Atarachi feast reinvents the Sunday brunch
Sunday brunches generally tend to mimic one another, especially in this city’s five star hotels. Yet Utage, at the Plaza Athenee Bangkok, has created a one-of-a-kind experience you don’t want to miss.
Their ‘Atarachi’ brunch—this Japanese word literally translates to “new” or “fresh”—is a revelation, it highlights all the best Japanese delicacies you could possibly desire, including starters, sushi, sashimi, noodles, teppanyaki, sukiyaki, tempura and stir-fried rice. It is all-you-can-eat for an all-inclusive price of B3,000++ per person, including one lobster cooked to order, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverages (every Sunday from 11:30am till 2:30pm).
This brunch was originally conceived to be served without a menu, and each guest is treated to several individually prepared selections of dishes in each category. Currently, they have a menu you can peruse and let the staff know what you prefer to try and what you may want to avoid on your culinary journey. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and proficient, and the interior’s clean and modern design aesthetics harken to the elementary forces of nature—with wood, steel, stone, and water coloured glass all evoking an undeniable sense of minimalist charm and appeal.
Since this is an à la carte buffet you can order as much as you like, but you will want to be sure to pace yourself. The avocado salad and the flavoursome fried gyoza are a nice way to get started. Follow that up with a combination of niri sushi, scorched nigiri sushi, and maki rolls. Other highlights include the foie gras sushi, the Wagyu sushi, and the dragon roll with spicy tuna. They also have some fusion sushi such as Tom Yum and Massaman curry flavours that are worth trying, as well as the traditional sashimi set with prawn, clam, tuna, and salmon—which is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
The teppanyaki is excellent, with the grilled prawns, foie gras, and salmon being the most memorable, and the light and crispy tempura tiger prawns are perhaps some of the best you will find with the freshness and quality of the shrimp apparent from the first bite. The Shabu Shabu is another satisfying dish, with its delicate and tender Wagyu beef, and delightful seafood broth and fresh vegetables. But the main attraction is, for many, the whole lobster, and you can choose to have it sashimi or teppanyaki style. I opted for the latter and was not disappointed. The sweet, succulent meat is char-grilled to perfection and served tableside on a sizzling plate, while the claw meat is served in a seductive miso soup.
End your meal with a scoop of both their Matcha green tea and red bean ice cream. Utage is heads and tails above your average hotel buffet, and the focus on fresh, high quality Japanese fare makes it truly unforgettable.
By Melissa Richter
Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel
Open daily: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Tel: 02 650 8800 | www.plazaatheneebangkok.com