“There are more different sausages in Germany than there are breakfast foods in America, and if there is a bad one among them then I have never heard of it. The run in size from little fellow so small and pale and fragile that it seems a crime to eat them to vast and formidable pieces that look like shells for heavy artillery.”
-H. L. Mencken , 1880-1956
I had the opportunity to attend The Hilton’s Oktoberfest themed Bingeful Brunch at Vasco’s on October 7th. I found a lively scene complete with German beer, (an unbelievable amount of) sausage, sauerkraut, and all the other fixings one would expect from a German themed brunch. I left with full a stomach and a woozy head; all is as it should be during Oktoberfest.
Aside from the themed dishes, the brunch was complete with everything one would expect to be present during a luxury brunch. Initially unsure of how Chennai might respond to a German menu, Chef Babu Nagarajan, the Chef de Cuisine, did a pukka job of presenting both authentic German dishes and weaving a German thread into more traditional brunch favorites. There truly was something for everyone at brunch.
Einen Tisch für zwei, bitte. (A table for two, please.)
Upon entering, we were pleasantly greeted by the authentically dressed staff. The pig-tailed hostess was in her traditional dirndl, while our server played the part in his lederhosen. Before diving in to eat, we first performed some reconnaissance on our options, just like Otto Von Bismarck would have done. We explored the sprawling layout to find stations including:
- The sausage station with a choice of 8 imported sausages, grilled to perfection on demand
- A live carving station with full roasted chicken, roast beef, fish, and pork
- A large selection of German, Western, and Indian breads
- A pizza and cold cuts station
- The Asian station with sushi, bao, rolls, and an assortment of dumplings
- A fresh salad counter, so we could at least try to pretend we were eating healthy
- An Indian chaat counter for those perhaps not willing to fully dive into the Oktoberfest festivities
- A dessert counter large enough to set up a second home in
Möchten Sie eine Vorspeise? (Would you like an appetizer?)
I sure would! We got the party started with a selection of breads and cold cuts. The freshly baked mushroom bread was a standout. My wife, always the Northeasterner, made a beeline for the dumplings. She found them to be delicious, which means the world coming from her (her momos are renowned by friends and family, so sometimes she is apprehensive to give credit where credit is due.)
After some nice soups, we moved on to the star of the party – the sausage party! For Oktoberfest, The Hilton imported at least eight different types of sausages from Germany. Each one we tried was delightful. Rightfully so, the live sausage counter saw the most action from patrons, with everyone leaving with heaped plates – and then still coming back for seconds. Sampling most of them, we agreed with the other diners – these wurst were the best! My favorite was the knackwurst, which I used to create my own sandwiches with a little help from the bread and cheese station.
Making sure not to fill up on sausages alone, we came back from the other counters with overflowing plates. Other standout dishes included the schnitzel, the salmon fillet, and the kartoffel (traditional German roasted potatoes.) As we snaked through the various options we realized what the Chef was artfully doing – making German food accessible to the Chennai palette. He succeeded. I really enjoyed the masala goulash… and I think I even saw a sauerkraut biriyani.
Ich möchte gerne etwas trinken. (I would like something to drink.)
The drink station saw plenty of action, and for good reason! In addition to German bear, they crafted up a variety of German themed cocktails. I got started with a beer and vodka fruit bunch and then moved on to the German beer splashed bloody mary. I’m sure I tried a few others, but Oktoberfest wouldn’t be Oktoberfest if I remembered everything I drank. My wife played it safe with the wine menu, where she found a nice selection of reds and whites.
Haben Sie vegetarische Gerichte? (Do you have vegetarian dishes?)
While, by the nature of German cuisine, any Oktoberfest will be meat heavy, Chef Babu made sure to cater to all of Vasco’s regular audiences. For vegetarians, he did a great job of weaving in German themed palate pleasers with more traditional dishes.
Highlights for vegetarians included the roasted German potatoes, the gurkensalat (cucumber and dill salad), three kinds of sauerkraut, and the spaetzle with caramelized onions, tomatoes, and wilted spinach.
Perhaps the only section without German flair was the Asian counter (sushi, sashimi, dumplings, and bao). This speaks to the Hilton’s customer base; they enjoy lots of Asian guests due to the auto manufacturing plants, so they had to make sure these guests had their trusted favorites.
Noch eins, bitte. (Another, please.)
We wound down the party at, of course, the dessert counter. While the Hilton’s desserts are always a treat, they went the extra mile for Oktoberfest with a never ending supply of freshly baked pies, cookies, and cakes.
Finally, with the cocktails taking effect, the sausage weighing on our bellies, and the sounds of yodeling dancing through our heads (not really, there was a very good local live singer and keyboardist), it was time to call it a day. Overall it was a delightful experience and we are counting down these next 11 months until we can return for another round.
About the Bingeful Sunday Brunch at the Hilton Chennai
The Hilton’s Oktoberfest Edition of The Hilton Bingeful Sunday Brunch was a one day affair. However, The Hilton Bingeful Sunday Brunch runs every Sunday from 12:30PM to 3:30PM.
The next themed brunch is sure to be a spooky delight for Halloween. Vasco’s at Hilton Chennai will come alive with a Halloween special themed The Hilton Bingeful Sunday Brunch which will include an elaborate kids zone, face painting, Donut Eating Race, Pop Goes the Pumpkin Balloon Game, Marshmallow Toss Game, Poke a Pumpkin, Pumpkin Patch Stomp, photo booth with props, theme cut outs on the buffet and much more.
Date: 28th October, 2018. Sunday
Time: 12:30PM to 3:30PM
- Non Alcoholic Hilton Brunch:-INR 2700 (inc. tax)
- Alcoholic Hilton Brunch (IMFL/Domestic Liquor) :- INR 3000 (inc. tax)
- Sparkling Hilton Brunch (Imported and sparkling wine):- INR 3300 (inc. tax)
- Champagne Hilton Brunch (Imported champagne):- INR 4500 (inc. tax)
Call: (+91) 044-2225-5555