Affordable, light and relaxing - unlike most Dubai brunches
Time Out Dubai staff
What’s on offer? A relatively short menu (great for those who tend to get stressed out about choosing what to eat from a vast list), consisting of imaginative, high-end ‘bar food tapas’. The two starter choices are smoked hammour kedgeree with coriander and yoghurt, and salt beef hash with a poached egg. Mains include smaller plates such as vegetable spring rolls, mini burgers, mini fish and chips and mini fishcakes, as well as the stodgier butter chicken and braised lamb shoulder. The three dessert options are homemade scones, sticky toffee pudding or mango cheesecake. Of course, this all comes with varied house beverages, including mixed drinks and hops, as well as water and soft drinks.
The venue? Left BankSouk Al Bahar is a great night-time venue, but feels a little dark as a daytime haunt. Brunchers dine in booths, which is cosy for groups of six to eight. There’s also a small dancefloor area in front of the DJ booth – for later on in the afternoon. The music is a selling point: a mix of old-school soul and party tunes.
What sort of crowd turn out? Moderately dressed-up barflies, who like to eat traditional dishes with a twist in a tapas ‘sharing’ style (there’s no fear of food envy here: small portions served to the table mean that most dishes become shared). It’s also a good spot for those who enjoy sharing mixed drinks served in oversized (read: absolutely gigantic) glasses, with multiple straws (i.e. party people).
Room for improvement? The quality of food. Some dishes are a tad cold. Service, however, is quick and friendly. We just wish it was busier from the beginning (though we did visit during the quiet summer).
Standout dish? The fish and chips won us over, as did the mango cheesecake.
In one sentence… A slightly more affordable, lighter brunch, when compared to your average Dubai feast, served in a relaxed bar setting. Dhs275 including selected house beverages. Noon-4pm. Souk Al Bahar (04 368 4501).