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H O S T E D
The best advice I was given (thank you @maria_hannah) was to clear my schedule for the rest of the weekend. Because after doing justice to the spread of food and free-flow of alcoholic beverages, simply rolling home to be a starfish was already an arduous task.
An adults-only affair, the Sunday Cocktail Brunch takes place between 12noon and ‪3pm‬ within the sexy, mirrored-ceiling space that is the Manhattan Bar. For the three hours we were there, my niece Amanda and I had a lot of fun discovering the wide variety of offerings from the food buffet and drink sections set up at opposite ends of the room, as well as trying out the mini-sized gourmet hot items from the menu.
Like every guest, we were first warmly welcomed at the entrance with a cocktail but our beverage choices escalated rapidly to include boozy milkshakes, a Mezcal-based Bloody Mary (you can choose to have it concocted with other spirits of course), gin and tonics, as well as a few cocktails (we started with the lighter “Diaspora” and ended strong with the “Fika”). All of them were made to order. What I particularly enjoyed were the two mind-boggling arrays of condiments we had at our disposal to dress up our drinks. That is how I ended up decking out my Bloody Mary in “bak kwa”, fresh herbs, sticks of cucumber and celery plus a dash of hot sauce, and Amanda’s G&T got prettied up with fresh fruit. I may have been rather minimalist decorating my raspberry-chocolate and hazelnut liqueur milkshake with Valrhona crunchy chocolate balls but Amanda didn’t play coy as she heaped nuts and fruit on her pineapple and almond liqueur version.
For food, the chilled seafood was our first stop. So pleased to see they had Alaskan King crab legs, Boston lobsters, Hokkaido scallops, oysters, ceviche and more. Next was the delicatessen section where we filled our plates with a few fresh mixed salads, cheeses (love the Taleggio and Brie most), excellent Italian cold cuts and marinated fish (the Drunken Gin Salmon and Marinated Anchovies were our top picks). It was the carvery after that. I zeroed in on the bourbon BBQ pork ribs as I am not into lamb but Amanda was happy to help herself to the mustard-crusted leg of lamb and whisky-infused Cajun lamb rack.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be delighted to know the desserts at this brunch can be a meal in itself. Apart from the line-up of mini cakes and pastries (don’t miss out on the American Cheesecake, an amazing light-as-air scrumptiousness), there is also straight-from-the-pan Crepe Suzette. Make sure to pop a scoop of the Tahitian vanilla ice-cream to enjoy it a la mode.

PRICING.
$163++ per person with free-flow cocktails, wines and beers.
$199++ per person with free-flow cocktails, wines and beers and Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne.

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