All this is without doubt the stock in trade of Metzo’s Mediterranean-inspired Sunday Brunch at the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort.
But there’s far more to this beguiling Sunday event, bringing an additional magic to this particular experience that is unique in all of Phuket.
Brunches at Metzo’s are exotic and fun in ways that are truly like no other on our island.
Firstly, there’s the cuisine. The rather inexact descriptor “Mediterranean” hardly does justice to the kaleidoscope of tastes, flavours, ingredients and colours that are about to seduce your palette when you enter the welcoming portals of Metzo’s close to the resort’s huge swimming pool.
In truth we are talking here, not about generalised ‘Mediterranean’ cuisine, but specifically about the north coast of Africa… of Morocco, with a pinch of Alexandria, Greece and Turkey thrown into the exotica of gustatory creation.
As soon as you are seated your taste buds go into overdrive as you can see and smell the dishes the chefs are preparing in the open-plan kitchen. To start the brunch a friendly waitress brings a range of tapas-style Middle Eastern favourites to your table, 19 in total, ranging from dips of hummus, moutabal and mouhamara (mixed crushed nuts, tomato, chilli paste and spices), to Moroccan chicken salad, Lebanese cauliflower salad, zucchini and tomato frittata, beef carpaccio and Serrano ham and chorizo.
The very names of this opening salvo of mezze and tapas are magical and evoke the scents, sounds and mystery of the North Africa and the Levant.
You have entered an enchanted a world of souks, labyrinthine kasbahs, camel-trains, Bedouin tent encampments in desert wadis and all the exotic cuisine that exemplifies this realm.
Labneh (Greek yogurt, mint and garlic), falafel (crispy chickpeas, and Lebanese spices), fatouch (assorted vegetables, lemon, olive oil and sumac) and tabouleh (parsley, bourghul, tomato, onions, olive oil and lemons).
It’s as though Lawrence Durrell had been let loose in the kitchen conjuring Arabic magic through exotic vocabulary, not so much the Alexandria Quartet as the Moroccan Cornucopia.
Five mains courses then await you, each one great to share with friends and family.
A mixed grill including shish taouk (chicken), shish kebab (beef), lamb kofta, grilled pork neck, royal couscous, roasted new potatoes, and also a seafood mixed grill including tiger prawn, rock lobster, Andaman tuna, squid, royal couscous and roasted new potatoes are hard to resist.
Or there’s the chicken shawarma, surf & turf and the vegetable tajine, baked in the eponymous traditional Moroccan clay pot.
As I sat revelling in this seduction of my senses, a vision of loveliness stood up to the microphone and started crooning a forgotten love song.
So redolent was all this of Casablanca that I looked around half expecting Bogie to saunter in, wearing his trademark white dinner jacket, sidle up to the demur chanteuse and drawl, “Play it again Sam-antha”. *
Finally, it was dessert time in the desert!
My salivating taste buds were sated with apple cobbler, fudge brownies, mixed fruit and coffee. And while ‘apple cobbler’ may owe more to the Vale of Evesham than the Kasbah, by then I was past caring!
At Metzo’s your whole family will be happy. While you indulge your inner Bogie, they can enjoy the free Wi-Fi, the kiddies’ food corner with free access to Koh Kids Club, and there’s free-flow beverages for the adults.
And as all this bounty is brought to your table you may well have energy for a post-prandial dip in the pool and 55-metre slide after brunch is over.
*This is possibly the most famous mis-quote in all filmography. Bogie never actually said this. What he did say was, “Play it Sam” referring to Herman Hupfeld’s incomparable number As Time Goes By.
Metzo’s Sunday Brunch - held every Sunday at Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm. B990++ per person including the first drink. B2,290++ per person (includes free-flow selected beverages). Half price for children aged 4 to 12.
For reservation, please call Metzo’s at +66 (0)76 360 600 or email: email@example.com