The Sunday brunch at the Hilton Garden Inn is a leisurely, elaborate affair that caters to the family

One of the pleasures of indulging in late Saturdays is the thought of sleeping in on Sundays. Which means by the time you wake up on Sunday, it is too late for breakfast and too early for lunch. Just the right time to take the family to the Sunday brunch at the Hilton Garden Inn. And if you have children make sure they join you for this food expedition for there are plenty of activities to keep them entertained and fed while you tuck into the different cuisines that have been included in the menu.

Oh yes, pack in swim suits as well for the brunch includes a dip in the pool or a languid time by the poolside sipping a Mojito or a mocktail and catching up with friends or family. Or else, stay in the dining area, let the music from a live band and the bonhomie wash away your worries while you savour a leisurely meal that begins at 12 noon and goes on till 3 .30 p.m.

Right from two kinds of soups to the desserts, the variety of food that is offered is mindboggling. The food just keeps coming till one is satiated. So does the drinks cart with its booty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

We wanted to skip the soup but the tomato soup with bell pepper looked an interesting shade of deep red and piqued the curiosity of our taste buds. It is the right choice. While we are still enjoying the soup, the starters start arriving in a flurry of aromas. If you can wait for a moment before you bite into perfectly marinated titbits of meat or paneer, check out the sumptuous salad bar with its offering of non-vegetarian and vegetarian section. We do and are amply rewarded for our patience. The vegetables and fruits in the salad are crisp and not hidden in sauces and mayonnaise. Bite into the individual flavour of the ingredients in the salads and discover the pleasure of recognising and discovering tastes. Check out the generous cheese platter if you enjoy cheese. Not regular fare at many buffets in the city.

In the meantime, the kids can have fun checking out the spread for them outside the main dining hall. Kept at a height that won’t have them tiptoeing to check the contents of the dishes, the spread includes chaats, finger foods, artfully done up short eats, bakes, pancakes (with several syrups to choose from), snacks, sweets and desserts. Ah! to be a kid again and eat like there is no tomorrow.

Badushah, a caricature artist, is busy capturing the likeness of the kids and there are squeals of delight from the parents and the grandparents as a few lines capture the likeness of the apple of their eye. While the kids pose for the artist, you could also check out the man dishes and the grill set in an inner patio.

The grill has been cleverly located in the small landscaped area outside the dining area. Chicken, tenderloin, and sea food are grilled according to your taste – continental or Kerala style spicy masala. We go for spicy masala and feast on sizzling hot slices of tuna, squid, prawns and chicken. Clever positioning of the open grill means diners won’t be reaching for their tissues to prevent the smoke and the overpowering masalas from ruining their conversation. Now if you are not already stuffed, sample the cheese-filled pastas and thin-crust pizzas that are served hot from a live counter. It is made as per your choice. So use your imagination to conjure combinations to perk your palate.

There is a choice of mutton, fish and chicken preparations to choose from for the non-vegetarians. Veggies and those observing Lent can choose from the equally impressive vegetarian dishes that include paneer, pulses and vegetables. Noodles, biriyani, pulao and a bake should have you going for seconds.

However, if you want a taste of Malayali food, there is delicious fare consisting of moru kachiyathu, vazhapoo thoran, mezhukapuratti, avial and theeyal.

And now we come to the grand finale – the desserts section that also has ice-creams and fresh cut fruits. Skip the Indian sweets. It is quite tame and does not do justice to the rich treasury of syrupy and creamy Indian sweets. Instead, choose from the chocolate concoctions (pure delight), and baked goodies. No one, I notice, is watching calories as the loaded dessert plates indicate.

The Sunday Brunch comes at Rs.1,100 (plus taxes) for a person for a non-alcoholic menu and Rs.1,400 (plus taxes) for one that includes alcohol as well. Contact: 6600000

Note of caution: If you are planning to go for the Sunday brunch, skip dinner the previous night.