Everything about Indie’s brunch, from the name to the flyers to the website, suggests it’s going to be a go-big-or-go-home affair. But when we arrive – an hour after the start time – only one or two tables are occupied. Our enthusiastic waiter, however, insists that things liven up later on. “You’re going to love it!” he beams.
Alongside Indie’s trendy dressed-up-industrial vibe, the brunch has a theme (this changes week to week, but on our visit there’s lots of yellow tape wrapped around tables and general cops and robbers props such as police hats and chalked body outlines dotted around).
The food, however, is much more impressive than the décor. You can order as much as you like from the starters, followed by one main and one dessert per person.
It’s a mix of international bar bites. Bruschetta sits alongside decadent truffle mac ’n’ cheese and crab meat on toast. We love the huge bowl of Peruvian corn salad with lime dressing. Roasted nutty kernels are mixed with sweetcorn and a sharp, refreshing dressing. It goes perfectly with the raw tuna on crispy rice cubes, which are so good we order a second plate.
There’s plenty of hearty pub grub, too – think chicken schnitzel and steak and eggs. The fish and chips has a perfectly golden batter and is served with fluffy, chunky chips. Most of the mains, however, are on the breakfast/brunch end of the spectrum. Dishes such as duck confit eggs Benedict with crisp vegetables, and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or crispy beef bacon.
The size of the main course portions is impressive. And though course is not designed for sharing, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was, and for tucking into your pal’s plate). Everything we have in this part of the brunch is perfectly enjoyable, though nothing really stands out above anything else.
The house beverage package is pretty standard for what it includes. But, it you want to go all out, the premium package (at just Dhs100 more) offers better value for money than most other brunches, and includes everything on the regular menu of signature mixed drinks.
As promised by our waiter, things do get livelier. The tables gradually fill up, and an excellent live band play jazzy covers of current hits. There’s a photobooth with props, too, which gets busier and busier as the afternoon goes on, and staff wander around with trays of complimentary jelly beverages. There’s an amazing performance from a troupe of very impressive and very cool dancers during the afternoon, but we won’t spoil the surprise by revealing any more other than to say it went down brilliantly with the brunchers.
Once last orders is called, Indie becomes a buzzing bar once more, and we happily stick around. If you’re going to spend your Saturday at brunch, we say spend it here. The Bottom Line A self-proclaimed party brunch with great food and entertainment.