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Binging with Champagne at Pullman Brunch

Posted: Wednesday, 01 June 2016 18:00


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Binging with Champagne at Pullman Brunch

June 01: The relatively new Hotel Pullman in the Aerocity near the Delhi International Airport started with its Sunday Brunches barely 6 weeks ago but they have already become very popular because of the excellent food quality, variety and presentation and with unlimited Champagne Devaux D and other alcoholic cocktails, thus making it an excellent proposition, writes Natasha Vohra who feels the success is due to the General Manager Tristan Beau de Lomenie who leads the whole team from the front

Photos By:: Adil Arora

Click For Large ViewSundays are for guilt-free bingeing and self-indulgence; throw in a beautiful space, a mind-boggling array of meticulously prepared and presented food, as much Champagne as your heart or palate desires, and you’re done. If you’re a champagne lover, the unlimited Devaux on offer at the new initiative of Pling and Pluck Champagne Brunch at the newly opened Pullman Hotel in Aerocity, is enticement enough.

Considering that one bottle of this champagne at the hotel would cost you Rs.12,500, unlimited glasses with your meal at Rs.3750 (plus taxes), is more than a decent bargain! The non-alcoholic brunch is also reasonably priced at Rs.2500 (plus taxes) but paying only Rs.500 less than the Devaux for the Chandon Sparkling brunch (@ Rs.3250) is not as inviting. It would be better value for money if one could pay under Rs.3000 for unlimited servings of Chandon. At a nominal consumption of one bottle of champ over 3-4 hours, theoretically one can have champagne for Rs.1250 a bottle ($17++!)

Culinary Delights

Click For Large ViewWhichever bubbly you choose, there are a number of culinary delights to be able to experiment with and find interesting food and wine pairings. For instance, at the suggestion of the eager, fresh-faced Sommelier Kriti Malhotra, I tried the katori chaat and the bhelpuri (served in the cutest mini paper cone) with the Devaux and it was a fun pairing, to say the least! I enjoyed the champagne the most though with the made-to-order spicy chicken burrito that the chef at the Mexican food station whipped up for me, that was very interesting with a creamy texture which off-set the bubbly most pleasingly on my palate.

I can never pass up good sushi so I tried the two non-vegetarian options at hand and though delicious enough, I could have done with one or two more varieties. By far the most interesting Japanese food item was the daintily presented selection of exotic, pickled vegetables like Japanese aubergine, radish, beetroot-pink cucumber and miniature Click For Large Viewcarrots.

For the hardcore carnivores, there were two equally tempting choices at the carving station – succulent roasts of leg of lamb or pork belly - ideal with a glass of good red wine – but the available choice of the Senorita Merlot (that is part of both the Champagne and Sparkling wine brunch packages along with a Sauvignon Blanc of the same label) didn’t do much justice to the food or the palate (so I wisely went right back to the Devaux!).

Another interesting feature of the brunch was that on any given Sunday, you are able to sample a few of the chef’s signature dishes from the hotel’s various restaurants – just another detail that adds value to the Click For Large Viewwhole experience.

Farm to Table

There are bursts of color at virtually every station and I couldn’t help thinking that there seemed to be a lot more fruits and vegetables on display than one would normally see at a coffee shop brunch. Marissa Joanna Drozario, Director of Outlets, confirmed that there was indeed a very specific thought behind this. The French General Manager Tristan Beau de Lomenie and his fun loving and elegant wife Isabel are both passionate about ingredients and strive to procure fresh, local and, when possible, organic produce. The hotel even has its own herb garden and grows fresh herbs, lettuce etc.

Some of this in-house produce is included in the gorgeously arranged salad corner – bunches of different lettuces and greens were laid out in wooden buckets and you could well be at a produce stand at a local Click For Large Viewfarmers’ market! Unlike most hotel brunches, there was a chef at this station as well, ready to toss you a salad with your chosen ingredients. They also take pains to showcase local, seasonal fruits and this week a giant bowl of fresh cherries had pride of place among other fruits.

Wine Plan

Kriti Malhotra, the Sommelier at Pullman, gave me a guided tour of their wine section and they have a very decent, though as yet limited, selection of wines. Thanks to import related red tape in India, she is still battling to build up a formidable collection and seems to be very passionate about adding only quality wines to her list.

I was a bit disappointed to see only a single Indian brand (Grover) but she was quick to assure me that they were working on it and hoped to build a good portfolio of Indian wines, especially since they get a lot of foreign nationals. What excited me was the Enomatic wine dispenser, one of two machines that the hotel possesses. This is a great option for trying new wines by the glass - that would normally not be possible without ordering the full bottle. Kriti tells me that they are working on several plans that include offering tasting flights at reasonable rates, maybe even promotions that would let one try an entire flight of just Valpolicellas or Brunellos!

Not just wine

Topesh Chatterjee is the Assistant Manager Outlets but also a very talented mixologist. In keeping with the champagne theme of the brunch, he prepared his signature cocktail ‘Moonwalk’ for us, using Chandon as the base instead of his usual beer base. The concoction also had a merlot reduction (cooked) and equal parts of single malt whiskey, enhanced by orange and grapefruit skins and Angostura bitters. The aroma of tangy orange was refreshing and I could taste flavours of Limoncello even though there was none in the ingredients.

Seeing the excitement caused by Topesh’s stunning cocktail, Isabel generously offered us a taste of her own recipe for Lillet Blanc. Lillet is traditionally a blend of 85% Bordeaux region wines (Semillon for the Blanc and for the Rosé, Merlot for the Rouge) and 15% macerated liqueurs, mostly citrus liqueurs (peels of sweet oranges from Spain and Morocco and peels of bitter green oranges from Haiti). Isabel’s version had a Sauvignon Blanc base blended with bitter rinds, aniseed, cinnamon and dark rum. I hope she takes me up on my suggestion to host a Boss Lady night at the bar with her churning out the flavourful concoction to guests personally!

Variety – Spice of Life

Click For Large ViewThe Pullman is a brand new hotel but in the 7 weeks that Pluck has been offering this fabulous spread since April 17, they have hit all the right notes and strive to keep on their toes by changing the theme every Sunday. For instance, their Indian food corner was showcasing an impressive selection of local Marathi cuisine on this particular Sunday. Their efforts must be paying off because Isabel told me that they have been welcoming one particular couple EVERY Sunday for brunch since they opened! Impressive testimony indeed!

Fete Des Mere

Apparently, Sunday May 29 was Mother’s Day in France and Isabel had managed to get a party of 21 expats to come for brunch to celebrate the occasion. Each guest was even presented with a box of delicious macaroons to take home. Needless to say, I received quite a welcome when I got home with my share of the beautifully coloured goodies!

I look forward to my next visit to the hotel and even though I can’t wait to try their individual restaurants, you can be sure I’ll be checking out the brunch at Pluck on any given Sunday first!

Natasha Vohra

Natasha Vohra is the Assistant Editor of delWine and was on a visit to Delhi from Mumbai where she lives-editor

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Tags: Hotel Pullman, Tristan Beau de Lomie, Champagne, Devaux, Pling and Pluck Champagne Brunch, Devaux, Chandon, Senorita Merlot, Grover, Enomatic, Lillet Blanc, Lillet, Pluck, Fete Des Mere


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