A visit to The Clearing House (TCH) – a swanky dining space in Ballard Estate – had eluded me all this while, until recently. I finally decided to make good use of that one precious Sunday and trekked all the way to ‘town’ for TCH’s special weekend brunch. TCH does brunch a bit differently – for starters their brunch menu is ala carte and brought right to your table. Which in my opinion is a welcome change from the boring ol’ buffets where the food turns cold and insipid after lying out for so long. Their brunch menu is available on both Saturday and Sunday – because why should the joy of brunch be restricted to just one day in the week?
TCH opens into a cheerful and bright section that allows plenty of sunlight to be streamed through because of the glass panels on one side. If you’re brunching, you need to be seated here – the chess board flooring and comfy blue seats radiate a cheery vibe. The inside section is comparatively darker and glamorous, and would appeal to diners during the evening.
Start your meal off with their in-house cocktails that are fruity and perfect for summer. Major props to their Kiwi Margarita – the Kiwi was the perfect balance of sweet and tart with a faint hit of tequila towards the end. Another favorite was the Jamun Martini – refreshing and bursting with the flavor of fresh fruit. The Scarlet, a cocktail comprising of sparkling wine and pomegranate juice fell flat comparatively.
No brunch is complete without that mandatory egg dish, and their Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon was my pick for the day. Beautifully poached eggs came atop a fluffy muffin, with smoked salmon slices sandwiched between the two. The hollandaise sauce was also just right, but the spiced potatoes on the side did not add anything to the dish. I’m not an avocado fan (judge me all you like), but the Avocado on Sorghum Toast blew me over. I guess it all had to do with how beautifully the avocado was seasoned with a flavourful salsa and some goats cheese on top to cut through all that tartness. Portion size could’ve been a bit better, especially for the price point, but full marks to the taste.
Continuing our love for all things on toast was the Truffle Mushroom Brioche. The brioche bread was a slice of multigrain treated with egg and butter, and topped with porcini mushrooms and oodles of truffle oil. The truffle flavor came permeating through strongly in this dish, unlike a lot of restaurants that write truffle on the menu but the truffle flavor can barely be discerned. The brioche could have been better – ours was charred a bit too much. Another stand out dish was their Crispy Prawn Soft Shell Taco – spicy batter fried prawns, guacamole, salsa and sour cream all enveloped in a soft taco shell. One bite of this, and the medley of distinct flavors here create magic.
Continuing my obsession for savoury waffles post my recent trip to Belgium, we decided to order the Beef Chilli Con Carne on Crispy Waffle. The name can be a bit misleading, because we were expecting a fluffy Belgian waffle, but what we got was a thin flat savoury waffle similar to the Dutch Stroopwaffle. The waffle came in a bowl with spicy buff mince, fried egg and salsa on top making this a hearty meal by itself.
Their dessert menu with a number of creative dishes left us in a state of confusion, but we went ahead with an indulgent chocolate dish. The 70% Chocolate Namelaka was a rich and decadent chocolate dessert comprising of a chocolate sorbet in the centre that sat atop an indulgent chocolate mousse with a chocolate ginger soil and shards of chocolate encasing it. What a treat! The Passion Fruit Crème Brulee Cheesecake that arrived on the next table made for such a pretty picture, I couldn’t help but order one for myself. After all, Sunday brunches are meant for indulging!
The Clearing House, 13-15, Calicut Street, Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai.
(The author was invited to dine at The Clearing House. The views are unbiased and entirely her own.)