Bubbly Brunch – these bubbles have lost their fizz !
Rating – 2.5/5.
What – Weekend Brunch (Saturday & Sunday only) paired with Casablanca Wines.
Where – Zodiac Restaurant, Fortune Select Hotel, Lavasa.
When – This is a limited period affair, call them before going.
Costs – 1584 AI without wine & 2199 AI with unlimited servings of wine.
Casablanca Sparkling wines are currently organizing a bubbly brunch option on weekends in Lavasa and I happened to travel all the way to Lavasa to be a part of this and to be really honest I wasn’t really thrilled about the end result unfortunately.
This of-course was a tasting invite and when people look up to your reviews it becomes even a greater responsibility to state the facts as they are and which is exactly what I am going to do in here so the idea is not to overly criticize anyone but giving an honest and unbiased opinion on the overall experience.
Lavasa off-late is becoming a money minting machine with that rather Rs 500 exorbitant entry cum parking charge for four wheelers and Rs 200 for two wheelers. I am sure most of us can pay that amount but I would rather ask the question why to pay that charge instead of why not? Since we were part of an invite we were promised for these charges not to be levied and after spending a good 10-15 minutes on the entrance with a series of calls with Management saying “I already told Security” but Security saying “We haven’t received any calls” finally things fell into place and we were on our way to the Fortune Hotel.
The Location/Parking/Ambience – Lavasa is a small yet beautiful place to be visited in Monsoons and the day we were there was no different either. It was a day of light drizzle and we were at Fortune by 12.45 pm, they do have a Valet Parking so after doing the formalities we went towards the Restaurant and were shown in to our Table. The Ambience of the place hasn’t quite changed since the last time I was here two years ago but it comes across as pretty decent and spacious so no issues on that part.
The Casablanca Wines – This probably was the better part of the meal where they have come up with Fruit based offerings of wine under the Rio Spritzer brand and their sparkling wine offerings (above picture in the right).
I am no wine Connoisseur however we liked the fruit based ones more, they come in different flavors like Pineapple, orange etc so that was something new. You can visualize them as an extended version of breezers however the alcoholic content is much more here compared to your usual Breezer !
The Food – So their concept is to have an elaborate brunch i.e. to combine breakfast items with a standard lunch menu. Things didn’t really went as per plan as we proceeded on the Brunch.
As part of the brunch they had a huge (I mean really huge selection of Salads and other tid-bits as evident in the Salads picture.From this huge spread however I really liked their variants of two kinds of cold chicken offerings, one being a chicken sandwich and other a chicken bread. I found these two items as the most enjoyable part of the entire Brunch !
For me the biggest deal breaker of the Brunch was the presence of one single starter in the entire menu and that too being Tandoori Arbi, really folks? Is that what would you expect in an elaborate brunch for the price of 1584 bucks? I would leave it for the Management to ponder over this.
However moving to the Mains, we had Egg Curry & a Continental Fish based offering to sum up the Non veg options while the Veg options had the usual Paneer, Mixed Veg, Noodles etc to make up the Menu. To be really honest except the combination of Egg Curry’s curry with Chicken Biryani which served as a decent option and because of which I could satiate my hunger I don’t quite remember any dish being out of the ordinary in the entire menu !
The Desserts – An array of desserts waited for us to be consumed but much like the overall theme these were at best decent and nothing really here that would make me crave for even a single dessert in particular. When your kid really goes up to serve herself a plate full of desserts but ends up sharing it with you not with a lot of enthusiasm but to ensure that it doesn’t get wasted you get an idea of the stuff being dished out.
The Service – It was mostly slow in a strange sort of way but there was one lady named Ms. Deepika who took good care of us whenever we asked something, however the key was that we had to “ask” for a lot of customary things but overall the service wasn’t too bad. I had provided a lot of feedback to their Restaurant Manager Mr.Kunal however I am not sure if they were taken with a positive outlook, I mean I wasn’t really able to gauge it so hopefully some changes would indeed take place.
The Verdict – At 1584 / 2199 bucks this isn’t really a spread I would recommend for that taste and price combination. You may still want to take a look into this with a bit of interest if unlimited wine is your kind of thing. However if you’re just looking for food this isn’t quite a value for money proposition in my humble yet honest opinion !