An elegant villa, set in an olive grove 4.5km off SH1 at the Bombay Hills, Bracu was the restaurant of choice for my birthday lunch. Bracu appealed first of all because of the flawlessy elegant setting. We sat on the verandah on cane seats, enjoying our gentle surroundings.The subtle Bracu branding printed on the waiters’ aprons, on the paper napkin holders and on the classy menus set the tone.
I loved the quiet. Apparently music was off the menu because of sound system problems. Usually there is classical background music. We revelled in the silence of the summer day and the ease with which we could hear each other throughout our three and a half hour indulgence in Bracu’s delicate dishes.
On arrival we were served our glass of wine and warm crusty bread with delicious oil from the Sumonivich Estate – Bracu’s olive grove setting.
It took little persuasion from VJ and our waiter that we should all – Iggy, VJ, Mum and I – try the degustation menu. The waiters were impressive, able to explain the complex combination of elements on every little dish – combinations and contrasts of texture, taste and temperature, mostly served with delicate edible flowers from the Bracu gardens.
Three dishes of tiny canapes were first. Seafood surrounded by five impeccable corn kernels served in a teaspoon, macadamia and cheese on a tiny crouton, pate on a tiny circle of toast topped with a caramelised walnut. The pate was so smooth. VJ thought the next dish – tuna with papaya, cucumber and a quenelle of cucumber sorbet was her favourite dish.
VJ changed her mind about the ultimate dish of the meal when we were served a perfect mandarin souffle with mandarin sorbet, to complete the meal. The souffle was risen to twice the height of the dish, had a perfect golden crust, and the softest, smoothest most intensely flavoured centre. I would find it hard to name any one dish as a favourite. For me it was the whole experience, the tiny details, the sheer indulgence of spending a day tasting, sampling and the happy chatting.
All credit to Bracu’s stunning chefs and friendly, attentive waiters. This was a birthday to remember!