it felt like it was only a few weeks ago since we were in chaud experiencing this thing called a brunch party. maybe that's why when robert asked if i got my invite for le brunch, i was like "dat come back ahready? bess!!" on this third time around, jaffa's provided the perfect backdrop for an event that showed significant signs of growth.
bigger space for sure. nice ambiance as expected at a premium event like this. a lil too loud on the music tip around meal and mingle time, but tolerable after a few volume control requests.
the menu grew a bit too. this one brandishing nine menu options as opposed to the seven offered at the previous event.
one thing remained constant though. the late start. people just don't get it. or maybe people just don't want to get it. the le brunch crew had things up and ready to rock by about 11am or so, but true to form, people started rolling in around 1pm like clockwork. or should that be clockSTOPwork? at least the theme of 'more' remained consistent. there was more sitting and waiting to be done on the media table than last time. but media people are fun, so the wait was filled with drinks and good conversation. (shout outs to laura and david from METRO!!)
much much much more sponsors. as an ad man myself, i was happy to see the event attract that much corporate support. the ad man in me also understands that events like le brunch get more pips when they gain extra mileage for their sponsors on blog sites like this one, but there's no way to cleverly slip SPERONE, ST-GERMAIN, FRANZIA, EL DORADO RUM, FIJI, SHUTTER HOME WINERY, PERRIER, COORS LIGHT, DOS PINOS ICE CREAM, FLOW, JAFFA'S, L'OREAL, PATRON, OTIS SPUNKMEYER, CAFE BRASIL, SWISS, SMOOTH RITE SMOOTHIES, MEDIA 21, and TRESEMME into a paragraph. oh wait!!!
see? still empty.
anyway, the late arrival of the guests had no effect on the niceties available. champagne bar, coffee bar, make up station for the ladies... even if people decided to get there early, there was more than enough to help them maintain the bling for the entire session. but yuh know what we're always most interested in? LE FOOD! chef joe brown, t&t culinary royalty brought to the table some fitting offerings for an event of this nature. and as usual, le brunch made sure the media got to sample most of the menu items so we could make a decent assessment of what the menu offered.
on browsing through the dishes, i immediately fixed my gaze on the beer battered fish and chips, served with mushy peas and tartar sauce. it wasn't unanimous, but i appreciated the mildly flavored cod and the colour and texture of the crust. it wasn't that boldly over-seasoned fillet to which our trinbagonian taste buds have grown accustomed, but a mild fish flavor that married well with the sauce and peas to create tasty bites. i'm an advocate for mild flavor and balance. this did it for me.
now if you read this blog regularly, you would know that i am very particular with eggs. to freakish proportions i might add. the menu featured quite a number of dishes with eggs. i don't know if it was the number of egg dishes around, how good they looked when they were presented to the table or just my desire to make an interesting blog entry, but i felt moved to step out of my comfort zone and try some. guess what? wasn't such a bad experience at all. there was black forest ham on english muffin, topped with poached eggs & herb hollandaise and pernod infused spinach on ciabatta toast, topped with smoked salmon and served with lyonnaise potatoes & three bean chili. i tried pieces and they were quite good. wasn't that fresh egg taste that i fear. it was more of a rich, creamy flavor that was actually quite pleasant. but i didn't push it. just a lil sample.
i kept the eggventure rolling with the 6oz beef burger on ciabatta toast, topped with sauteed onion and a FRIED EGG, served with three bean chili and fried potatoes. the burger was well done, but not dry. a thick, tasty patty. i'll admit that i left most of the egg off the piece i had. but it did taste good. and thus ended my walk on the wild side for the day. i think i did well.
the most successful dish for me at le late lunch was the taandori style baked chicken seared in nothern indian spices. served with cucumber raitas, nine jewel chutney and a spicy potato cake. that potato cake was le bess. hints of saffron and geera in there. light crisp on the outside, soft and flavorful inside. the chicken had that trade mark red and the authentic flavor to match. with the dressings, the chicken was a trip of flavors. real taste explosions there.
top of the list was the full english. 2 fried eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, fried bread, grilled tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms and home fried potatoes. well by this point i was well over my egg limit, so i was backing out. but i was encouraged to try it and the blogger in me started feeling responsible. so i had piece of the sausage and some potatoes. a pseudo bangers and mash kinda thing. it was a nice sausage. not spectacular in my book, but well executed as would be expected at a place like this. very enjoyable.
not being too veggie minded, i missed this plate. it was literally under the radar for me. but when i did see it, i was pleased to see the locally influenced cuisine representing. baigan, pumpkin and tomato chokas, with sada roti, channa bhagi rice and cornmeal fried ochro... because i refuse to say okra after sada roti.
well... fresh fruit. must have that. i mean, what's a brunch without fresh fruit right?
i actually didn't touch this platter of fruit yogurt, granola and dried fruit and nut. wasn't quite sure how to deal with it, or even if i wanted to do so after the other dishes. the fresh fruit was enough for me.
i love discovering things that are a little different, so i was all smiles to stumble across smooth rite smoothies here. a quality product. real delicious. real flavorful... actually, just real. as in no added sugars or too much stuff with names you can't pronounce. made with real fruit juices and such. owner rene callender set out to create a treat that tastes as good as it is good for you and i think he hit the mark. i tried the blueberry version and it was le git. ok, maybe i went too far with the 'le' joke on that one, but the smoothie was really good. and i'm not one with a sweet tooth, so it's a big deal for me to actually like this. the mojito hiding next to it wasn't bad at all either. just saying.
overall, i'll say the le brunch committee is officially on to something. good networking opportunities, great way to spend a sunday, good opportunity to explore fine dining options. i didn't stay for the party half of it this year, but i'd be shocked if someone said the vibes left with me. (though i am usually responsible for at least 30% of the vibes present in any given area. just kidding... not really.) again, full points le brunch. keep doing it well.