Monday, August 22, 2016

Beachnic: The Sunday Picnic & Brunch at La Brise Beach Shack by Novotel, Candolim

It's mid August; the monsoon is subsiding and it is about time to hit the beach again. On this pleasant Sunday afternoon, I visited La Brise to attend their Sunday Brunch. The first line of the invite email read, "Your Sunday just got better with the all new Beachnic, a Sunday Picnic & brunch at the La Brise beach shack by Novotel, Candolim," so I didn't really know what to expect. I had never been to the place before, even though it launched last December (2015); so it seemed quite a plan to spend my Sunday afternoon at the Beachnic by La Brise.

La Brise is one-of-its-kind uber chic lounge space and is absolutely different from the shack experience. This colloquial seafacing restaurant on Candolim Beach, North Goa is a place to be at for a chilled out Sunday afternoon at the beach, accompanied by some delectable food, freeflowing drinks and vibrant music. Beachnic : The Sunday Picnic & Brunch at La Brise is priced at INR 1599 + taxes. But there is a Buy 1 Get 1 Offer running until the 4th of September. So you might as well hurry up and reserve a table soon. 
La Brise calls itself, ‘The perfect sunset lounge in Goa for you to unwind, revive, and #BreezeAlong!’ And true it is! There is ample parking space if you enter through the main entrance. You pass through the canopy with a pond, lawn and hanging garden on the right before you enter the restaurant. The beach restaurant is lined with wicker couches and has a mesmerising sea view which adds to the refreshing experience. The ambiance is one that talks of class and luxury. No less, its got that stylish and plush decor. I absolutely loved the huge deck that opens out to the sand and beach.

Since the seats facing the beach were already taken, we picked the table closest to the bar counter. The bar counter is stocked with imported liquor and serves a variety of cocktails and coolers as part of the brunch menu. Let me also mention that you can opt for a spa experience at the ELLE outlet at the lounge. They offer services like head  & foot massage, manicure, pedicure, etc. You can take a walk on the beach or sit at the shack and just enjoy the cool breeze and stunning views of perfectly manicured lawns by the sea!
Getting back to the brunch - there were around a dozen live stations serving a variety of cuisines that included a mix of seafood, chicken, meat and vegetarian food. We tried most of them and I shall tell you my experience at each one. To begin with, we ordered the cocktails - Screwdriver, Mojito, Whiskey Sour and Blue Lagoon.
We were told the Salad counter is a new introduction to the brunch at La Brise. Even though I am totally not a salad person, I tried it since they mentioned it as a highlighted station. About the salad counter - you could make the salad yourself. The basic ingredients were placed in jars. You could pick one of your choice from vegan (Mexican Bean Salad, Watermelon Salad and Crispy Spinach, Caramelised Walnuts, Crumbed Greek Feta) and non-vegan (Seafood with Chilly and Smoked Chicken Salad with Pepper). There were several adons placed there, including chicken and pork salami. You could pick a choice of your dressing that included Garlic, Mustard, Lemon Vinegar, Mustard dressing, White Wine Vinegar and Olive Oil.
I really liked this concept of "Make Your Own Salad". Since I had a look at all the stations earlier and knew I'd be binging anyways, decided to go healthy with the salad and avoided the non-vegan options even though they were so tempting. Picked the Mexican Beans Salad, added some watermelon, olives, lettuce and olive oil dressing. That's it! A super healthy starter!
Next we stopped by at the "La Brise Barbeque Grill" that included a tantalising mix of Seafood like Mackerel, Basa and Squid and Meat like Mutton, Chicken and Pork. Marinated portions of seafood and meat were freshly grilled for the guests by the chef at the live counter. This is one of the hot favourite stations at Beachnic : The Sunday Picnic & Brunch at La Brise. We got a portion each of the succulent grilled seafood and chicken.
There was this little station right next to the entrance that I almost missed. This station served crisps like banana chips, popcorn, nachos etc. I love nachos in general, so I definitely went for it. Nachos topped generously with Mayonnaise and Ginger Mayonnaise and served with a portion each of Tomato Salsa and Pineapple Salsa. Oh yeah, I know, who eats nachos at the brunch. I do! You can too, because they're delicious with the right amount of crisp and toppings.
The Maggi fan within me found itself standing in front of the Maggi Station next. They had two variants - veg and egg. So I opted for Egg Maggi. I had a plate of amazing Egg Maggi at a street stall while traveling a beach town in South India. And I was hoping for something that good. But this kind of disappointed me. Also, it had a lot of capsicum. And I hate capsicum. They did not add the Maggi seasoning at all. I don't know what exactly, but there was something off about this. Try it if you wish to, but don't expect anything great!
"Egg Came First" is a station for the ultimate egg experience. They didn't only serve the very popular Goan Ross Omelette, but customised your omelette according to your taste. They had a lot of veg and non veg add-ons including chicken and pork salami and sausages. If you're an egg lover and love all day breakfast, this is a place to be at Beachnic : The Sunday Picnic & Brunch at La Brise. We customised our Omlette and got the delightfully soft and meaty Chicken and Pork Salami Omlette.

We also got a vegan slider at the Burger Station. They freshly grilled the patty before stuffing it in the bun along with cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce and veggies. The burger was soft and juicy.
The Sushi Station at Beachnic : The Sunday Picnic & Brunch at La Brise seemed quite interesting too. You could pick your preferred sushi from the counter lined with Veg and Non veg Sushi. They also kept portions of Wasabi Paste, Pickled Cabbage and Soy Sauce. I picked a bunch of assorted Sushi. This Japanese delicacy which is gaining popularity in Goa was delicious and soft.
The Oriental Cuisine lovers have a station dedicated to them. I sampled all four items and loved all of them. The Chinese dish - Kung Pao Chicken - stir fried chicken tossed in complex sauce of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. The Egg Fried Rice was plain but delicious nonetheless. The Wok Tossed Noodles in Basil Garlic is again a Chinese dish - stir fried noodles with an assortment of flavourful sauce. The Manchurian was juicy and tasty as well.
We then made a quick stop at the Biryani Station before moving to desserts. The Biryani Counter had veg and chicken Dum Biryani served with raita, papad and pickle. Unlike other biryanis, this one had small pieces of chicken. I usually don't like the Chicken in the biryani since it isn't flavoured right because of the size. But the chicken bits in this one were mouthwatering.
We stopped by for some Fresh Fruit Juice and then it was time for desserts!!! We had some fun with Cotton Candy and at the Chocolate Fountain - dipping cookies, cake and oreo.

The Dessert Stand was lined with colourful cakes, pastries, truffles and mousse. I sampled all of them - Banana Pastry, Pineapple Cake, Rum Truffle, Mud Cake, Coffee Layer, Mocha Truffle, Mango Gatuk, Kiwi Mousse, Strawberry Mousse and Orange Mousse. Recommended - Coffee Layer, Mocha Truffle, Rum Truffle, Mango Gatux (listed best-one-first). You need to save some space for waffle. The Waffle Bar at Beachnic is of special mention too. We had a portion of crisp classic waffle with chocolate and it was absolutely delicious!
I did all of this at La Brise. You can give the special touch to your weekend with this spectacular Sunday brunch and Picnic on Candolim Beach too. Go to the Beachnic at La Brise every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.!!!

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Text & Photographs: Flexcia D'souza | Food Blogger Goa
La Brise Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 
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