Sunday Brunch in Bodega & Grill, Angsana Resort

For many of the residents of Phuket, the Sunday Brunch is our escape from reality – a sleep at 4;00 PM, or 7:00 PM is almost mandatory. Sunday Brunch will usually last 3-4 hours and afterwards you will need a driver to take you home.

But, and it is a big BUT, many hotels stop their Sunday Brunch during the low seasons. Xana and Indigo Pearl are good example where in the high season they may have over 200 attending but shut the brunch during the low season.

Well there is now an alternative and what is more it changes every week unlike most other Brunch format which are always the same and if you are fed up with the house brands you can even bring your own wine to share with your friends before you realize you didn’t bring enough and have to buy off the hotel wine list.

Inspired by Angsana General Manager Brian Connelly, Brian recruited a complex but old-style genius chef Jonathan Bruell who had been taking a sabbatical in Phuket. Born in Brazil, educated in Britain but now calling Australia home (with passports from all 3 countries), Jonathan has been the outlet chef in Bodega for 3 months now.

Jonathan was trained initially in England, then Bermuda, then Switzerland and has worked in Egypt, Bahrain, Korea, Vietnam, Cook Islands and Australia. As a result, he understands traditional French food as well as Modern Australian, South American, Asian and some Arabian food- as I said a complex character whose philosophy is “to use fresh ingredients to create a clean taste; from the pan to the plate with flavour, texture and simplicity”.

I have had the opportunity to watch Jonathan in a kitchen, he is an old style chef that uses everything, whether as a base for a sauce, another dish or something special- I was amazed how little he wastes.

So brunch starts with a salad and seafood buffet spread (but take a tip and go lightly- maybe just the oysters and Alaskan crab) and then you have a degustation marathon of 12 courses- many people get very selective and normally eat only 3 or 4 dishes of the last 6 courses. Frankly I think 8 courses would be enough.

Each course is small and usually consists of either King Prawns, Scallop, small soup or bisque, Foie Gras, fish, duck, lamb or beef and flowed by cheese and a Dessert Trilogy. The presentation style changes every week and there is a growing band of regulars – Bodega is not always easy to find but the good news is it is a long walk from the Foyer so you can get your exercise walking there and settle your food with the walk afterwards – but you can always get the golf cart back to the Foyer if you took too many wines.

For the record Jonathan speaks French, German and Portuguese as well as Australian and is highly self-critical if guest have a problem with their food or if the plates are not returned to the kitchen empty. I once sent a plate back as it wasn’t hot and was banned for 3 weeks. Jonathan takes great pride in his food.

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