“Brunch is a breakfast that begins with a cocktail”, is how William Grimes defined it in an article a decade or so ago.
“Brunch is a breakfast that begins with a cocktail”, is how William Grimes defined it in an article a decade or so ago. Since then Grimes has moved on; he is “a former magazine writer, culture reporter, theatre columnist, restaurant critic, book reviewer and a current obituary writer for The New York Times” (Wikipedia). A most interesting and revealing transition. However, a better definition for the urban connoisseurs’ favorite portmanteau is yet to be presented. The term “brunch” is credited to another journalist Guy Beringer who first used it in his article Brunch — A Plea in 1895. More than a century later we are still talking about brunch.
In India, the brunch had more discreet beginnings and for the longest time we were calling it the buffet. The difference was too subtle — one being a meal; the other a service style. The turn of the millennium brought with it the Sunday brunch, in all its decadent glory. A meal experience that was to set itself apart from the buffet and the best way to do that was to introduce the element of free pour alcohol. In the early days, the favoured tipple was Indian sparkling wine. Those were more innocent times. In the last decade or so the whole game has changed.
There are quite a few reasons for the luxe takeover of buffets. Most importantly, the Indian diner has evolved. Gone are the days when the dish-count passed for luxury, now people are more interested in what’s in them. The well-travelled Indian diner has always been demanding; he is now more discerning. The competition for the luxury brunch is intense, with guerilla teams of professionals dining at restaurants belonging to their competition set and analysing every minute detail.
In my opinion, the best Sunday brunch in the country is the one at The Oberoi, Gurgaon. Not only is the champagne pouring list extensive but the attention to detail and service is impeccable. Walking into their restaurant 361 is