Ohh God, I love brunches. I love brunches as much as I love chocolate. And Sundays. And all-you-can-eat buffets. This particular brunch had all of these – a Sunday Easter buffet brunch. Good food, on a laid-back Sunday afternoon, with wonderful company and conversation brings me lots of joy. This post has all of those. Read on.
The occasion was Easter Sunday. The location was JW Cafe at the newly launched JW Sahar. This fine dining cafe cum restaurant is situated in the newly launched JW Sahar, on the international airport road, and I was there to try their Sunday brunch. Sprawling, green manicured lawns greet me, leading me up to the palatial hotel which was buzzing with people even before they had officially launched.
I had read and heard so much about the magnanimity of the brunch spread at JW Cafe from fellow bloggers and the internet, that I had come all prepared. Skipped breakfast, wore Joey’s ‘thanksgiving pants’, and I had my game face on. But no amount of pre-reading or starving could have prepared me for the variety of food I was about to witness. This one’s the big daddy of all Sunday brunches. Counters of food, fitted into any space available at the restaurant, what I found noteworthy was the presence of different cuisines, along with different chefs specializing in those cuisines, manning the counter.
At one point I lost count of the number of food counters, and so will you. This post is my shortlisted recommendations of all the live counters I think are absolutely worth your appetite and your money at the Sunday brunch at JW Cafe. After all, there’s only so much that stomach space that one has. There are some things money can’t buy….
Cheese? Yes, please!
Pro-tip: The best place to get your money’s worth at any brunch buffet, is at the cheese counters. Because sitting here are some of the best and most exotic cheeses that you can find. The JW Cafe cheese and cold cuts counter sits temptingly next to the ignored salad bar, and is a good place to start your meal. Cut yourself some gouda, or brie, or pecorino, or all three, if you are like me. Pair them with some freshly baked bread, and delicious could cuts on the side, and you’ve mastered Level One of the brunch.
The Fab Crab:
A table away from the cheeses, you’ll find what was my personal favorite counter, and if you are a pescetarian, you will be jumping for joy too. Sitting on crushed ice lay world class lobsters, jumbo prawns, mussels which were ready to eat. But the showstopper of my entire meal was the hearty Alaskan crab. Squeeze a wedge of lime on top, and scoop out the fine strands of white crab meat to be instantly transported into fishy heaven. I am yet to eat crab as fresh and delicious as this one. This counter is aptly titled ‘The Study of Seafood’, and I wouldn’t mind studying it over and over again.
Ande Ka Funda:
We Parsis love our eggs. And we love our meat. Add them both together, and we go crazy. Case in point – The Eggs Benedict at the Easter specials counter. Perfectly poached, runny egg sits atop a single muffin covered in ham, swirling in hollandaise sauce to make it a perfect breakfast treat. Because after all isn’t brunch a combination of breakfast and lunch? I paired my eggs with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Eggs khavanu, juice peevanu, majja ni life! Even though the Eggs Benedict were on the Easter Specials menu, they should absolutely consider having it as a full time option.
A Fishy Affair:
JW Cafe’s love for everything fishy continues with their grilled fish section. Choose between prawns, red snapper, lobster, masala pomfret or do what we did – get an assorted plate of all. It was such a treat devouring all the entire plate. Special mention to the masala pomfret, well seasoned and well cooked.
Best Waffle in Mumbai:
I sniggered at the board that had this caption cheekily written at the waffle counter. I really enjoy all sugary breakfast treats – waffles, pancakes, french toast. The brunch spread here only had waffles on offer, with an assortment of toppings and syrups to pair with. My waffle topped with maple syrup and whipped cream, with berry compote on the side, was divine. Airy, perfectly golden brown, crunchy, not overbearingly sweet – have I found the best waffle in Mumbai?
The sushi counter sits forlornly in one corner, calling out to me. For the love of all things Japanese, I decide to ignore my stomach’s full warning sign, and order a platter of assorted sushi. The sushi were well rolled, pretty, packed a perfect bite, and the wasabi was spot-on! My favorite was the good ol’ Tuna Nigiri roll. Special mention to the Octopus Nigiri – my first time having an octopus sushi roll and this one had beautifully imbibed the flavour of the octopus without becoming chewy or rubbery. There are tons of vegetarian sushi options as well.
Cleary Willy Wonka has been visiting JW Cafe and casting his magic spell across, because everywhere you look there’s chocolate. And desserts. And candy. And more chocolate. Start off your dessert expedition with Indian barfis, halwas and more, if you love your mithai. Or else move on to the ice cream section, and re-live your childhood asking the server for sprinkles, and charms, and jujubes, and jelly along with your ice cream. I headed directly to the elaborate counters filled with tarts, cakes, brownies, cheesecakes, mousses, and more. There’s attention to detail in the presentation even with trees made of chocolate slabs and Easter eggs the size of my face adorning the windows. I think we got lucky since it was Easter and had even more Easter goodies on offer. Truffles, chocolate rocks, cupcakes, Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, cake pops, lollipops….I could go on. Special mention to the light and airy madelines since you don’t find them easily in the city.
JW Cafe’s dessert section is the perfect end to your meal. Or a meal by itself. Depends on how you look at things.
This post shortlists only a few of my favorite counters, and does not even cover half of the list. There’s a massive Indian food section including chaats and gravies, and a mandatory pizza-pasta counter also. There was a live counter serving handcrafted Thai noodle soup, and uttapams with any topping you desire. Check out the pictures below, if you still have the appetite. Special mention to the roast lamb with gravy, that looked absolutely delectable under the spotlight in the meats section.
The brunch is prices at Rs 2015/- plus tax for food and soft beverages. Add Rs. 1500/- plus tax if you’re in the mood for some unlimited alcohol. If you love brunches, and are looking to spend a leisure Sunday afternoon eating away to glory, I strongly recommend the brunch at JW Cafe. With cuisines from across the globe you are spoilt for choice in terms of quantity and quality of food. The brunch obviously comes with a price, but for world class ingredients, insane variety of food, all in a five star ambiance, I’d say it is worth it.
JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai Sahar, IA Project Road,
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport,
Mumbai Sahar, Andheri East, Mumbai.
(The author was invited to dine and experience the Sunday Easter Brunch by the restaurant).