KATHMANDU: Said Chef Vikram Ganpule of Hyatt Sunday Brunch, “We hold it at the poolside and it’s a family occasion. We have wide range of food from salad to desserts which are grounded in Nepal by a special Nepali counter for specialty. This week is Bara’s. But let Sous Chef Bhanubhakta Aryal, who is the in charge of Sunday Brunch and all our banquets tell you about it.
Of all the salads we were introduced to (there were many) my friend and assistant Rajan Maharjan who chose Greek Salad which he loves that combines tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, olives in a citrus dressing and a feta cheese, a soft white ewe’s milk cheese that seems to taste like a part of the dressing adding to the delicate taste and making it slightly sharper. Feta has been around from 370 BC and the Greek loved it so much they called their children ‘Little cheese’. It was outstanding.
I chose the Caesar Salad created in 1924 by Alex Cardini who had some hungry Italian Air Force friends descend on him in Tijuana so he put lettuce, grated Parmesan cheese and other ingredients together while Sous Chef Bhanubhakta interpreted it with crisp bacon in addition and bread croutons. Eggs, olive oil with a touch of anchovies made for a different kind mayonnaise, which was a splendid dressing.
We moved onto the outdoor wood-fire pizzas and chose Margherita named after Queen Margherita who in 1889 visited Naples with her royal husband and had a pizza made in her honour with the colours of the Italian flag scattered over it. The red was from a tomato sauce, the white from mozzarella cheese and the green was a tangy pesto made form basil organically grown (as our most of the herbs) in the Hyatt herb garden. Said Chef Bhanubhakta, “Oregano heightens the taste”. So did the smokiness of the wood-fire. It was scrumptious.
We were being served by Ramesh Ghimire who brought on the Bara topped with minced meat. The Baras are cooked in a husked, clean, black dal made into a pancake. The topping is fiery as is the tomato chutney, which accompanied it. Chef Bhanubhakta creates poetry every Sunday at the Hyatt poolside. The Baras are made in Newari households on festive occasions called “Sithi Nakhaa”.
A Jazz band was playing old standards and newer compositions, which went with all the food. It was called the Inner Group and the lead guitarist was as fluent with his instrument as the Chef’s at the barbecue counter where you choose from four types of meat tenderloin, chicken, fish and pork cooked in two different ways, the Teppanyaki of Japan and the American Barbecue. The word barbecue comes from berbekot a Haitian word first used in 16th Century; meaning strips of meat cooked over an open fire. The Tenderloin Teppanyaki was sweetish and marinated in Japanese rice wine or mirrin while the American Chicken barbecue had pepper, olive oil and herbs and a little barbecue sauce. The Teppanyaki was not served on skewers but in generous amounts on plates.
There were nine desserts and we had the Meringue, which is probably created in the Swiss town of Meiringen with the beaten whites of egg with sugar and then baked. Queen Marie Antoinette loved Meringue and even made them with her own hands.
The homemade Vanilla Ice-cream with different syrups made for a fitting contrast and finale.
We thanked all those who increased our knowledge of food like Dhurba Bhatta, Ramesh Ghimire, Daneshwor Maharjan and realised once again how the Hyatt is a favourite worth visiting again. Call 4491234.