One of the problems that besets restaurants that have been
around for a while is that people forget that they are there! La Gritta, at
the Amari Rincome has been one of those to a certain extent, but the new
dynamic Irish chef, Adrian O’Herlihy seems to be changing that. To see just
how he was doing this, we accepted an invitation to Sunday Brunch with the GM
of the Amari Rincome, Marc Dumur.
I have always enjoyed the ambience of La Gritta, at night
it is warm and cosy, with all the wood panelling and soft carpets, but in the
middle of the day, the windows on three sides impart a wonderfully ‘airy’
atmosphere. The happy and enthusiastic service staff also add to this
ambience, and the addition of the gentle playing of the traditional ‘Kim’
is just enough to remind you what country you are dining in.
The large round tables invite you to bring a few people for
brunch, though there are smaller tables for intimate dining ‘a deux’.
Comfortable chairs, quality linen tablecloths and napkins and high standard of
cutlery and glassware also remind you that this is not a ‘gobble and go’
but a dedicated restaurant.
The food stations are all through the room, plus a BBQ and
dedicated breakfast area outside by the swimming pool. There were 18 stations
covering many regional cuisines, much more than the usual British/American and
Thai. The fact that chef Adrian spent some time in the Middle East is
reflected in his Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean items which included grilled Nan
bread, grilled white and whole-wheat pita pockets, garlic French bread; hommus,
babaganoush and tahini-parsley dips and taboulleh salad, grilled peppers,
shredded lettuce, Arabic grilled chicken, labneh in olive oil and sliced
tomatoes, cucumbers and onions as accompaniments. Plates are held in warmers
for the hot items too.
For those who want a ‘serious’ breakfast, choose from
sausages; cooked ham; pancakes and maple syrup; New York home fries; hickory
smoked bacon; eggs Benedict, corned beef hash and eggs, French toast and
A Western hot station offered chicken Westphalia, red
snapper with fresh basil and tomatoes and a saut้ed pork with apples and
calvados, amongst others.
There are other stations with omelettes, Thai entrees,
western cold cuts, a carvery, BBQ, Chiang Mai noodles cooked on the spot,
soups, Thai salads and many, many desserts.
As a team we tried many of the items on offer, and were not
disappointed with any of our choices, in itself quite a departure from the
norm. Re-reading my tasting notes I had noted that the carrot and coconut
ragout was excellent, the cheese board was well varied, the chicken breast was
very tasty and not dried out at all, Madame’s Thai choices were also up to
her (high) standards, and the desserts were to die for, according to the good
lady. The normal wine list and beverages are there to be ordered from
(naturally not included in the buffet price), but I would recommend the
passion fruit juice for a great mid-day ‘zing’ pick-me-up.
Sunday should be the day of rest, and the La Gritta Sunday
Brunch (11.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.) certainly takes care of the end of the week
eating in a wonderfully relaxed way. We found that there were enough choices
to suit everyone and the high standard of food items, combined with the cool
and well appointed restaurant, will make this a preferred restaurant for the
Dining Out Team. At B. 350 net (at last, a hotel that shows net prices instead
of plus-plus), this is not over the top. You should expect to pay for quality.
Highly recommended. By the way, the lunch buffet (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.) during the
week is only B. 280 and has most of the Sunday items. The items do change
weekly, so do not be upset if one of our choices is not on the list of
offerings for your Sunday Brunch. I am sure you will find enough choices not
La Gritta, Amari Rincome hotel, 1 Nimmanhaeminda Road, Chiang Mai,
telephone 053 221 130, 053 221 044, fax 053 221 915, email [email protected] amari.com