I’m all about that brunch life. If you were to ask me now whether I’d like to eat smashed avo on toast at my favourite cafe for the foreseeable future over buying a house. Well, it would have to be avocado on toast in my house, of course. Adulting.
When it comes to new brunch spots in the city, I’m keen to check them out and share the love- or not.
Hyatt’s restaurant, Aria is now serving a brunch buffet every Sunday from 12.30-3pm which has a similar vibe to the hotel brunches in Mumbai and Dubai which I’ve spent plenty of Sundays enjoying- except the food on offer at Aria is a little bit- confusing?
The menu promises bottomlesss brunch but seems to have a mix of lunch and full on dinner options, rather than brunch.
There is a cooling counter that features cured meats, salads, grilled veg, ceviche and gazpacho amongst other things.
A pizza and pasta station; a hot station with curries et al and a carving station with roast fore rib of beef and all the trimmings is on offer. Oh and some really pretty desserts- waffles anyone?
The presentation is pretty though but there are no brunch classics to be seen and we are only advised of one brunch dish- Eggs Benedict which is dished out from the pan to our existing plate that is stacked with pizza etc. For a pair who had bypassed breakfast altogether, having eggs with pizza or rare beef is not what we had in mind.
The cooling counter is probably my favourite as I’m a big fan of super salads and cured meats but I’m not sure I’d have naturally chosen this for brunch if it was up to me.
I think a little more work is required to refine this menu and either focus in on classic brunch staples or lunch staples. At the moment, the menu isn’t really brunch and if I’d have been a walk-in guest, I would probably have walked straight back out to go for something more brunch-y and slightly cheaper. There is definitely potential here for it to become the destination for that luxe hotel style brunch but I don’t think its quite there yet.
At £30 per person including soft drinks; £40 per person with unlimited prosecco or £50 per person with unlimited champagne, its not a cheap option so some attention needs to be made to align the menu with the demographic that will be interested in a bottomless brunch.
Unfortunately, the service was non-existent, with lots of staff on shift, not really doing a lot and ironically we weren’t offered a prosecco top-up until the end of our brunch- 2 hours in. For a brunch that claims to be bottomless, it was like we were being mocked for even considering that bottomless actually meant bottomless.
When it comes to the food, small details were also missed- the hot food was labelled backwards so that the labels didn’t match the food on show and some of the dishes that were later brought out to other tables weren’t on the menu.
All in all, it was a bit of a haphazard brunch that didn’t feel as luxe as I’d hoped. There is a lot of work to do on the menu and the positioning of it before I’d consider returning- there are much better options in the city. Gaucho’s bottomless brunch at £50 for example, blows this out the water.
*Thanks to the Hyatt, I was invited to try the food complimentary. As always my opinions are my own.*
Hyatt Regency, 2 Bridge St, Birmingham B1 2JZ