Friday, January 22, 2010

Brunch @ Ramses, Madrid

Last Sunday, some friends and I celebrated our girlfriend's birthday over brunch at Ramses (Life & Food), an Über chic cocktail bar & restaurant with interiors designed by renowned French designer, Philippe Starck. Though located at the side of the iconic Puerta de Alcala of Madrid, the ongoing construction at the roundabout right outside their entrance compromised their pizzazz.

Upon entering Ramses, you just see a minimalist foyer dominated by a sleek bar, followed by a short flight of steps leading to a D.J. console, next to the mezzanine dining floor Ramses Petit (that's where the brunch happens). From the mezzanine floor, a grand flight of stairs carpeted in black spirals upwards to the upper floor.

At first look, the place could come across as a little pretentious especially since I've read in so many reviews that it attracts mostly the 'A-listers', coupled with poor service from staff who carried a pompous attitude (as if it was required to match the designer decor). However, it was not the case, at least not on early Sunday afternoon.

Above: The white and minimalist foyer contrasts with the 'renaissance style' mezzanine floor that cleverly fuses with the modern touch of random grafitti on the black walls and ceiling. The source of light comes mainly from candles and backlit tables.

It was a French themed brunch so some of the cold buffet starters include Niçoise Salad, Quiche Lorraine and Brie. For the mains, there was a choice of Duck Confit, Egg Benedictine or Seafood Vol au vents. The Duck Confit was simply superb. Damn that wasn't my choice!

Above: Some of the cold buffet, their own version of Bloody Mary, Egg Benedictine and the Seafood Vol au Vent.

Dessert was not extremely exciting though, just crème brûlée or liqueur fruit salad. But definitely try their cocktails, which all look pretty enticing. For me of course I went for the Mary Rose sin alcohol…as I haven’t worn enough foundation to hide my Oriental flush...
Throughout the brunch we were served by at least 3 different staff who were all very pleasant. After we finished, one of them even showed us around the other areas.

Above: The stairs leading down to the dance club and restroom

Above: The unisex restroom at the basement has several cubicles surrounding a centerpiece wash basin which resembles an operating table. Cool, but practical? Maybe not so.

Above: The Bistro and one of the Private dining rooms on the upper floor

Above: The lavish ladies and gents restrooms serving the upper floor

The brunch came up to approx. 37€ per person. Overall, I did enjoy the food & service, and the Philippe Starck interior is definitely a draw factor. I’ll consider returning again, though not necessarily on a Sunday early afternoon.

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