Monday, August 2, 2010

Brunch @ The Bromwell

Weekends are made for lazy mornings and delicious brunches. On Saturday, we decided to try Bread at The Bromwell Boutique Mall in bustling Woodstock. Courtesy parking makes the whole experience much easier and we were welcomed by a burly-looking bouncer dressed in black – a first for a brunch spot. The downstairs space has been used well with a number of tables and gorgeous red booths – vibrant colours and patterns have been used freely throughout, with red being the signature colour.

The breakfast options were relatively limited and pricey on average. Our "truffle" scrambled egg, roasted tomato and (what looked decidedly like bacon) pancetta was R45 and it came with a little salad, which I thought was unnecessary. But you could tell they were pushing the gourmet envelope on eggs. I had immediate order envy when I saw the poached eggs encased in bread that the middle-aged tannies next to us ordered, though they were completely bemused when a seed encrusted tower arrived in front of them without an egg to be seen! The coffee was okay, if a little bitter, and neither of us ordered second cup.

We meandered up to the art gallery upstairs after breakfast. Well, meandered is a rather romantic description. One of the bouncers stopped us to check whether we were going upstairs. Apparently we needed to sign in (which involved him checking my drivers licence and taking down my details - for correspondence - on a scrap of paper). Once we'd gained access, we walked through the rooms arranged in a square-shape with the central section open to the restaurant and deli below. The works are varied, with a Top Billing show-home appeal – the contemporary afro-fusion twist on old ball & claw furniture, a bright African portrait in an ornate, guilded frame. A modern art gallery, judging from the product prices available on slick touch screen in every room, we are not the target market.

Back to the food. It seemed that the menu's focus was more on their Italian sandwiches and other main course selections. I was a little disappointed – the idea of a weekend deli in a destination venue (let me tell you I won't be popping by for a R18 000 artwork on a regular basis) means the experience needs to be compelling. Obviously, I never expect to do my grocery shopping – imported meats and cheeses and whatnot – at a deli so I'm not judging their selection or prices, but it's called "Bread" and we didn't leave with any. I want to be able to meander in, have a delicious breakfast (which I'm prepared to pay more for if I feel I'm getting an experience), not feel pressured to move on, before picking up a few key weekend ingredients from the deli.

Don't you worry, I mentioned this in the comments box.

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