The monsoon showers are almost over, and Goans are being gifted with some brilliant sunkissed mornings, and fun days at the beach once more. The perfect way to celebrate the sun on a Sunday, is heading over to La Brise shack, which is strategically situated facing the sea, on Candolim beach, and yet unlike most of the shacks, it is a permanent structure, with good cover in case it rains, a dining experience akin to the starred resorts, as it belongs to the Novotel Resort Candolim.
So, one gets the best of both worlds; the unstructured, casualness of a shack, while the food, music and ambience have the comfort of an indoor restaurant.
We were warned that since it is a shack kind of establishment, a high chair would not be available and other baby friendly/child friendly amenities may be missing. We were happy to note availability of high chair, a small air conditioned section, a small green area for cricket, badminton and the like, as well as beach games as well.
Apart from a roof over your head, you are in an open air seating, which can get pretty warm in the afternoon, suggested seating is under a fan, but the music can be loud.
The food begins at 11 a clock in keeping with the breakfast to lunch concept. You have a grazing bar, to choose popcorn, nachos, dips and such. A salad bar where you can toss your own salad, or sample the chicken tikka salad or the arugula, feta and mandarin salad, which was my favourite. The salads are seen chilling out in their own swing. A fun and casual way of serving the salads.The salad in a jar is also a great concept, unfortunately the lettuce greens had gone limp from the heat, something to be expected in this weather.
The fare is casual dining, and you even have a counter making maggi.the chef manning the counter was prepping the maggi quite akin to making pasta at pasta counters; using veggies and chicken , egg or toppings of your choice. But they stuck to the original flavours of the maggi tastemaker for seasoning, thus not veering away from the much loved taste of ‘meri maggi’.
An egg counter which serves up scrambles to omelettes, again plays well with the brunch concept.
A live barbeque counter which is the highlight of the spread. Succulent pieces of mutton chops and pork spare ribs, have been cooked to perfection. The pork fat rendered down till the fat is a gelatinous melt in your mouth consistency, and the caramelisation on the Goat meat was spot on.This is a do not miss counter, infact visit multiple times during the brunch.
The burgers were a let down. The beef too dry, not cooked to a medium rare. The chicken slider was dry as well. the potato veggie burger was surprisingly the best. But since you can build your own burger, I suggest extra cheddar cheese, more mayo, and double serving of caramelised onions, with two burger patties of your choice, or three, to make a jumbo burger tower. Get creative.
The goan dishes on offer were average, so was the south east Asian fare.
The dessert counter is served indoors since the weather can be quite unforgiving to pastries. The usual suspects of cakes, waffles, a chocolate fountain and the like. loved the addition of fresh cut fruits , served to order.
The sunny surroundings make you reach out for a drink and they have plenty of options. Both in carton juices, mocktails, and cocktails. Fresh juices or tender coconut water by the beach would have been ideal.
The brunch goes on till 4.The beachnic, is literally that, a beach side picnic; a fun way to spend time with family and friends at the beach.
Food: 3.5 plates
Ambience: 4 plates
Service: 4 plates
to read more about the history of brunching , read here http://foodietrails.blogspot.in/2016/07/brunching-and-beyond.html