The Handbook
The Handbook

Last weekend The Handbook headed over to Aurelia on Cork Street for a spot of brunch, as part of their new Bellini brunches with live music.

With it being one of the hottest days so far, Aurelia was luckily light, airy and most importantly cool, the colour scheme being off whites and neutral tones, kept it fresh. The brilliant thing about the Bellini brunches, as the name suggests is that the bellinis are free flowing, cue us starting with a couple at the bar. Made up with Prosecco it was a delicious raspberry pink, and rather than having the puree fall to the bottom, it was perfectly blended throughout, I say a couple, we steadily worked our way through them throughout the meal, well, it would be rude not to take them up on their offer.

We then went downstairs for brunch where we were trying out the new set menu, with two courses priced at £27 and three at £34. Throughout the meal there was live jazz playing, which was lovely it set the chilled out relaxed Sunday atmosphere, it was the perfect volume so that everyone could hear it but it was unobtrusive, although it would have been nice if the singer had faced the audience. Perhaps he was turned away to keep the volume down, but it was a little off watching the back of someone.

After we had been sat down for quite a while we were offered some bread, which took a further ten minutes to arrive, the bread itself was a good mix of crisp breads, focaccia and bread sticks, but arriving a couple of minutes before our starters meant that we didn’t have time to properly enjoy it, although with the amount of food we then consumed it was probably for the best that we didn’t get stuck into the carbs!

We then chose the quinoa salad which was meant to come with smoked ricotta, but instead it arrived with sun dried tomatoes, this of course was still fine although a warning that the menu had change wouldn’t have gone amiss. The serving was generous and it whilst the flavours worked well, it needed a slightly stronger kick to it, which the smoked ricotta would have done, a sprinkle of salt and pepper gave it an edge, 

For the main course we could have chosen from a Sunday roast or aubergine ravioli, but the hot weather wanted us craving something lighter so we opted for the salmon burger, which was gorgeous, it really couldn’t be faulted, it made a welcome change from the usual beef burger loaded with cheese and ketchup in a roll, since it was served on just one side of a lightly toasted roll and with a swirl of crème fraiche.  It was served with chips which, we were told were made from fried chick peas, they were heavier than chips but much less greasy and since they were made from chick peas it meant that they were almost healthy, and almost healthy is definitely reason enough to indulge!

We undid all our healthiness however when we ordered pudding, chocolate fondant with ice cream and it was heavenly. Dense, rich and dark it had to be one of the best chocolate fondants we had tried. It had a homemade quality to it, forget synthetic ingredients, or uniform appearances this was a proper pudding, and worked so well with the lightness of the coconut ice cream, it was a definite favourite.

When it comes to the kitchen and the food at Aurelia they are on to a winner, when it comes to the front of house, they just need to work a little on communication between the staff, to ensure that it matches the outstanding food.  That said it really is a great brunch the right mix of informality and occasion, perfect if you want something relaxed but you still want it to feel like a treat.