Overall Rating: 4.5/5
The Oberoi brand is known the world over for its immaculate hospitality, and we got a taste of it recently when we visited The Oberoi’s all-day dining restaurant, Threesixtyone Degrees, for its lavish and extravagant Sunday brunch.
The moment you enter the hotel, a sudden sense of tranquillity comes over and it seems like you’ve instantly come away from the chaos of the city. With a pool at the centre, buildings on either side and the restaurant straight ahead, the hotel has been beautifully constructed. The restaurant overlooks the pool, which acts as a scenic backdrop for a calm and serene meal.
From the time you walk in, Threesixtyone exudes opulence and grandeur, with scrumptious food laid out as far as the eye can see. Chef Manish, who came out to chat with us, was of the view that a Sunday brunch should be extravagant and decadent, where you can leave all your worries behind and just indulge. He also explained to us that every Sunday their brunch has a surprise theme, the present one being ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. So there was a live cooking station with delicacies from London and Paris, apart from a salad counter, indian chaat section, Indian and Oriental mains, Sushi and Teppanyaki stations, and last but certainly not the least- the dessert section. Besides these spreads, you could also order anything you like from the menu, as a part of the brunch, such as kebabs, pasta, etc, as in Chef’s words, “there should be nothing you can’t have on Sundays”. The brunch also includes a selection of 10 top quality Dom Pérignon champagnes served on the table, so they really known how to pamper you at The Oberoi.
Now, buffet spreads generally don’t have the best reputation, as quantity ends up overtaking quality, but Threesixtyone is the epitome of how to balance both flawlessly.
After being seated at our table, we were served a basket of delicious freshly baked assorted breads, along with a refreshing fruit-based cocktail made with English liquor Pimm’s, which instantly perked up our appetite for the grand meal ahead.
We started off with the salad counter which had a variety of salads ranging from prawns in red wine and shallot vinaigrette, to coronation chicken salad, prosciutto ham, squid, octopus and salad nicoise. There were also great options for vegetarians, such as carrot slaw, heirloom tomato with mozzarella, panzanella, couscous, quinoa, salt baked beetroot with orange and feta, and the likes. The salads were not just put together as an after-thought, as it is done at many places, but great care had gone into each of these. Chef Manish told us that he sources his ingredients from the best organic farmers and the superior quality of the raw product shone through in these salads. We especially loved the coronation chicken, prosciutto ham, salt baked beetroot with orange and feta, and heirloom tomato with mozzarella salads.
Most Indians cannot make do without some yummy chaats tantalizing our taste buds, and to cater to this, the restaurant had a whole spread of Indian chaats ranging from sprouts, fruit chaat, dahi bhalla, fried idlis, to chick peas, samosa chaat and onion fritters. The fried idlis had a nice tempering, but were a bit dry and hard, but the samosa chaat had the perfect melange of sweet, sour and tangy flavours. The chickpeas were cooked al dente, and were very nicely marinated, while the onion fritters were crisp and had a flavoursome batter tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds.
On request, we were also served some kebabs on the table- chicken tangadi, fish kebabs, dahi ke kebab and silbatte ke shaami. The chicken tangadi was delicately marinated and succulent, while the silbatte ke shaami, made of meat ground in the traditional way on a ‘silbatta’, had a beautiful thready texture and was deftly spiced. The fish kebabs were coated with white sesame seeds which made the outside really crunchy, while the fish inside was flaky and soft. However, the dahi kebab wasn’t too much to our liking, as it had a slightly sweetish taste, rather than the sour taste that these kebabs normally have.
Next, we were served assorted veg, cabbage, steamed chicken and pan fried dimsums. While in general the dimsums fillings lacked a bit of flavour, our favourite was the pan fried dimsum. Also, from the teppanyaki section, we tried the Fish in Teriyaki Sauce, Grilled Vegetables and Chicken in Peri Peri Sauce. All three dishes had distinct and pleasant flavours, though the chicken was a little dry.
Then, we moved on to the most interesting section- the one dedicated to the theme of the brunch- ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, having some classic French and British dishes. The London section had Bubble & Squeak, a traditional English dish normally made with left-over vegetables; Rumbledethumps, a Scottish dish made with potatoes, onions and cabbage; Lancashire Hotpot, a meat stew covered with potato chips; and the old favourite Bangers and Mash. All these dishes were really authentic and tasty, with our favourites being the bangers and mash and the Lancashire hotpot, but what stole our hearts were the beautiful blueberry scones with fruit preserves. The scones were adequately sweet, and not only looked exquisite, but also had a light and crumbly texture. The Paris section also had some quintessential French classics- Poulet Basquaise, a braised chicken dish, which had a lovely flavour of peppers coming through; Hachis Parmentier, which had a minced meat base, topped with a mashed potato cake; delicate and painstakingly prepared Grilled Fish with Lobster Sauce; and Garbure, a french soup made with vegetables, which we found a little bland.
