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Saucy brunch

Drag queens add a sparkle to lazy Sunday mornings with an array of delicacies presented with panache at a posh hotel in the heart of Connaught Place

If the drag shows at Kitty Su in The Lalit Hotel showcasing the avant-garde to the millennial weren’t enough, your Sundays too can be filled with sass, as OKO, the restaurant in the hotel, has come up with Sunday brunches with drag performances in between.

Situated on the 22nd floor of the posh hotel on Barakhamba Road in Lutyens zone, the Sunday brunches are all about bottomless mimosas, dimsum trolleys, a Pan-Asian spread and game dates for both children and adult.

Keshav Suri, Executive Director of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group calls it “a new brunch craze.” Adding, “It’s more shiny, sassy, and sparkly than anything that’s come before. Enjoying delicious brunches on a lazy Sunday afternoon along with peppy music and witty drag queens with your family and friends makes for a perfect Sunday recipe.”

On invitation, we decided to pay the restaurant a visit to witness drag performers like Lush Monsoon, and Trans Queen Kiara.

At first sight, the restaurant has a luxurious look with large seating in one space, and a private dining area opposite the live kitchen setup. Reaching there on a Sunday morning, beating the blues, was a hassle but seeing these performers decked up in their fabulous outfits and perfectly executed make-up left us in awe.

A server came to our table to ask whether we would like to start with soup or a flavourful drink. We chose the latter to set the mood, and in no time, two classic mimosas were put on our table.

With the Lutyens view from the 22nd floor of the hotel, these drinks seemed like the most apt thing for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The mimosas were quite refreshing, and we could sense that the restaurant has used quality champagne. Citrus juice was mild and not very tangy, which made the drink a delightful experience.

In between Lush Monsoon, the drag artist danced with some of the guests on classic American pop tunes while Kiara, another artist performed on an old Bollywood number. DJ Aamish served with a mind-blowing playlist, taking us to golden period of pop — the 2000s.

As we savoured these two drinks, we opted for Tom Yum Soup with Prawns. Soup in general is a mellow entree. When it’s filled with one of your favourite ingredients (prawn) the experience is extended to another level.

The prawn was soft, and hints of lemongrass and a strong touch of ginger keeps the soup in its best condition till the very last sip.

Next up were three salads in three plates designed like serving spoons. Shiraz Ae Salad with spinach, zucchini and sesame seeds is a healthy option and even for a non-salad lover, it can be a very enjoyable experience. The ingredients were quite fresh, and won’t disappoint at any bite.

Wafu Salad having lettuce, water melon and orange segment is quite a nice combination to put in a small plate. Each ingredient blends nicely and makes for three solid bites.

We really liked the Yum Sum O Salad which Thai pomelo brown onion coconut and tamarind sauce. The flavour of coconut is a dominating force and we loved it for being that. Tamarind sauce further enhances the taste.

The Sushi section too of the buffet menu consist of Baked Salmon Roll, Crunchy Yasai Roll and Japanese Vegetable Pizza. All these three dishes are solid dishes, made while keeping in mind the delicate nature of the ingredients. The guest on the other side of the table found these quite ecstatic and had two rounds of one of the Baked Salmon Roll.

For dimsum lovers, there’s a live dimsum trolley, where you can choose or have all three of the options. We really liked the Mix Sea Food Dumpling having sole, prawn and Chinese seasoning. The layer is soft and the warmth of the dumpling is an added touch.

Broccoli Almond, on the other hand, is filled with broccoli, almond and crushed garlic, all making for a sharp combination. We did not really enjoy the Melting Cheese Bao, finding the crust quite hard to chew — not recommended. But the other two choices are there to make up for it — and how.

To start with appetiser section, we had Por Pia Phak vegetable spring roll, which was quite crispy and scrumptious in taste, the fillings were neither too much nor too little for the tiny rolls. It was tempting enough for us have four of these with the spicy in-house chilly sauce.

The restaurant boasts a live kitchen setup. The chefs working tirelessly to make some delightful bowls of various noodles is a visual treat.

The Live Counter Teppanyaki has five options which are healthy noodles, soba, udon, ramen and rice sticky noodles. We chose ramen and udon for our plates, and not so surprising — we were not disappointed.

The assorted vegetables and “oriental sauces” are an obvious addition to these noodles, but not many kitchens do justice to the perfectly cooked noodles with confused mixtures touted as sauces. This is where OKO is different.

For the main course, the buffet has two options in vegetarian and non-vegetarian section. We had the Pla Neung Mano, a dish of steam sea bass, lemon grass and lemon chilli sauce.

Easy to say this dish was our favourite. The way the chef used the lemon grass with lemon chilli is a great deal of work. Strong, citrusy ingredients are toned down to give you an aromatic and tasteful experience.

The fish was soft from every corner and makes for a solid addition in the main course section. We highly recommend giving it a bite.

For dessert, OKO’s Sunday brunch offers you Honey Darsaan, Coconut Caramel Custard and Seasonal Fruits with Ice Cream. We tried the Coconut Caramel Custard which makes for a great finale to this buffet.

Per person cost: Rs 1,900 for adults and Rs 999 for children

Address: The Lalit New Delhi, Barakhamba Avenue, Barakhamba Rd, New Delhi

Review done on invitation