Il Grande Pranzo revisited

It's about 3 years since I went for the wildly popular Italian-style Saturday brunch at Focaccia at Hyatt Regency Chennai and have seen that it's gotten so much better. The cheese and salad counters are still there, also the one with cold cuts, hot appetisers and the bake and roast section. What's different is that it's now about quality rather than quantity.

Red rice salad

Spinach and ricotta cake



Leek & prawn quiche

Sausages on cabbage

All set for the grill

Do stop by at the pasta station

At the salad counter, the salads have got healthier - more fruit and veg based ones with lighter dressings. Quinoa has been given the cold shoulder, at least on the day we went and instead, there was a really nice red rice salad. If you see the spinach and ricotta salted cake, do pick up a couple of those slices -you'll be dreaming about it for days. While you can't really mess with the cheese counter, the cold cut section features just parma and cooked ham, salami and smoked salmon. There's chicken hamburger in a rustic puttanesca sauce, sea bass in a sunshine yellow sauce and yummy pork sausages that Focaccia always manages to source.

Roast pork belly

Asparagus and ricotta stuffed casoncelli

Pizza margherita

The roast of the day was pork belly and the apple sauce served was a fitting companion. Over at the pasta live counter, we chose a plate of asparagus and ricotta casoncelli to share. It is the stuff of dreams and crafted to perfection. The thin crust pizza margherita was so light; even after it got cold, the bread was still soft. Chef Mauro says the secret is in the kneading and using very little yeast.

Mirroring our reaction at the dessert table

The dessert section too has been trimmed of the flab. In the place of shot glass desserts, there are olive oil cakes, choux pastry, a delish rum truffle cake and chocolates of course.

Macs, of course and financiers

Passion fruit choux buns

Salted caramel tart

Chef Mauro's irresistible tiramisu

More tiramisu

What takes centre-stage is Chef Mauro's tiramisu. If you have wondered where in the city you get the best one, make no mistake - it's at Focaccia.

Il Grande Pranzo is priced at 2250/ (includes taxes) with alcohol; the non alcoholic version is priced at 1850/.


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