Monday, September 2, 2013

Sunday Brunch at Catalunya

This is supposed to be a review of Catalunya's brunch offering, with lots of glossy photos and hunger-inducing images. But something happened. I got too hungry. So while I have a few great shots of the buffet line-up, I'm ashamed to admit that once the main dishes came along it was all about stuffing the belly. Luckily there's such a thing as press photos.

Let me backtrack slightly.

I've posted about Catalunya before, and happily report that its stellar food quality combined with its proximity to my home has made it a regular on my dining calendar. It opened in April and I've been there at least twice a month since then, including one Sunday noon, to try the brunch spread. The format is a little complicated -- there's a big buffet selection of cold and hot foods; then there's large shareable main dishes that are presented every now and then in the centre of the restaurant and then cut up into small portions which are ferried amongst the tables; then there are egg dishes and Bikini sandwiches that are made to order from a menu. So the rookie mistake here would be over-indulging in the buffet portion (not difficult, thanks to cold cuts, lashings of ham and some sweet salads with quota-filling carbs).

I won't review on a dish-by-dish basis because I don't think anyone wants to read that much. So instead I will give you the lowdown. Catalunya's brunch is such a bizarrely good deal that if you are interested in Spanish flavours and enjoyed dinner at the restaurant, you will love the brunch, because it basically incorporates everything you love to eat in the evening, but in an all-you-can-eat format and with extras and a fun daytime atmosphere.

You like the ham? Take as much as you want. Want a shot at the elBulli-inspired Other Spanish Tortilla? Order five, down 'em all, and you've pretty much covered the cost of your meal already. Suckling pig float your boat? Wait till they serve it centre stage, with the waiters all stomping and clapping along to loud festive tunes, and then watch as they ceremoniously smash the plate used to cut up the pig by throwing it on the floor. Sorry, clean-up crew. Bikinis are your fave? At brunch there are three incarnations, with a veggie option or a chorizo-laced alternative. Never had enough room for dessert? That's okay, you can grab bitefuls instead of ordering the whole shebang. You can't lose, really.

In other news, the restaurant is now also open for lunch, as of this week I believe, from Monday to Saturday. But Sunday brunch runs for four hours from noon till 4pm at $590 a head and $230 extra for free-flow Cava and sangria. I never care about these details, but for those of you with munchkins, there's also a play room. In my case, the whole restaurant is my playroom. And I'm going to eat ALL my toys.

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