Time Out has the Hawaiian Brunch at Spice & Ice reviewed. Check out the new brunch in JLT, something a little different from a popular Indian restaurant.
Time Out Dubai Staff
Grass skirts, flower garlands and hula girls. Not the first three things that should come to mind when dining in an Indian restaurant. But here we are, and here they are.
Since opening at the beginning of the year, Spice & Ice, at the foot of the Mövenpick hotel in JLT, has introduced a range of almost unbelievable deals. Half-price food and drinks on Mondays, men’s nights on Sundays with Dhs75 buckets of hops, and unlimited free drinks from 6pm to 11pm for ladies on a Tuesday being just three. Then there’s Friday brunch. At just Dhs199 all in, it’s great value. It’s also a little bit bonkers.
We walk past a giant tiki head on entering but don’t really take it in. Mixed drinks in coconut shells are brought out, but we’re still unaware of what’s going on. When the grass skirt-clad hula dancers start snaking through the crowd, we finally cotton on. This Indian restaurant’s brunch is randomly Hawaiian themed. It was a spur of the moment decision, we later find out, and future brunches will also regularly have a theme. Who knows where they might go with it…
Drinks come quickly and staff are very good at keeping them flowing. The selection is good, too. Two kinds of hops (including an Indian brand), two kinds of red and white grape, a rosé variety and sparkling, short and mixed drinks. Payment is also made at the beginning, which makes sense, given the party atmosphere for the following four hours. Food comes quickly, too. Starting with a selection of tandoori dishes, the chicken is nicely spiced, prawns are plump and tasty and lamb is tender and in a tangy marinade. There is also a homely chola (chickpea) kulcha – the bread being one of the standouts of the day – corn and pea patties and paneer kebabs.
We order more of the prawns, chicken and the bread. It’s a while before the mains arrive, so they help keep us sated in the meantime. There’s also a live cooking table, where the restaurant’s molecular gastronomy is shown off. It’s all fun and interactive and, when it comes to the passion fruit puffs, makes you uncontrollably breathe icy smoke out of your nose and mouth.
Staff are great and keep us occupied with drinks while we’re waiting for the food. The antics of some of the other diners in the packed-out restaurant also provide as much entertainment as those dancers and the DJ, who plays tunes ranging from chart, to Bollywood and ’80s classics.
By the time the mostly underwhelming main courses arrive (of which the lamb pepper fry is the best), the food is no longer the focus of the brunch.
It’s all a bit chaotic, in a good way, and it makes us want to return to try the food without the distractions.
Spice & Ice then: Crackers, but with a certain charm.
The Bottom Line Great value and fun, but it doesn’t quite do the restaurant’s food justice.
Dhs199 (house beverages, mixed drinks and sparkling grape). Fri noon-4pm. Cluster A, JLT (04 421 1356).