Le Meridien Buffet
By Ravi V. Chhabra
How long one spend Sunday mornings in bed? Most likely beyond breakfast time. For a lazy city like New Delhi, breakfasts are a passé. Brunches and luncheons are the tour de force. If you are in a mood to satiate your late morning hunger pangs, indeed with nostalgic music, no better way than to rushto The O1e – a 24/7 coffee shop facing the plush lobby inside the Le Meridien ho tel.
Well, it’s always better to make a reservation in advance. The O1e at the Le Meridien at Janpath even has a special live band on Sundays with Ronald Perry Da Silva at the mike!
Take a break but remember, this elaborate buffet is not for those on the run and is a brunch meant to blow you all hot and cold. While the ‘cold buffet’ comprises marinated prawns, chicken Thai style, corn and bell peppers, assorted greens salmon, cold cuts and the ubiquitous ‘dahi-bhalla’, the ‘hot buffet’ includes pastas – indeed, I loved the agnalotti done with a mind garnish, hyderabadi gosht, marinated sole, chicken with rosemary sauce, ‘jheenga teen machhi’ (prawns with bellpeppers) and in the veggie section were the tomato pullao, ‘dal-makhani’, ‘paneer-ka-salan’, baingan-ki-khurchan. All these with an expansive view through the gigantic glass windows overlooking two of central Delhi’s prominent 5-star hotels.
All the while, Ronald Perry Da’ Silva enthralled the guests with his fine baritone accompanied with keyboard brushes usually succumbing to the special requests sent to him from across the tables through the bearers on a written slip that included requests for enchanting blues to the famous 70s pop and even the good old tune tequila.
The well-stocked bar inside the coffee shop served us the fine Moet Chandon champagne that we relished to the brim with cold cuts and prawns with a myriad dips.
Last but not the least, there were the packed collation of sweet dishes comprising the famous chocolate opera slice, banana pudding, chocolate walnut brownie, ‘moti-e-chaman’ and ‘rice-kheer’ with ample options for those who prefer to go sugar-free. Though the price of Rs 2,600 per head is a bit steep, the experience and the repertoire of dishes assure you of a treat you would remember for a long time. The O1e buffet on Sundays is an overture to delight.