With the popularity of buffet food burgeoning throughout the city, we headed off for a Brunch at noon time, a concept which is still new to Nasik. For those, who are still clueless about what a Brunch is, here’s some fodder for that space between your ears – Brunch was a concept coined in Britain in 1895 to illustrate a Sunday meal, combining breakfast and lunch, eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday. Introduced around a year back, a brunch at The Gateway appeals to the family crowd to spend a tranquil time in this striking setting, sipping wine amidst the greenery and munching on to some delightful delicacies.
On the exterior, The Gateway boasts of gates as huge as Colosseum, (an exaggeration, but still these huge gates were cryptic, maybe that’s where they source their name from - GATEway) which enclosed an unassuming building amidst a picturesque setting. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by sophistication all around you, but without wasting any time we marched through the corridors leading us into the casual bistro ambiance. The main dining area comprised of contemporary seating, but the buffet menu was more impressive than the décor.
The wine selection is exactly what you would expect with the local wineries dominating the choices – Four Seasons and Sula. Two glasses were included in brunch with two pints of Kingfisher Beer for all the beer aficionados, but we avoided beer in a ‘brunch’ concept and stuck to wine glasses.
Our brunch started off with Veg. Clear Soup with Mushrooms, Veg. and non.veg. Salad and some bread. Veg. salad included sprouts, fruit salad (Papaya, Pineapple and Water Melon). Breads on display were looking good but didn’t go in smoothly and could have been better. Juices seemed to pop out straight from the Juice Box with choices ranging from Pineapple, Water Melon and Mix Fruit with an additional beverage in the form of Iced Tea.
Then was time for the most exciting of all the delicacies – Pasta. Pasta in white sauce consisted of fantastic Alfredo sauce with Parmesan cheese and a host of Italian seasoning. Pasta in red sauce was impressive too with the Arrabbiata sauce which was customized for ‘spice-loving’ foodies. Pasta palettes were quite light but seemed destined from heaven, seasoned with the most aromatic Italian ingredients and decorated aptly by parsley and some greens. We really didn’t care about the ingredients anymore as the Pasta was so delicious that we wished it kept on coming.
Then we proceeded towards the buffet which started off with Baked Vegetables which was one of our favorites from the entire menu. They were quite better than Grilled Tomatoes and Parsley tossed Potato Wedges. Paneer Makhana Curry was sweet and flavorsome, that was to be accompanied with butter Naans and Paratha. Although, there could have been yet another item in gravy, something more to be accompanied with our Naans and Parathas. Dal Panchratna added that missing flavor to Makkai Pulao. Soya Rice got a flavorful boost from the perky Xo sauce and the combination was quite refreshing. Veg. Hakka Noodles and Grilled Paneer were standouts and left an unending flavor on the tongue. The South Indian counter comprised of Masala and Sada Dosa which would fail miserably to please a South Indian cuisine lover.
There was a rather trimmed non-vegetarian menu with tender and juicy Dire Chicken in Manchurian Sauce whereas the contrast between Soya Rice and Nihari Gosht was appealing.
Desserts were both Western and Indian and were dominated by confectionary items. We started off with what better than a warm Waffle with Chocolate and Apple sauce on a Sunday afternoon, but they were a bit soggy. But then we had something special in store for us in the form of Dark Chocolate Fantasy, Dark Chocolate Dumplings and Kiwi Cake. Pale Chocolate Cheese Cakes as well as Peach and Apricot Mouse could have been executed and balanced better. The only Indian dessert was represented by Gulab Jamun – an all-round hit which were soothing and ended our brunch on a sweet note.
The Bill - A meager Rs.550 per person.
The Add-Ons - You can enjoy your brunch at the poolside and even have a dip in the pool. There’s also an astrologer who’ll get you up-close with your future and solve your fortune related questions, a lady who’ll design tattoo on your palms using Henna (Mehndi) and also an artist who’ll sketch you. For all the sporting addicts, there’s Table Tennis as well as Lawn Tennis. These are all included in Rs.550.
What Impressed Us – Both the Pastas (Red sauce and White sauce one’s) were quite delicious whereas the Hakka Noodles would bring to shame any major Chinese restaurant (Mainland China, are you listening?). A special mention goes to the grill, with the juicy Paneer Tikka dominating the section. Paneer Makhana Curry was savory and Baked Vegetables were cheesy and delightful. Moreover, the live kitchen gives the crowd, a liberty to cook their food themselves - a concept which The Gateway names as ‘Chef Hat’.
The Timing - 11:30am to 3pm
The Ambiance - During our 3 hour long onslaught of the buffet, there were around 40-50 people predominantly under 35. As the brunch is a family concept, there were a few veterans too. The crowd was casually dressed, whereas the staff was quite friendly and the catering assistants were always suggesting us to try some delicacies.
The Space - From a modest reception hall, a corridor leads to a dining hall which was quite spacious. Polished flooring with small couches for seating surrounded by a couple of brown polished chairs and similar tables complete the picture. For those who like to devour with nature, there’s an open air space too. Young crowd all-around and some kids, so expect quite a noisy atmosphere.
The Verdict - Do Not Miss It.