Relax and rejuvenate are the mantras we follow on Fridays. Stepping out of the home on a Friday, especially during the day, is a special occasion often enticed by a trip to the beach, a road trip or a good brunch. It was on one such Friday that we were invited by Hormuz Grand Muscat to the Friday Brunch at The Straits. The restaurant’s themed dinners and brunches have always stood apart and we knew that the Family Brunch would be no different.
Of course, we did wonder about the social distancing plans in place especially since brunches often tend to be buffet style. But we needn’t have given it much thought. The Straits takes the relaxed Friday brunch session to a new level. Doing away with queues and the hustle bustle around the food counter that are common at brunches, The Straits has introduced seated brunch with table service. Now that’s a brunch we can get on board with!
If you have been to The Straits before, you would know that the food at the restaurant is good. The new season of Friday Brunch goes on to show Executive Chef Thierry Quintric’s culinary proficiency and adaptability. The fare at the brunch features an excellent variety of choices for just about every foodie out there.
There is an impressive and extensive menu to choose from, which is kept at every table. Sipping on our welcome drinks – fresh coconut water – we pored over the menu. The Appetisers include Arabic cold and hot mezze, dim sums, sushi, Turkish mezze and soups. We opted for sushi, chicken shu mai dim sums, and a selection of Arabic mezze that included kibbeh, spring rolls, spinach fatayer, cheese and meat sambousek and grilled halloumi. The Appetisers arrived piping hot (except the sushi) at the table. Served in small portions (with the option to order more), the Appetisers were the perfect start to the brunch. Our favouite of the lot were the dim sums and the Arabic mezze. Although we would have liked to order for a second round of the lamb kibbeh, we resisted when we took at second look at the menu.
The choices under the Mains are heavenly – from beef steaks to shuwa to kebabs, spicy Korean lamb chops, BBQ chicken legs, seafood grills, pastas and rice. After some deliberation, we decided to try garlic & lemon lobster tail, beef steak marinated with rosemary & thyme, hammour chimichurri, and ravioli.
Our dishes arrived, beautifully plated in perfect portions that we could share. There is always the option to order more – after all it’s a brunch in a different style. The lobster was grilled perfectly and was bursting with flavour. The beef steak was tender and incredibly flavourful with hints of rosemary and thyme settling in with every bite. What we loved about this dish was that despite being marinated in the herbs, the meat still was the star. The Hammour chimichurri was an interesting dish – the parsley condiment made for a refreshing yet unique marination for hammour. The ravioli was exceptional, and we hope this remains a constant in The Straits menu.
The patisserie and bakery section of Hormuz Grand Muscat is remarkable. Some of the finest pastries are baked in the kitchens of the hotel. So, it was quite hard to say no to the dessert offering at the brunch. The desserts are all on display as well as on the menu. This was the one counter that we could not keep away from. After a pretty serious discussion, we went in for a selection of desserts that included baked yoghurt which was heavenly, warm decadent banana brownie, chocolate crème brûlée that was perfection on a plate, a refreshing lemon basil cheesecake and tiramisu, which we had, a la Italian style, with espressos.
The Friday Brunch at The Straits is the kind that makes you linger and stay past the hours of closing. Chef Quintric and his team have done a remarkable job of creating an exemplary Friday brunch – one that makes us shake away the weekend stupor and head to. The staff of The Straits at Hormuz Grand Muscat deserves special mention. Serving tables at a seated brunch is not easy yet the coordination and efficiency with which they executed their job was wonderful. The Friday Brunch ticks all the boxes of a perfect weekend brunch experience!
The Friday Brunch is on at The Straits, Hormuz Grand Muscat, every Friday from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. For reservations, call 99529741.