Brunch Around the World—In Cincinnati

Amma’s Kitchen
This unassuming spot is packed on weekends with everyone from families to gaggles of teenagers diving into the southern Indian vegetarian buffet. Savory favorites include mulligatawny soup and a half-dozen fresh vegetable and tofu curries and paneers. Sweet seekers will enjoy Gulab Jamun, a deep-fried cheese ball drenched in cinnamon syrup, and fudge-like Mysore Pak. Don’t forget to request an order (or three) of plain or spicy dosa, a thin rice crepe that can be used as a wrap or dipped by itself in numerous sauces. Sat & Sun 11:30–3, 7633 Reading Rd., Roselawn, (513) 821-2021, cincinnati.ammaskitchen.com 

Quan Hapa
The rice porridge known as congee might be a popular breakfast in East Asia, but it’s not a staple here. That’s a shame. Quan Hapa dishes it up in big, steaming bowls of brothy comfort. Vegan and chicken versions are standard, or you can build your own. The chicken’s meatballs add a nice spice; we juiced the vegan version with smoky, well-crusted short rib. The also-spicy Hapa Mary will clear your sinuses (just take it slow), and its kimchi garnish adds a sweetly briny kick. Look for new treats to try: As this issue went to press, QH debuted a new brunch menu. Sat & Sun 11–3, 1331 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-7826, quanhapa.com

Photograph by Wes Battoclette

Photograph by Wes Battoclette


Grand Oriental
Just north of I-275, tucked into a dense pocket of suburban shops and restaurants, is a brunch that boasts more exotic fare than your standard eggs benny and mimosa. At Grand Oriental’s dim sum brunch, servers push metal carts around the large, ornately decorated dining room, offering up—as soon as you’re seated—an array of small Cantonese dishes to the table. Our favorites were the pork bun and the sticky rice—the former soft and savory on the inside, yet with a sweet doughy exterior, the latter wrapped in a large lotus leaf and filled with a savory, meaty rice mixture. Wash that down with a pot of piping hot green tea for the table. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, opt for the chicken feet, boiled and marinated. And don’t forget about the dessert cart. Sat & Sun 10–2:30, 4800 Fields Ertel Rd., Deerfield Twp., (513) 677-3388, grandorientalonline.com

 

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