Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Sit up and take notice

Chef Kevyn Pratt’s brunch menu at Royal Blue Tavern is vibrantly beautiful and does not skimp on taste

It’s time to play catch up again!
Chef Kevyn Pratt, one of the youngest executive chefs in the country at age 27, is shaking up the Sunday brunch routine with his offerings at the Royal Blue Tavern at the Royal Blue Golf Club — and while he is offering the ubiquitous pancakes, waffles, breakfast toast, boiled fish, and steak and eggs — it’s what the chef is doing to these breakfast staples that makes all the difference.

While taste is first and foremost on Pratt’s mind, the visual of what is set before a diner is just as important. He’s a firm believer in eating with the eyes first and as such his composed plating will leave you astounded as well.

So it makes you wonder, what came first — the plating or the taste — or the taste and then the plating?

Forget chicken and waffles, that is so five years ago. Pratt is serving up conch and waffles with a pineapple syrup, sweet potato puree and a drizzle of chipotle mayonnaise. It’s one of his brunch signatures.

Tender fried conch intermingles with waffles that fluffy on the inside with an exterior that is not too crisp and neither too soft.

The chef aims for a waffle that is more on the savory side, taking into account the sweetness you get from the pineapple syrup and potato puree. Your job is to get all flavors in every bite. Once you get that perfect bite it’s a dance of flavors on the palate. You’re hit with the savory from the conch and the cinnamon and nutmeg notes in the waffle, and it finishes with sweet, before rounding out to savory again. And then there’s that delicious kick from the chipotle mayonnaise. The sweet potato puree rounds out all the flavors as you realize the dish just works, even if you weren’t quite sure it would. But it does. With the muted browns and oranges to be expected with a dish of this nature. A sprinkle of micro greens and chives and a light dusting of powdered sugar ups the color contrast ante.

His version of lox and bagel is over the top eye-pleasing. It’s a brioche toast, smashed avocado, smoked salmon, with a panko fried boiled egg regally perched on top, surrounded by thin slices of beet chips, radish slices, pickled onions, and jalapenos for crunch and hints of spice. The sprinkling of edible flowers are his nod to a whimsical touch to this shockingly vibrant and colorful dish from a chef, who is serious about his craft, but at the same time realizes that he can take a playful approach as well. Cutting into that perfectly poached egg with its crunchy exterior … the runny yolk soaks into everything for that unctuousness that you want with a dish like this to soften everything up.

Pratt’s flavor profiles in this dish hits all the right notes with the pickled onions for a hint of sweet, jalapenos for heat, and the buttery salmon.

Speaking of whimsy, a towering stack of buttermilk pancakes, berries, cream, and maple syrup is served crowned with those beautiful edible flowers perched atop a pillow of deliciously whipped cream with maple syrup on the side — if you must have it. You practically won’t want to cut into it, but the chef meant for you to admire — first with your eyes, and then with the compliments you offer up for the taste.

Think of this as a cheating day dish, as homemade whipped cream and berries come together with light, fluffy, buttermilk pancakes. And between each pancake layer is fruit and more cream, which means that the bottom layers begin to soak up the delicious liquids soaking through.

He’s giving you a choice of rib eye steak or tenderloin with your steak and eggs; the lean tenderloin is an option for those people watching their waistline, while the fatty, buttery goodness of the ribeye, considered to be the king of steak is to be had for those people who simply want to indulge.

The boiled fished, comes with both Johnnycake and grits. He’s cut the grouper into manageable bite-sized boneless portions — so don’t expect your grandma’s boiled fish with those huge fillets. And in a nod to Bahamians wanting their boiled fish seasoned to their liking, the chef serves kosher salt, goat pepper and lime on the side.

With all of that to peruse before you even get to the omelet, if you simply must have an omelet, Pratt serves it with a tomato salsa and Spanish puree with roasted garlic spinach puree at the bottom to liven up the dish, because again, he just has to do things a little different than the norm.

To wash it all down the classic brunch favorite drinks are on offer by the pitcher. You can take in your fill of classic brunch libations — Bloody Mary, or one of their three flavors of mimosa — mango, strawberry, or guava.

The chef’s aim when you leave Sunday brunch is for you to feel full, yet wanting more.

And that’s just Sunday brunch. They also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with an all-day Tavern menu.

Pratt says Royal Blue Tavern is a fine dining experience with reasonable prices at the Royal Blue Golf Club, catering to the golfers hitting the links and the public at large.

He prides himself in having given Bahamian cuisine an elevated platform on the curated menu he’s debuted in the past six weeks and that has been leaving people shell-shocked.

“We infuse Bahamian cuisine, taking it over the edge with other flavors. You get the boiled fish, cracked lobster and conch infused in the dishes. I am a Bahamian chef, but when guests come here, they look for Bahamian cuisine, so this is my opportunity to put Bahamian food on the platform and really accentuate it,” said Pratt.

Royal Blue Tavern is open seven days — Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, they serve breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the all-day menu starting at 12 noon through 9 p.m.; and on Sunday, breakfast is 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. is the all-day tavern menu again.

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