It really doesn’t matter which city you’re in, Sundays speak a universal language. Brunch.
It’s a time-honoured tradition I especially enjoy whilst in Bombay as this is the one day in the week when the madding pace of life finally comes to a sleepy standstill – a lazy haze settling across the city, its citizens drawn into a lull by a food-induced coma.
The usually-frenzied roads are mercifully empty and there’s no better time for long and rainy drives, especially across the Sea Link. So last weekend, the girls and I seized the opportunity to head to the burbs for brunch at Bastian…
Tucked away above the bustle of Bandra’s Linking Road, this new restaurant from charismatic chef Kelvin Cheung and his partner Boo Kim, is an easy-going spot overlaid with exposed brickwork and kitsch elements which shout out the seafood-based focus here (think mammoth crabs, mermaids and a crocodile creeping up against a shimmering wall).
To say that this plaice was seariously buzzing when we walked in, would be an understatement – we spotted anyone and everyone, from long-lost college friends to B-town personalities, all of whom were busy chowing down on Chef Kel’s creative brunch offerings!
The only pescatarian amongst us, went straight for the lobster breakfast tacos – soft tortillas loaded with buttered lobster, avocado and crumbled ricotta cheese…
While we found veggie-friendly options a-plenty to float our boat too, our interest particularly piqued by the sound of a K-Town Purgatory.
This offbeat but devilishly-good dish involved a kimchi jiggae – a warm Korean-style kimchi and tofu-based stew swimming with spicy and savoury flavours. Homemade chilaques (a tortilla of sorts) added a crunchy texture, with eggs (sunny-side up) completing the rather hearty picture!
A crisp kale caesar salad, speckled with charred corn and parmesan, made for a virtuous (if a tad salty) side.
We couldn’t resist a portion of the avocado fritters too (served with sambal aioli and corn butter). Sadly, these were missing Kelvin’s spark though… More oily than crisp, they came across a a bit like soggy corn-pakoras with the pallid avo-based relish failing to add some weight either.
But the sugar-laden weekend staples which rolled out after were spot on, irrefutably proving why Chef Kel is still a Grandmaster of brunch in this city.
For one, he’s found a way to make cinnamon rolls even better… by whipping up a warm, fluffy and deliciously-doughy cinnamon roll-French toast hybrid instead (served with lashings of maple syrup on top of course)!
We were ridiculously excited to see his signature chocolate-chip pancakes on the menu too, having amassed a vividly tasty collection of memories of these from his days at Ellipsis… And oh my gosh, did the ones at Bastian live up to (if not surpass) our expectations.
I mean, just look at those chocolate chips.
They sank smoothly into the melt-in-your-mouth pancake, imparting just the right touch of sweetness for a decadent lift!
Frankly speaking, I’m already craving another plate of this by just thinking/ writing about it.
Oh Sunday, why can’t you come around any faster?
Which is your favourite brunch dish, and where?
Bastian, B/1, New Kamal Building, Linking Road, Next to Cafe Coffee Day, Opposite National College, Bandra , Mumbai – 400050