Latest BiCE Ristorante Friday brunch review. Discover the Italian brunch at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach with great ambience
Time Out Dubai Staff
DETAILS: Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs430 (bubbly), Dhs135 (kids aged six to 12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 399 1111).
On a Friday afternoon, streams of natural light flood the newly renovated BiCE Ristorante through floor-to-ceiling windows, which look out across the hotel’s pool and beach area. A pianist sits by the entrance, playing smooth jazz and blues tunes throughout the day. Crisp, white linen and smartly dressed tables add to the sophisticated ambience. And the friendly, professional staff make sure you feel instantly comfortably, explaining the à la carte brunch format and immediately filling your glasses. Within minutes, BiCE’s Friday brunch has impressed.
It doesn’t take long before small plates of starters are placed in the middle of the table, inviting you to share. The burrata with cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce is fresh, light and well-balanced, as is the salmon tartare with mango and black sesame seeds. We need a second plate of the warm goat’s cheese salad that’s served with beetroot and toasted quinoa – it’s just that good. And the same goes for the roast beef and rocket salad wth sharp, shaved pecorino.
Be careful not to fill up too much on these, though, because before you know it, two more sharing plates of pasta are served (both of which are fairly bland and unbalanced in comparison), and a live cooking station will tempt you back for more than one portion of the indulgent homemade ricotta and spinach tortelli, which is smothered in a silky, creamy truffle sauce.
After all this, you’re asked to order one individual main course from a choice of four. Unfortunately, this course is a bit of a let-down after such a stellar start. The slow-cooked veal ribs are too tough, while the vegetarian aubergine lasagne is more stodgy than refined. The spiced and herbed rock salt sea bream, however, is delightful. It’s flaky and juicy, simple and tasty, and served with well-seasoned steamed vegetables.
To finish on a sweet note, there’s a dessert buffet on offer. Small portions of classic Italian desserts are given a unique twist and, while nothing is particularly mind-blowing, the dishes are all pleasant enough and worth the extra calories. In particular, we enjoy the basil panna cotta and lavender crème brûlée, which are both well prepared and refreshing to the palate.
Once you’re finished with this delightful feast, the fun doesn’t end there. Before you call time on your Friday afternoon out, move upstairs to BiCE Sky Bar, where the fiesta continues with free drinks for ladies and half-price options for gents.
Despite any niggles about the food, overall, this is a lovely, leisurely brunch option that we’d recommend. The Bottom Line The ambience will win you over within minutes, but the food might take longer.