distance was doable for our food-worshiping gang. But like all good things, this one too came to pass… :(
But, after a big lull in the last couple of years, when prices had sky-rocketed and options had become jaded, the Sunday brunch has suddenly come to reinvent itself in the city, with bigger, better and bolder menu additions that are luring big eaters like us back to the live stations. After all, what is a Sunday brunch if not an ode to food and a celebration of appetites? :)
Such a celebration was under way when our group of adventurers walked into the bustling Seven Kitchens at Palladium Hotel. Our table was on the other side of this plush 9000 sq ft temple of food, and our long trek prepped us for what lay in store… The Chocolate Fountain winked devilishly, and invited us to sneak in a finger… the roulette-wheel of icecream flavours held us captive… the glittering bed of Sushis tempted us to pop one into our mouths… the mysterious-looking Dimsum baskets floated tantalizingly on a cloud of steam… the roast Leg of Lamb sizzled coyly… the aromas from the Indian, Thai and Italian stations unrelentingly pursued us, impatient for us to get settled into our seats! Amidst all this, an army of chefs scurried around with plates of food, and servers balanced trays of tall cocktails as a live band struck up an up-tempo song. I remember feeling like one of the characters in The Great Gatsby’s mansion, mesmerized by my surroundings!
Teddy and I went on a long scouting tour, peeping into cloches, poking around the salad spread, randomly popping a macaroon here or a prawn tail there, while chatting up with the chefs about made-to-order pastas and stir fries…
A smooth baritone belted out the opening bars of Shaggy’s ‘Strength of a Woman’ as an ode to all women there. I turned to find my Mom, and there she was settled comfortably in her sofa, smugly digging into a plate piled high with her beloved Stewed Crabs, and a handpicked plate of her favourite Sushis right next to it. My heart leaped with joy!
The rest of the afternoon was a blur of salad plates and biryani domes; made-to-order Eggs Florentine and just-done Kingfish Grills; thick terrine slices and wafer-thin pizzas… all washed down with a bottle of crisp Bollinger Champagne and countless glasses of lip-smacking Raw Mango Daiquiri.
But some things stood out and cut through the haze of the 50 odd dishes we tried out, enough to fire up each of our senses…
For the taste buds, it was the Burnt Spinach Dim Sum, the Beetroot Periyal, the Couscous Stuffed Leg of Lamb. Oh, and the deliciously hearty Spaghetti Bolognese!
For the eyes, it was the popping freshness of the large Red Prawns, Octopus and Squid at the Seafood station, and the jeweled Cupcakes sitting prettily on a spiraling tree!
For the nose, it was the stop-in-your-tracks aroma of the Kebab Station that you just had to indulge in on every pass by.
For touch, it was that perfect wobble of the Caramel Custard as you cut into its burnished surface.
And for sound… it was Mom’s deep sigh of satisfaction on cleaning up her last plate of Fresh Waffles with buttery Vanilla Icecream.
When I think about it, Seven Kitchens is one experience that appeals to not five, but all your seven senses! Confused?? Well, there’s the five senses as above. Then there’s the sixth sense that tells you you’re definitely coming back here for more ;) And finally, the seventh sense of ‘balance’ – the one that leaves you feeling one with the universe after such a great afternoon of food, love and togetherness!