The famous Club Colombia is owned by Harry Sasson, the chef who is often perceived as the Pierre Gagnaire or Gordon Ramsay of Colombia. He has several other restaurants bearing his name, offering an international palate with European influence. Club Colombia is the epitome of traditional Colombian cuisine.
It’s the institute where you can savor exemplars of regional and national dishes of Colombia! Hands down! The best time to go is for THE Sunday brunch, a buffet at COP 41,000 (US$ 20). It has everything that you’ll ever need to get a sense of what Colombian cuisine is about. At the first sight you’ll notice that it’s all about carbs and fat. Solid. Fulfilling. You can stuff yourself with unlimited exotic fruit juices, coffee and pan de whatever (ie yuca, bono, almojababa), arepas in 3 styles, 3 types of empanadas, various tamales, 2 types of calentado, omelettes from the egg station, steaks, chorizo and longaniza (a more elegant looking chorizo). The most gratifying for me though was biting into the ridiculously moist and soft banana chocolate loaf..
You can’t compare Club Colombia’s Sunday brunch with the buffets that are commonly found in Asian countries, but then in Colombia you wouldn’t find many other buffet options. Even though the selection is concise and representational, there is danger is getting sick from over-eating in this place because of the filling nature of Colombian food. (I’m telling you this because it happened to me..!)
The detached house that is heavily covered with climbing ivies and surrounded by a tree-lined garden also offers 2 huge conservatory seating areas. The whole Hansel & Gretel scene has the ability to transport you all the way to a country side, making it a nice Sunday ‘get-away’ alternative if you’re not up for driving 1-2 hours to some of the satellite weekend holiday towns that surround Bogotá. The name is aptly chosen – when you get inside you’d instantly get the exclusive feel that you have walked into a members club.
The highlight of the visit for me was meeting the chef in person! The incident proved that sometimes it’s an advantage to look different in town.. Mario pointed Harry Sasson out in the crowd as he walked towards our direction. I looked at him. He looked back at us when he saw me. I didn’t look away, and the next thing I knew, he came over to say hi! My gourmet meal has for sure been further upgraded with my celebrity sighting. Harry is the example that success is made possible with hard work.