Sunday brunches are sure shot ways of letting all your diet plans go down the drain, or in this case go down a flute of champagne. Over indulgence aside, the sheer variety of cuisines laid out like a smorgasbord of sin is enough to send my head reeling. And with zero will power when it comes to the amount of food I consume – I’m walking on dangerous territory. So getting to HIGH Ultra Lounge for their Sunday Brunch was guided by two important aspects – a. They focus on just Asian fare which is definitely lighter than our ghee laden kormas and b. The absolutely fabulous cocktails their main man Guru dishes out. What’s a Sunday brunch without some tipple eh?
Bright, sunny and not overly hot – we couldn’t have asked for a better day for a Brunch set out in the open. By open, I mean the 31st floor of the World Trade Center – getting High is literal here! The brunch is laid out across two of their four dining areas – High Mix (the indoor part area) and High Dine (alfresco dining). The cold starters are laid out for you to pick and choose, however the rest of the hot starters, dumplings, sushi and main course need to be ordered off the special brunch menu. We choose a table overlooking the fantastic views of Bangalore city and sat down to get pampered.
I say pampered because the staff here is friendly, courteous, efficient and fun! Guru the mixologist, always steals the show and today was no exception – his charming ways and his innovative cocktails kept the vibe ‘high’ till early evening! Since I know he is such a good mixologist, I generally inform him of my poison for the day and let him concoct some magical portions for me! Vodka based everything was brilliant that day and the Pineapple and Elderflower cocktail was mind blowing. You have a choice between beers, cocktails, wine and IMFL’s – enough juice to get the party started!
I gave the soups and salads portion a miss (I’m mean, who are kidding – this was going be an afternoon of food debauchery!). Though for the Ramen lover – there is a live station dishing out ramen 😉 We were all excited about the sushi and the maki and pretty much asked the wait staff to keep it rolling. The Prawn Tamaki was presented in lovely nori cone and was light and refreshing. The Spicy Tuna Maki however was the favorite at the table and we kept going back for more. Vegetarians will love the Tempura maki and the Avocado maki. Get your chopsticks, soy sauce and wasabi ready, because the Sushi and Sashimi platter offers you a choice between Tuna, Salmon, Prawn and Crabsticks!
I’m a sucker for Dim sums and luckily so were my companions that day. A good dim sum for me is as much the filling as the quality of the wrapper. High did a brilliant job (as you can see in the pictures). In the vegetarian selection the Pokchoy and mushroom dumplings were a sight for sore eyes. The transparent wrapper showcased the multicolored filling perfectly! The Hargow stole the show for me – succulent morsels of prawn in a beautifully pleated wrapper. The integrity of the wrapper remained intact even as we lifted the dumpling to ooh and aah at the handiwork. I’ve noticed dumplings just coming apart even in five star restaurants when picked up with a chopstick. The Char Siu Bun is always a hit but took a while in coming to the table – so place an order early.
The hot appetizers arrived one after another to our table in sampling portions – Asian spiced Potato chips, Mushrooms in Zhang Sauce, Spiced Tofu with Sichuan peppers, Chicken Tonkasu, Mini Pork Buns and more. We also ordered their Assorted Vegetable and Crabstick Tempura because my earlier experience in High had left me a fan of the feather light tempura batter here.
We took a break from eating now and ordered a few more fun cocktails – including the famous smoked version of the whiskey, orange and rosemary cocktail. A fabulous melding of aromas and flavours to result in an absolutely sublime drink. We also took a stroll to the live grill counters. The Sweet Corn with spicy Coriander Butter might seem like a pedestrian option but who doesn’t like whole corn on the cob?! For a Basa hater, I actually loved the Basa with Spicy Oyster Garlic Sauce. Tenderloin lovers adored the Grilled Tenderloin and we really had no reason to complain about the grills.
After consuming copious amounts of alcohol the sun suddenly started feeling too hot on our backs 😛 Slowly one by one we made our way to the air-conditioned comforts of High Mix and settled down for main course. Honestly speaking after all the starters we weren’t really hungry for main course. But we were goaded by the ‘brunch mentality’ to try everything! It’s a good thing their main course options are limited. Thai Red Curry, Vietnamese Yellow Curry and Rendang are offered with Fried Rice, Mi Goreng and Steamed rice. We tried a bit of this and a little of that and honestly you can probably skip the main course and be none the poorer for it.
We were all lulled into a lazy state by now and the staff probably guessed it. So guess what happened? They came after us with a double barrel gun …. a gun shaped bottle filled with Tequila! Guru was appointed chief marksman and he went about administering shot after shot of tequila to his hapless (voluntary) victims! It was bold and fun and the staff really won’t bother you if you’re not up to it … so the reticent ‘brunchers’ can relax! You have to admit that it’s a hilarious to see your friends downing tequila shots from a gun and pretending it’s the most natural thing in the world!
Desserts offer your usual suspects like Brownies, brulees and cheese cakes – so load up if you want. I was disappointed that they didn’t have their famous Banoffee pie. I even considering ordering it off their regular menu but gave up the thought after reminding myself how much I’d already eaten in one afternoon!
The Brunch is priced at a fantastic Rs.1999/-++. Just that price point should be enough to send most of us running to High. But what really makes it worth the while is the ambiance, the wonderful food that Chef Zhang curates for the brunch and the affable staff. Oh yes, and Guru – we can’t leave him out of the equation, especially when he totes the Tequila gun!