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?
I had reviewed Michelin starred chef Atul Kocchar’s restaurants, NRI and Lima back in early 2016 when both were freshers on the Mumbai restaurant scene. Since then they’ve tried to constantly reinvent themselves by introducing high tea menus, updating and innovating the existing menu and now with an exhaustive Sunday brunch that features the best from both the restaurants, which are as different as chalk and cheese. While the former serves up global Indian fare, the other emphasizes on cocktails and small plates from the South American region. Win win, I’d say!
Third time is a charm at Henpecked. The location that houses Henpecked was previously occupied by Farmer and Sons, and a restaurant called Nico Bombay before that. Now I haven’t dined at Henpecked’s two predecessors, but from what I hear the concept of all three restaurants remains rooted at the ‘farm to table’ movement. Read: fresh, healthy, locally sourced produce that won’t make you feel guilty even if you indulge. So much so, that they’ve carried forward signature dishes and popular items from the previous menus into that of Henpecked’s.
Henpecked sets off a fun, relaxed vibe the minute you enter. A large glass cabinet frames one wall and is filled with cute paraphernalia, knick knacks, and picture books. The space, though small in surface area, still manages to not feel cluttered or cramped. A rarity in this city where small restaurants means your knocking elbows with the diner on the next table. Our server tells us that shifting the bar to the back of the restaurant and not along one side has done the trick.
Sundays have become brunch days. Most people want to spend their Sunday afternoons chilling with friends over a good meal and relaxed ambiance. Especially after Saturday night’s drinking and debauchery. That explains the popularity of the Sunday brunch concept in the city. And so many restaurants cropping up with Sunday brunch buffets. The latest one I tried was D’Bell at Lower Parel.
D’Bell is situated inside the posh One Indiabulls Center, and it is quite a maze to get to. I had to encounter two security checks, a long trek through a parking lot and an endless wait for an elevator before I finally made it. I guess I took the back entrance but they definitely need more signage put up considering the number of restaurants in that row. This long walk surely worked up my appetite.
The interiors are fun and cheery. They have walls with assorted music and movie posters framed. Then there was this blackboard displaying the menu for today’s brunch. I personally loved these shelves filled with books, knick-knacks, souvenirs and this adorable tiny television. My favorite corner of the room.