Friday, September 2, 2016

Sunday indulgence at the Wicked Liquid Brunch at Grand Hyatt Goa

You are always on a lookout for things to do on Sundays. Since most of us are working five or six days a week, we prefer staying home on Sunday so that we can relax and be ready for Monday. Treks, roadtrips, parties seem fun, but they have a toll on you the next morning, and you tend to avoid them - thus making most Sundays boring! Grand Hyatt Goa came up with a perfect solution for you... The Wicked Liquid Brunch!!!  It's not just a brunch, it's way beyond! Read on to know all about my perfect Sunday experience at Grand Hyatt.
As you enter the 17th Century Portuguese Palace built against the backdrop of the pristine Bambolim Beach, you cannot stop but stare in awe at the magnificence and grandeur of the place. As you step into Grand Hyatt Goa, you can soak into the view of the splendidly done interiors, acres of colourful, tropical gardens and lush lawns that roll down to the water’s edge.

The brunch begins earlier in the morning from the spa which they call a Monastery - The Shamana Spa. It is an exhilarating waterfront retreat, with exquisite facilities, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a free-form outdoor pool and a 25-metre indoor lap pool. You can indulge in some pampering right before the brunch.

Therapeutic massages and body treatments are offered at The Shamana Spa, while hair and beauty treatments are offered at the Snip Salon & Spa.You also get an access to their steam, sauna, gym and pool. And all this at an attractive discounted price. Every guest at the Wicked Liquid Brunch can avail a 50% off on all services at the spa!
I went in for a facial - Phytomer Youth Revival Treatment. It wasn't a facial like we get at parlours. This was more of a relaxing and refreshing face treatment, that did not only revive my face, but made me feel relaxed and rejuvenated on the inside. The therapist thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated my skin and applied a heating mask which she said was good for dark spots and prevented wrinkles. She massaged my face with concentrate oil before leaving on the wax mask. She then went on to massage my face with perfecting massage cream and deep cleaning Viamar final skin refiner.

The spa has wooden interiors and is made of soothing colours like white and gold. The incandescent light illuminates the spa into a glowing golden retreat. The healing music relaxes your nerves and makes you feel fresh and rejuvenated. The detox bar - a part of the Wicked Liquid Brunch is located here. I had a refreshing herbal tea and gorged on some dry fruits before I headed to The Dining Room.
On the way to The Dining Room, I stopped by at the complimentary pop up studio by Snip where two trained makeup artists were offering eye makeup services for the guests. I was told, even though the pop up studio is stationed there every week, the services change. So every week you are in for something new! I got my eye makeup done by the experts before finally heading to the brunch. As a girl doesn't it feel amazing to have someone do your makeup? I loved the look she created on me!
The brunch in itself is massive - consisting of over twenty stations spread across Hyatt's restaurant - The Dining Room. With smooth jazz music played by the live band, the guests are in for a fun afternoon. The Wicked Liquid Brunch has a delectable spread and glasses of bubbly going around at one of the most luxurious hotels in Goa. Charles De Fere Sparkling Wine and cocktails flows freely as guests enjoy their food.

The liquid menu at the Wicked Liquid Brunch is as extensive as the food offering, with herb-infused spirits, detox drinks, health juices, cocktails, sparkling wine, coffee cocktails and a pour-your-own drink option. You are sure to be spoilt for choice!
It begins with a splendid welcome drink. A local touch has been given to the welcome drinks at the Goan Cocktail Bar (Susegado Bar)- with three variants of drinks poured in quarter liter glass bottles with labels placed at the bar decorated the Goan way.You can just pick one among the three - Feni Soro (made of a local drink found in Goa - Feni and coconut syrup and pineapple juice), Porto Sangria (this one's mindblowing - a Port Wine Sangria infused with Cranberry Juice) and Devil Wisker (Citrus Mocktail).

Did you think I was kidding when I said the liquid menu was endless. We were ushered to the Pour Your Own Poison Bar - the place where you can be the bartender and make your own cocktail. The bar houses six liquors infused by the Grand Hyatt Goa team themselves over a period of 15- 45 days, namely the Cinnamon Whiskey, Aloe Vera Tequila, Cucumber Gin, Basil Rum, Orange Vodka, and Chilli Feni. No I didn't try them since I was still sipping on my Sangria.
We had a look around the place and checked out all the bars. As we settled at our table, which was already reserved for us, we were poured a tall glass of Sparkling Wine.

Moving on to the Salad Bar, the buffet was impressive. The Sushi Bar was housed next to the Salad Bar which also featured some additional condiments and dips. As you know by now, salads aren't really my preference, but this bar kind of made me think otherwise. But some things looked good, so we randomly made a salad platter with Chicken Roulade, Fish Roulade, Hummus, Chicken and Salmon Sushi, pickles, Tuna Salad, Cold Cuts and Pickled Onions. And boy! It was amazing!
The Bread and Cheese Bar caught my eye and I had to try it out. Even though I skipped the bread, I tasted small bits of all the exotic cheeses on display - Cheddar, Emmental, Blue, Brie, Edam and Goat Cheese. They were so good, they literally melted in the mouth when had with Cold Cuts (yes, I had another serving), Sauté Eggplant, Crab Canapé (totally recommended) and other appetisers!
 The Carving Bar served a Roasted Prime Tenderloin Rib, which had admittedly dried out a little, but still retained its flavour, and a Honey Baked York Ham. The glazed tender meat was hands down, the winner at this bar. Both these are worth a try!
 
The spread at the Papa Joe's BBQ Grill Bar included a tantalising mix of seafood and meat. Well marinated and grilled to perfection, this bar seemed to be a hit among the guests. Our order look a while to get to our table owing to the number of orders they received.

