Staycation at Marriott, May 2018 – Part 3
Breakfast at Okra-
This is my regular haunt for breakfast near home for days I feel like binging in style. The ambience is pleasant and cheery although you don’t notice it much as the food spread takes centre stage. The menu offers plenty of options to suit the fussiest of palates.
In spite of the breakfast rush, the staff is pleasant and courteous, right from the hostess at the entrance to the wait staff inside. The restaurant manager, Mr. Ashok, and the senior captains, keep a sharp eye to ensure uninterrupted service at all tables. The beverage refills are done quickly, orders from the live counters delivered efficiently…all with an effortless smile. The service is personalized further by having the Managers and the Chefs stop by at the tables to interact with the guests. That’s a really warm touch and makes one feel oh so special.
Here’s what I eat here regularly:
- Eggs Benedict – customized to my taste buds – an egg poached until the yolk is just about set, pan wilted spinach, grilled chicken salami, a slice of cheese, set atop a buttered, toasted muffin and drizzled with silky hollandaise sauce, topped with a rasher or two of crispy bacon. You can omit the spinach but I like eating healthy y’ know!
Chef Sakshi double checked the order to ensure I got exactly what I wanted. The gentle young lady also tried to peddle some beetroot pineapple spinach smoothie (she lost me at beetroot!), extolling its virtue but couldn’t persuade me to sample it. I just ordered another rasher of crisp bacon with a straight face!
South Indian Counters –
I totally judge people who go to a five star buffet and order masala dosa. What can I say, I’m a dosa snob! But this is the only place where i sometimes share a masala dosa or a rawa dosa or even a wada with family. Chef Naidu, the Sous Chef, oversees the preparation of the various podis, pachhadis, chutneys and the two kinds of sambhar on offer. I love the spicy chicken curry and dosa combo.
- Pancakes and waffles. I love the six grain croissant and the pain au chocolat from HBC (Hyderabad Baking Company).
The North Indian counters have the usual poori bhaaji, parathas etc. I haven’t tried either yet as I have a mental block about eating parathas made by anybody other than a genial, pot bellied Punjabi in a dhaba style setting or, mom and assorted aunts.
Coffee and Cake from HBC –
Chef Rateesh, an unassuming chocolatier, and his talented team, dishes out some amazing desserts, chocolate confectionery and savouries at HBC. The display is stunning and one is hard pressed to choose just one. I’m partial to the berry brioche, crossiants and the pain-au-chocolat served at breakfast. We had requested a birthday cake to be made without the use of any synthetic colours, chocolate and syrups. What a cake he crafted! A decadent, yet light on the palate, mango cheese cake.
I also got to see an unusual art form – coloured chocolate paintings – used as a display for the mother’s day lunch at Okra. A truly talented team indeed! They really pull out all the stops for special days.
Dinner at Okra –
Lunch and dinner buffet at the same restaurant on the same day gets monotonous; do it only if you are too lazy to head out or don’t want to tax yourself to order A la Carte. There are plenty of options to choose from – Indian, Continental and oriental. I prefer to skip the main course in a buffet in favour of soup, starters, salad and desserts. Here’s what I loved:
Fresh out of the oven, thin crust pizza; fried pita with assorted hummus and dips; chicken salad; pan fried noodles from the live station and the wide range of desserts. While most of the desserts I tasted were great, I steered clear of the mithais based on my past encounters.
A special mention to a highly addictive green apple relish that the charming Chef Pawan Manhas insisted we try. I’m definitely going back for more of the tangy, hot and refreshing ‘Piment gaze’.
My mom who doesn’t go out much had requested for a crisp butter naan that she had been craving for. She was delighted when Chef Naveen, the warm young man, floored her by getting one made just the way she wanted.
The work culture of any establishment is reflected from top to down. Kudos to the management for promoting a culture of warm hospitality across all departments. Chef Aungshuman Chakraborty, you have a brilliant team, thank you for making our staycation so special.