You’ve watched him in action on TV, bought his Vicky Goes Veg cookbook, looped his food-travel videos on YouTube and follow his inspiring updates all over social media. But nothing beats all that than meeting Chef Vicky Ratnani face-to-face, in the flesh. I’ve always thought that his easy-going appeal and food passion make him a delightful co-diner. And an even better host, as I realised when I was invited to sample Sunday brunch at the much-acclaimed The Korner House in Khar, where he helms the kitchen and greets guests with his characteristic charm. If you want to meet Vicky, head to The Korner House asap, before he jets off to yet another exotic destination!
Of course, while Vicky is a big incentive to hotfoot it there this weekend, the restaurant certainly doesn’t disappoint. The gorgeous interiors feature high ceilings, plenty of paned glass, leafy greens and gentle sunlight, a prodigious bar and a wraparound outdoor section. For me, the icing on the cake was the live-music station, whence Raymond George, talented guitarist with velvet vocals performed a selection of easy-listening favourites. It set just the right tone for our time at The Korner House – upbeat and relaxed.
It created the perfect mood to dive right into the a la carte brunch designed by Vicky. Like other brunches that are now moving from groaning messy tables laden with an all-you-can-eat buffet, this one too guarantees you quality, fresh fine-dining. The emphasis on healthy and wholesome is not just via a cleverly worded menu, but a superbly crafted one.
In my book, the must have again and again dish here is the Art House Salad. Carefully layered and complex, this all-veg salad is just popping with flavour and Chef was actually waiting to see how we reacted to our first mouthful!!! I’m sure our amazed expressions didn’t disappoint him. Who would’ve imagined such umaminess from smokey cauliflower, plump mushrooms and charry pumpkins would be uplifted so by the tartness of cherry tomatoes, sweetness of raisins and that unctuous pepper-honey yoghurt shmear? All of that coupled with a smidgeon of truffle oil makes this salad one of the most moreish I’ve ever had!
Other must-tries: The Fresh Cheese and Market Table salad which has some nicely textured burrata surrounded by a celebration of terrifically tender and fresh fruits and veggies, the Gambas a la Plancha (prawns in garlic and Thai chilli), the scrambled eggs with truffle oil, and the delicious pork spare ribs with a shot of Espresso in the sauce that elevates it to a whole other level of yum! Chef Vicky’s forte is using technique and fusing flavours in an intelligent, surprising and authentic way, never resorting to anything gimmicky. Every dish seems to have been carefully considered and conceptualised. The Korner House proves that fine dining need not be strait-jacketedly formal and that casual food can be delicately nuanced and complex if given the right treatment.
Vicky’s brunch desserts are a revelation. The gossamer thin slicing of the fruits for the carpaccio is as easy on the eye as on the palate, while the subtle flavours of the yoghurt and honey parfait in the centre are a pleasant contrast to the sharp bite of the kiwi, dragon fruit and pineapple. The fruit pearls almost seem extraneous though they add a visual element to the dish. The mango and chia pudding in a preserve jar is a sweeter dessert, but just like the carpaccio, can double as a breakfast dish. Both are just right as a hint of fruity freshness after a heavy Sunday brunch.
The cocktails are refreshing too and I loved my Umeshu Sling, made with a Japanese plum liqueur, cherry brandy, fresh pineapple juice and Tanqueray Gin. A nice thirst quencher on a Sunday is the Korner House Mule, which mixes lager and fresh ginger with Absolut vodka!
As cheery as the decor! Umeshu Sling
All in all, this is delightful dining that actually feels like how a relaxed and rejuvenating brunch should. 😊 There’s a separate menu for the rest of the day that has enough permutations and combinations to feed you with a different dish for every day of the year! But more on that some other time. Right now, grab yourself a good table, allow Vicky’s charm and talent to brighten up your brunch, and remember me in your Sunday prayers.