There was also an elaborate Indian and Oriental mains section, and the theme for the brunch had transcended to this section as well, with most of the Indian dishes being ones which have been widely appreciated and adopted by the British. The Indian dishes comprised Chicken Tikka Masala, Pork Vindaloo, Achari Gosht, Malabar Fish Curry, Chicken Biryani, Paneer Bhurji, Aloo Hara Pyaaz, Dal Tadka and Kunni Dal. The chicken tikka masala, the national dish of Britain, had juicy chicken and a mildly spiced curry, while the pork vindaloo had a strong, pungent taste. The fish curry was also really spectacular, with the fish literally breaking apart at the touch of a fork. The achari gosht was nice but could have had more of a pickle-y flavour. On the vegetarian side, we tried only the two dals. Dal tadka was fairly ordinary, but the kunni dal, which was a mix of maa ki dal and chana dal, was a revelation. It was so simple and humble, yet had stupendous flavours.
With little room left in our stomach, we walked towards our favourite section of any buffet- the dessert section. One look at the spread, and we felt we had landed in heaven! This was by far the most creative, ornate and delectable selection of desserts we have witnessed till date in any buffet, having an exhaustive selection of over 20 desserts. The dessert section also carried forward the same theme, with most of them being a beautiful marriage of French and British desserts. The spread included the likes of English Trifle Mousse with French Lemon Choux, which had a profiterole with a lemon cream filling atop a mousse which had all the elements of a traditional English trifle- vanilla custard, sponge and strawberry jelly, covered with a white chocolate glaze. Another great dessert was the Vanilla Lemon and Chocolate Entremet which had a crunchy shortbread base, topped with chocolate jam, lemon basil sugar and a vanilla mousse, with a vanilla cream filling, all covered with a dark chocolate glaze. Though it sounds like a mishmash of ingredients, and to be honest, we were a bit apprehensive as to how all these flavours would come together, but it turned out to be one of the best desserts we have ever had. The dexterity with which the layers had been ideated and constructed, each having a different texture and flavour, was pure genius. Another dessert which stole our hearts was the Raspberry Cremeux Tart which had a vanilla sable base and a raspberry cremeux filling, covered with crème chantilly and fresh berries. It was perfect for those who don’t like their desserts too sweet, as the raspberry provided a nice tart flavour. Another innovation was the Cruffin, a cross between croissant and muffin. Besides these, they also had Stick Toffee Pudding, Battenberg Cake, Eton Mess, English Berry Dome, Rainbow Victorian Sponge Cupcakes, Millionaire Shortbread, Hazelnut Bread and Butter Pudding and Banoffee Macarons, apart from some Indian mithai like Gulab Jamun, Moong Dal Halwa, Gulkand Rasmalai, Phirnee, among others. Our favourites from the dessert section were Vanilla Lemon and Chocolate Entremet, Raspberry Cremeux Tart and Millionaire Shortbread. We also tried some chocolate ice-cream which was prepared in-house, and it was creamy and rich.
Each dessert not only was a combination of French and English classics, but also had varied elements which all had different flavours and textures. But the mastery was in how all these elements came together beautifully to make for a composed, unique and delightful dessert! Hats off to the pastry chefs, as we believe they are some of the finest in the city.
The service was immaculate throughout our meal, with amazing attention to detail, as expected from any five-star establishment.
Our compliments to the chef and his team in the kitchen for an amazing meal, and to all the servers for superlative service! A lot of effort had gone into creating these dishes, and executing them all perfectly. Not many kitchens can make perfect kebabs, along with creating classic French dishes, and sublime desserts, so their versatility is unmatched. For any dessert-lover to miss the dessert spread at Threesixtyone would be a crime, the ambience of the restaurant is also gorgeous, and dining here is an experience to treasure. So overall, Threesixtyone Degrees is a must-visit, especially for their luxurious and majestic Sunday Brunch!
Location: The Oberoi, 443, Phase 5,Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon
Phone Number: 0124 2451234