We are big fans of The Huddle. For a place to unwind after work, grab a few drinks with pals and watch a game or two, it’s a welcoming, low-cost option.
So, when we heard the sports bar was launching a brunch, we were intrigued. Initially, we thought it would feature troughs of chips, onion rings, shepherd’s pie and the like, and when we saw the most expensive package was Dhs199, our thoughts were seemingly confirmed. But how wrong we were.
While the vibe is as laid-back as you’d expect from such a venue, the kitchen have stepped things up a gear.
There’s a huge spread of cold tapas and pintxos – from small, one-bite skewers of prawns, peppers and pieces of fish to little bowls of tuna salad, marinated cheeses and olives, large platters of cold cuts to cured fish and grilled vegetables.
When it comes to the warm dishes, there’s a hearty oxtail stew and a lamb version, fried calamari, fish in tomato sauce and an excellent paella.
There’s a relatively small but satisfying array of cheeses and breads at one table, too.
The cakes and desserts will satisfy those with a sweet tooth, but where this final section of the brunch really comes into its own is at the crêpe station. They’re so good we make a few return trips.
Aside from the food, which is a notch above what you might expect, there isn’t a whole lot more going on.
This isn’t a brunch to knock the likes of Zuma off its perch, but you didn’t think it would be, did you? If you’re a fan of the venue already or have a few mates you want to catch up with on a Friday, The Huddle is seriously affordable and surprisingly appetising. Dhs79 (soft drinks), Dhs149 (house beverages), Dhs199 (premium beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Citymax Hotel Al Barsha (04 409 8000).
The Bottom Line It’s not gourmet, but it is good value. The food is tasty, too.