What’s on offer? Not a typical brunch, in the Dubai sense, BiCE Mare offers Friday afternoon guests something more akin to a laid-back weekend lunch to take your time over. There are no buffet selections piled high. Instead, diners are offered a four-course set-menu of sharing platters for two. The courses follow traditional Italian lines of anti-pasti, pasta, a meat or fish mixed grill platter as a main course and dessert, washed down with mixed drinks or Italian sparkling grape.
The venue? This Souk Al Bahar-based restaurant benefits from a wonderful setting. The restaurant itself is small, yet still light and airy, with contemporary, continental charm. It offers great views from inside, and even more so from the balcony terrace, which sits directly opposite the Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa.
What sort of crowd turn out? Brunch at BiCE Mare is certainly not a crowded or cacophonous affair. It’s more of a quiet and relaxed event, favoured by couples having an intimate lunch. Having said this, on our last visit, we felt BiCE Mare’s brunch deserved to be a lot busier than it actually was.
Room for improvement? If there were a little more buzz and bustle in this dining room, it would make an ideal spot for a lazy Friday afternoon. And while the meat mixed grill platter is the focal point of the meal (it also comes highly recommended), it unfortunately doesn’t quite match the elegance and the refined flavours on the rest of the menu.
Standout dish? The dishes on the set-menu change regularly, but the starter platters tend to comprise of elegant little samples of Italian classics, beautifully presented and well prepared, such as baked aubergine with mozzarella and tomato, and beef carpaccio.
In one sentence… Good food in an equally appealing setting makes for an elegant, relaxed afternoon. Dhs250 ( unlimited softdrinks), Dhs350 (unlimited house beverages). Fri-Sat Noon-3.30pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0982).