The Lamb Merguez, Kaffir Lime Chicken and Chilli Garlic Lemongrass Prawns were amazing. Mild flavoured and juicy, they were delightful. The Garlic Mustard Seed Gobro and Chilli Coriander Limerind Mackerel was flavoured right, but a bit dry. The Rosemary Pork Chop was again spectacularly grilled to perfection.
We were then treated to a very special homemade Cafe Tequila by Asst Manager Allen Joe Dacosta who is incharge of the bar there. He described his signature Tequila shot as a blend of Lindt Dark Chocolate, Tequila, and coffee, that is sure to give you a kick. In a conversation, he also mentioned he had a hand in crafting many of the drinks at all the drinks bars - the best one which was saved for the last!

The Indian, Italian and Oriental food lovers have their own special bar. Also, a quick mention to the Breakfast Bar which serves a variety of eggs. The Oriental Bar had a mix of Asian varieties, while the Italian Bar had a live pizza and pasta counter.

The Calabria Pasta Bar dishes three varieties of pasta and the ingredients are spelled out on the board - Gnocchi+Tomato+Chilli+Garlic+Basil, Penne+Prawn+Ricotta+Garlic and Sphagetti+Pepper+CacioPepe+Butter.
The Prawn Penne Pasta with Ricotta and Garlic was the simplest no-fuss pasta dished out at the Pasta Bar at the Wicked Liquid Brunch. Prawn and penne cooked Al dente in a delicious pasta sauce made of garlic and melted ricotta cheese is what this delicious Italian recipe was all about.I totally loved it!

Even though I'm not a huge fan of (veg) North-Indian food, I kind of liked the Nargisi Paneer and Gobi Musallam at the Indian Bar. I haven't tried a lot of paneer items otherwise, but this was good - delightfully soft paneer dipped in a gravy made of yogurt, cashew nuts and Indian condiments. The perfect blend of cottage cheese and yogurt gave it a nice and creamy texture.
Gobi Musallam apparently has its roots in the exotic Mughlai cuisine, and has found its way to the Indian bar at the Wicked Liquid Brunch. The cauliflower marinated whole and cooked with spicy gravy is absolutely delicious and will make you fall in love with North Indian food. The fragrant Kaali Moti ka Pulav was good as well. There were soft balls of cottage cheese sitting a top the flavoursome rice.

I also tried the Methi Papad ki Sabzi, a popular item dished out in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The Indian spices were blended to give the right taste, while the Papad added the bit of crunch to the entire dish. The very healthy and flavourful Rajasthani item - Panchamel Dal was also a part of the buffet. It's made of five lentils namely Bengal Gram Dal (Chana Dal), Black Gram (Urad Dal), Green Gram Dal (Moong Dal), Pigeon Peas split and skinned (Arhar, Tuvar, Toor and Tur Dal) and Moth Bean split (Moth Dal). If you're are a vegan, and/or love North Indian food - try this out. They also have plain white rice if you wish to skip the pulav.
I got to see the making-of-the-pizza at the live counter. The oven was right behind the bar and the chef was more than happy to let me watch and film the process as he baked the awesome Pepperoni Pizza to perfection!
The best things were yet to come. I was really excited about the Wicked Bar because friends who had already gone to the Wicked Liquid Brunch were raving about how good it was. Initially I assumed it was just a hype, but when I went there and saw the spread, I was sure of what they meant!

The delicious looking strawberry chocolate fountain adorns one end of the table, while the table is laid with endless varieties of local and exotic desserts. Even though most of the items looked delicious, we had to make tough decisions and pick only a few since we were already stuffed. I didn't miss the chocolate pops dipped in the molten chocolate.

I tried the signature dessert curated by Executive Chef Mark Long - the Masala Chai ice cream and Chilli Chocolate Cake. I am not a big chai fan, so did not appreciate the icecream much, but if you love tea otherwise, I suggest you check this out.
The Chilli Chocolate Cake is an attempt to add a bit of spice to the sweetness of the chocolate. The infused cake, with a pretty little chilli planted on top was delicious.
The Vanilla Panacotta Mint Jelly is absolutely phenomenal. Panna Cotta is such a rich and luxurious dessert. When the creamy panna cotta is paired with the chilled mint jelly it lightens up the panna cotta and creates such a refreshing dessert.
You may assume the brunch ended here. But no, there was something wicked and sinful on it's way! The Wicked Bar was absolutely amazing undoubtedly, but what came later was out of the world. So we headed to the Coffee Bar for our final round of liquid at the Wicked Liquid Brunch. This isn’t an ordinary Coffee Bar though. These beans have been infused in whiskey, or rum, then ground, to give you authentic Irish Coffee, with Irish Whiskey.
Now you know why it is called the Wicked Liquid Brunch? At regular brunches, you have a wide food spread and a few drinks and desserts to compliment your food. But at Wicked Liquid Brunch a Grand Hyatt Goa, the drinks and desserts are phenomenal. The food is amazing no doubt, but the infused drinks, sinfully delicious desserts and specially curated coffee recipes is what blows your mind!

The Wicked Liquid Brunch at Grand Hyatt Goa is a spectacular experience that'll change the way you spend your Sunday. The non-alchoholic brunch is priced at INR 1600 + taxes and the alcoholic brunch is priced at INR 2200 + taxes. Also they have early bird offers of 50 % discount on the Sunday brunch if you book a table during the first three days of the week.

A relaxing spa, peppy makeup, amazing food spread, unlimited drinks, sinful desserts and special coffee... what else do you need to make your day? If you think Saturdays are awesome, then make Sunday wicked by indulging at everything offered at the Wicked Liquid Brunch!
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Text & Photographs: Flexcia D'souza | Food Blogger Goa
The Dining Room - Grand Hyatt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 
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