islamabad - With just six months on the job, the Executive Chef at Marriott Islamabad, Thomas Figovc has already made his presence felt.

He is a not a marketing wizkid but in a short span of time at Marriott Islamabad, he figured out a profitable proposition, as lunch at Nadia Café is relatively slow whereas the footfall at the Hi-Tea at the same place is on a high volume.

“Lunch at Nadia coffee shop was not doing so good whereas Hi-Tea has been highly demanded. I came up with the idea of hi-brunch on Sunday where families can come over for a treat, listen to music, enjoy a variety of food and relax, a concept very close to Pakistani traditions and culture,” the chef explained. Figovc – who is basically from Argentina – has been around the world for 25 year period of his of culinary experience.

“I have worked in North America, South East Asia, Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific and my last assignment was in Lebanon before accepting the offer in Pakistan, so I bring experience from all over the world,” said Figovc.

Hi-brunch at Nadia coffee shop starts at 1:30pm and wraps up at 6:00 pm. The menu on the offer was too difficult to write home about. A generous spread of salads included iceberg, rocket leaves, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes dipped in olive oil with an array of dressings as sidelines.

Guests arriving at 1:30 pm can directly head towards the salad bar and in the same go, pick their soup bowls. This Sunday the choice was between Thai soup and Pumpkin soup which is a novelty in Islamabad, as hardly any fine dining restaurant serves it; maybe because it falls into the category of ‘acquired taste’. The texture, the colour and the consistency of ingredients, all secured full marks and crunchy crotons oomph the flavour of the delicacy.

The other option was Thai soup and those who have been a regular at the Marriott Thai Restaurant ‘Royal Elephant’ were in for a treat, as Tom Yum Gong soup would be an obvious choice. Julianne garlic and green chilli, button mushroom and shredded chicken in a multi-colour chicken broth with a hint of oil cooked in Thai herbs, one felt like dining in a mini Bangkok.

A free tip over here for visitors to be, skip the hi-tea delights displayed in the likes of Gol Gappay, Chana Chat and other bakery items as you will regret it later once you reach the finishing line.

Interestingly, the food at hi-brunch represents specialities from other Asian restaurants as both ‘Royal Elephant’ and ‘Sakura’ are closed for lunch on Sundays.

Sushi lovers could not have asked for more as the layout though a bit cramped but the taste was divine.

The freshly crafted sushi melted in the mouth in nanoseconds. Another novelty was the roasted Turkey with cranberry sauce and gravy, a reminder of the Thanksgiving dinner for many.

Pakistani items included Biryani, mutton handi, and prawn masala to name a few. The chef has surely been successful in bringing out a Mughal dish, as prawns were very tender, moist and not chewy and the masala oozed out a symphony of flavours. Eaten with a piping hot Nan, you are in heaven.

BBQ chicken and beef seekh kebab failed to draw much attention, as there is no comparison with a live BBQ; when arrested in a capped dish, it loses its charm as well as taste.

Well, we are just halfway through as an array of Chinese cuisine awaited the guests. Egg fried rice, Chow Mien, sweet and sour fish, chicken in oyster sauce and beef vegetables were there to tantalize the taste buds, especially when cooked by a Dynasty Chef.

The aroma coming out of the big flat wok managed to attract the attention of the foodies. Hot piping parathas stuffed with minced meat, roll parathas made from flour, shami kebabs, potato cutlets and mint chatani mixed in yogurt, one didn’t know where to stop and how to resist.

However, the show stopper of this hi-brunch was the chocolate station and not only for chocolate aficionados but for all and sundry. It was the most beguiling feature at the Nadia Coffee shop, as one has never witnessed live chocolate delicacies in making.

Truffles topped with nuts, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and assortments in the likes of caramel, powdered sugar, slivers in different sizes. It was more of a chocolate boutique shop the just a live station.