Tanya Fonseca spent her Sunday trying out Lagerbay’s newly launched Sunday brunch. Although she didn’t have the time of her life, it wasn’t a total nightmare either.
Sunday brunch always spells the perfect antidote to a debaucherous Saturday night. Having said that, we thought this Sunday merited a visit to Largerbay, the all-day diner and pub on Waterfield Road. It occupies the hip residence previously home to Zenzi and has recently launched their Sunday Brunch.
We looked in vain for some sign of it the iconic Zenzi and were pleasantly surprised to find a whole new avatar. Everything, including what used to be the l-shaped sit-out area feels scrubbed and new. The dark wood decor is minimalistic, yet not bare with plenty of light that streams in through the clear glass doors.
After settling in, we made our way to the salad counter, only to find it half empty. An apologetic attendant informed us that they would require a little bit of time to set up. Back to the table at the far end, we ordered two flavours of iced tea – green apple and strawberry. While the drinks arrived promptly, the sour taste of diluted black tea was an unnecessarily unpleasant wake-up call. The drink was severely watered down and begged for even a hint of the fruit flavour the name promised. Even the Sangria needed help. If it wasn’t for the two thinly sliced orange pieces, we could have sworn it was just chilled dry red wine.
At 12:50 pm, with no information forthcoming, we decided to check on the salad bar ourselves. Our rumbling stomachs whispered grateful thanks at seeing the lavish spread of cold cuts, cheese and oven roasted vegetables. While we could make an educated guess about some of the stuff there, we would have preferred a handy label. The stack of fresh white plates also irked us with swipes of greasy finger prints on a few of them. We picked our way through four of them before we found a clean one. Tsk tsk!
Minor lapses aside, we really loved every bite of the grilled chicken tossed in a robust basil pesto and the oven roasted beetroot with grated carrot. The hot seafood salad though was the clear winner with mix of fish, squid and prawns, all extremely fresh, cooked perfectly and dressed lightly.
We would have liked to have gone back for seconds, but the soggy garden salad, the bland mozzarella and tomato salad, and the chewy Carpaccio led us to order a main course instead. Yes, we said order. At the Largerbay brunch, you can have unlimited helpings at the salad bar but are restricted to one order of mains from the a la carte menu.
Our picks of Grilled Kingfish (with a Harisa marinade, mash and baby pok choi) and the Parmesan Crusted Grilled Chicken (with a herbed mash and grape jus) arrived promptly and piping hot. The chunk of kingfish seared well on the outside with soft white flesh on the inside was extremely fresh. The pok choi wasn’t an oily mess but instead retained all of its lettuce-like flavour and crunch.
While the fish was delicious, our pick for the day, week, possibly even the month was the grilled chicken. The thin salty parmesan crust broke open to reveal a perfectly succulent grilled chicken. A smidgen of the jammy grape just completed the perfectly balanced dish. We give the chef two thumbs up for a truly delectable main course.
Still reeling from the taste of a flavourful main course, we picked the Tiramisu for dessert. Finally, we could have hugged our attendant (a stylish fellow called Barrington) for a great recommendation. Moist espresso soaked layers of cake were held together with almost cloud-like soft whipped cream. The dusting of dark cocoa sealed our verdict on this dessert as one of the best we’ve tasted in the city for the past few years.
Aside from keeping a closer eye on the cleanliness of the crockery, we have one more suggestion for the place – additional training for service staff. While all of them were polite and tried to be of assistance, they could improve their product knowledge – no one knew what the brunch menu included or how to help a guest navigate their way through it.
What is refreshing though is that with trouble brewing across the city, Lagerbay encourages you to be a responsible drinker. Notice boards act like sentries at the entrance that caution and offer to help you with your liquor permit troubles. Bring along two passport sized pictures, two copies of proof of birth and residence to apply for a permanent liquor licence. It’s a two day wait with a get-out-of-jail-free-card, well at least on this count.
Cost: Rs 1500 inclusive of taxes per head (with alcohol)
Rs 900 inclusive of taxes per head (without alcohol)
Rs 450 per child
Brunch includes one main course and unlimited helpings of starters and dessert.