La Gritta’s Sunday Brunch

A time for indulgence

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 clover honey!

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 be disappointed.

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