BEST OF THE BRUNCHES

Exquisite Taste - - Contents -

The most lav­ish brunches in Jakarta, Bali, Sin­ga­pore and Hong Kong to de­li­ciously amp up your week­ends.

Through­out the world Sun­day brunch is one of the most highly an­tic­i­pated culi­nary events in the weekly gas­tro­nomic di­ary. With a choice rang­ing from lav­ish spe­cial­ity brunches and brunches de­signed specif­i­cally for fam­i­lies to the most he­do­nis­tic of­fer­ings fea­tur­ing cock­tails, fine wines and cham­pagne, many of the best ho­tels and restau­rants of­fer an ar­ray of im­pres­sive din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that plat­form the tal­ents of their chefs and pro­mote the de­lights and mer­its of their restau­rants. While Sun­day brunch is the undis­puted king, ex­tended week­end and week­day brunch menus have be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with an as­sort­ment of de­li­cious dishes de­signed to fill ev­ery niche.

The brunch con­cept dates back to the large group hunts of the aris­toc­racy and in par­tic­u­lar the up­per-class Bri­tish tra­di­tion of fox hunt­ing. On crisp and cold win­ters' morn­ings through­out Britain the gen­try would gather be­tween roust­ings to share a deca­dent early lunch com­plete with an ar­ray of cold meats, egg dishes and al­co­hol.

The first ref­er­ence to brunch was seen in the 1895 Hunter's Weekly ar­ti­cle, Brunch: A Plea writ­ten by Guy Beringer in which he sug­gested the need for a meal that would com­bine the best of break­fast and the tra­di­tional Sun­day lunch into a sin­gle, ex­tended din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence de­signed to make life brighter for Satur­day-night carousers. “Brunch is cheer­ful, so­cia­ble and in­cit­ing.” Beringer wrote, “It's talk-com­pelling, it puts you in a good tem­per, it makes you sat­is­fied with your­self and your fel­low be­ings…. and sweeps away the wor­ries and cob­webs of the week.”

By the 1920s, the con­cept had reached the USA and Chicago's fa­mous Pump Room in the Am­bas­sador Ho­tel in par­tic­u­lar. With the glitzy en­dorse­ment of the so­cial elite like John Bar­ry­more and Clark Gable and a rapidly grow­ing mid­dle class ea­ger to flaunt its wealth and sta­tus, it evolved into a deca­dent din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. To­day, al­most a cen­tury on, the ubiq­ui­tous Sun­day brunch con­tin­ues its march to dom­i­nance with trendsetting chefs and restau­ra­teurs tempt­ing the dis­cern­ing diner with a mul­ti­tude of de­li­cious and beau­ti­fully pre­sented morsels, cham­pagnes and wines.

So, what­ever you fancy, be it grilled lob­ster, Tus­can steak and free-range eggs, a slice of roast beef or a leisurely flute of cham­pagne with à la minute eggs Bene­dict, freshly shucked oys­ters driz­zled in lemon juice or a slice or two of smoked Scot­tish salmon from the ex­trav­a­gant buf­fet, the week­end some­how doesn't seem com­plete with­out a leisurely laid-back Sun­day brunch with fam­ily or friends.

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