Have Fun With Brunch

Amber Dias digs into why brunch has become such a popular meal to hangout or celebrate with. 

Brunch, the delightful blend of breakfast and lunch that was once a luxurious weekend meal, has evolved into a beloved tradition. It is no longer just a meal, but a social experience –  a time to unwind and catch up with friends and family, and perhaps celebrate an occasion or two. It is by no means a new concept, it has been a mainstream staple since 1985, the term being popularised by British writer Guy Beringer in ‘Brunch: A Plea’. 

While it is known for its versatility and social media appeal, it is safe to say that brunch is reviving the art of conversation. Much like Beringer had hoped for, it has become a meal that is cheerful, social, inciting and low on stress that’s often associated with big meals. 

The Popular Choice

Google Trends data shows that interest in brunch has been rising steadily since 2004. Let’s take a closer look at why that is. “Its convenient timing and leisurely atmosphere make it a beloved mealtime choice for people of all backgrounds,” says Prasuk Jain, Founder, Koa. While Eesha Sukhi, Founder, The Bluebop Cafe, adds, “Brunch menus often feature a wide range of dishes. This variety appeals to diverse tastes and dietary preferences, accommodating both savoury and sweet cravings.”

Praveena D’souza, Partner at Coconut Boy, shares her insights as well, “Brunch’s popularity stems from its versatility, making it suitable for late risers. It also provides an opportunity for socialising, combining the conviviality of breakfast with the extended timeframe of lunch, making it an ideal option for gatherings with friends and family.”

A Time To Celebrate

Brunch is gaining preference as a celebratory meal, be it Mother’s Day, Easter, baby showers, or bridal parties. It offers a more restrained and intimate affair that is still indulgent and luxurious. 

Ajay Thakur, Corporate Chef, Bayroute, elaborates, “It’s a chance to linger over conversation and truly savour the company. This relaxed vibe also makes brunch a great choice for celebrations. Forget the stress of a formal dinner! Brunch allows for a more festive atmosphere with celebratory drinks like mimosas, but without the rigidity of a traditional sit-down meal. It’s perfect for lingering over laughter and shared stories, making the celebration all the more special.”

“Brunch provides an ideal setting for creating lasting memories. The combination of versatility, timing, social appeal, special touches, relaxed atmosphere, and memorable culinary experiences makes brunch an ideal choice for celebratory occasions, transcending its American roots to become a global phenomenon for gatherings and festivities,” Eesha Sukhi adds. 

What’s On The Menu?

Whether you’re eating out or whipping up a delicious feast at home, there are a few items a brunch menu isn’t complete without – that’s something all four of our collaborators agree on. Here’s a compilation of what they think should be on the ideal brunch menu. 

Chef Ajay Thakur summarises, “To create the ideal brunch menu, I think it’s important to offer a balance. Having classic breakfast staples like fluffy pancakes and perfectly cooked eggs is a must. But don’t forget to include some lunch-inspired options like savoury quiches or fresh salads. And, of course, don’t forget the drinks! Coffee, tea, and juices are essential, and for a celebratory touch, consider adding some brunch cocktails to the mix. Finally, a sprinkle of inclusivity goes a long way. Offering vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options shows your guests you care, and ensures everyone can fully enjoy the celebratory spirit of brunch.”

Egg Dishes: Classic scrambled eggs, fluffy omelettes, eggs benedict, or frittatas.

Bread and Pastries: Freshly baked bread, croissants, muffins, and pastries like cinnamon rolls, and Danish pastries served with spreads like butter, jam or Nutella.

Pancakes or Waffles: Fluffy pancakes, crispy waffles topped with syrup, fruits, or whipped cream, fruit compote or chocolate sauce.

Fruit Platter: A variety of seasonal fruits.

Breakfast Meats: Crispy bacon, smoked salmon sausage links, grilled chicken or ham.

Vegetarian Options: Avocado toast, vegetable frittatas, tofu scramble, or spinach and cheese quiche.

Salads: Light and fresh salads with seasonal greens, vegetables, and a variety of dressings.

Beverages: Freshly squeezed juices, mimosas, Bloody Marys, coffee and tea.

Sweet Treats: French toast, crepes, or cinnamon French toast sticks.

Indian Twist 

As brunch grows as a global phenomenon, chefs across the world are adding their own twist to the menu, melding local flavours with classic offerings. Closer to home, restaurants are adding Indian breakfast favourites and other dishes to the menu too. 

“Indian cuisine has seamlessly adapted to accommodate brunch menus by offering a diverse array of dishes that combine traditional flavours with lighter, brunch-friendly ingredients and cooking techniques. Classic dishes like dosas, idlis and uttapams are often reinvented with fillings such as cheese, vegetables or eggs to appeal to brunch-goers. Additionally, traditional breakfast staples like poha, upma and parathas are often served alongside fusion dishes like masala omelettes or avocado toast with a spicy twist,” says Prasuk Jain. 

Eesha Sukhi adds, “Indian cuisine has embraced fusion dishes that blend traditional flavours with global influences, creating innovative and exciting brunch options. For example, dishes like masala omelette, paneer tikka wraps, and biryani bowls combine Indian spices with Western-style preparations, making them suitable for brunch. Brunch menus often feature small plates or tapas-style dishes, allowing guests to sample a variety of flavours in smaller portions. Indian cuisine lends itself well to this format, with dishes like chaat, kebabs and tandoori appetisers that are perfect for sharing and grazing.”

Meanwhile, recheado stuffed red snapper, tender coconut, raw mango salad, chicken xacuti and Goan pulao are Praveena D’souza’s picks for adding a little local flavour. 

Dig In!

Whether you prefer a hearty buffet or the comfort of home, brunch can also be as casual or as fancy as you like, making it suitable for everything from a lazy Sunday morning to a special celebration. So, why not gather your loved ones and indulge in a leisurely brunch?

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