Ah! A well-planned restaurant with emphasis on food, its variety and not cheap gimmicks like containers, fancy serving methods after a long time….
Unable to go for the launch of the Big Fat Boozy Sunday of The Clearing House (Ballard Estate) owing to prior commitments, we went for the 2nd Big Fat Boozy Sunday Lunch last Sunday. Located in one of the narrow, nondescript lanes of Fort, Calicut Street is not very easy to find….you need to look out for it from the time you get off the Eastern Freeway if coming from that side.
A natural, sunlit decor
A surprise awaits you inside The Clearing House – it is huge!! Minimalistic, perhaps a ware house converted into a restaurant, there are two separate sections – the somewhat informal section right upon entrance, with a cute little corner for desserts in the right hand side, and live music at the far left corner. The section inside is a little formal, with a dazzling bar on the right hand side, and beautiful lights everywhere. What I liked most were the long doors and windows, and the sunlight streaming in from the glass roof. Nothing like natural things. That the whole place had many many vases of what looked like fresh flowers, made it so spring-like and beautiful. Just the perfect place for a laidback, long Sunday brunch!
Food spoils you at The Clearing House
Food at the Big Fat Boozy Sunday Brunch is a generous spread, with a mind-boggling variety. A wide array of veg, non-veg salad, along with some interesting fishes line up the long side of the music corner. Absolutely loved the variety. The only spoiler were the high seats, that made navigation difficult…but thankfully, during main course, we had a cosy table in the section inside. As I said, inside is a huge fine-dining seating area with a large bar – just right for that drink with your family, friends — idea is to take it easy and slow…
Service at the Clearing House is quick and with a smile. The drinks list includes a good range of Champagne, Wines, Cocktails, mocktails. Add to it the options in the long table with some 20 types of salads and tapas – including a combination of exotic veggies, assorted mushrooms, kale, wine poached pears, and an even more impressive non-veg section consisting of Prawns & Mussels, Roast Beef, Tuna, Turkey, Parma Bacon, Chicken liver pate! We tried everything and loved them all. Had been tempted to go back for more, but then held ourselves back for there were the mains to choose from, followed by an assortment of desserts!
The Brunch menu had options of Paninis for lunch, but we decided to pick from the non-veg menu — Wine Glazed Lamb Shanks and Pork Belly it was for us, although we eyed the Grilled Red Snapper greedily too. With a good and quick presentation and serving, we were soon filled to the brim and even turned down offers on further drinks and special flavored shots.
That little bit of space left in the stomach could be only for deserts – an assortment of small cheesecakes, chocolate bundts pies, puddings and strawberry tres leches, creme brulees. We ordered Belgian Chocolate Pancake – turned out okay; would have preferred more chocolate syrup & pieces.
Overall, The Clearing House offers excellent food and a wide variety. No corners cut. No stocks running out or mis-management. At 2500+ taxes, it’s not cheap but with unlimited drinks and the selections, it is reasonable enough for a long lazy Sunday brunch. The classy crowd and involved hosts adds to the experience.
Highly recommend the place going there with a group of family/friends. And oh … don’t forget a driver or a non-drinker to get you back home!