Sophisticated vibe, stunning views and an almost perfect selection of food
Time Out Dubai Staff
DETAILS: Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs350 (house beverages), Dhs450 (bubbly). Friday noon-4pm. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 443 0285).
For those who haven’t yet been to Morah, nothing can really prepare you for the vistas from the 71st and 72nd-floor venue’s huge windows. At night, you can see the headlights of vehicles roaring down Sheikh Zayed Road to one side, the shining beacons of Downtown to another and Dubai Water Canal sweeping towards Ras Al Khor from the other.
By day it’s a different prospect, but one we arguably prefer. The natural light flooding in gives this pastel-hued dining room a bright, sunny feel, making it the perfect daytime venue for a classy Friday brunch such as this.
The food and service match the vibes brought on by the glistening sun. The dishes and flavours are steeped in Middle Eastern and Turkish history but presented in a modern, fresh way. Everything is crisp, clean and plated with care, making this one of the most stylish brunches around.
Starters are available from the “mezze bar” where you’ll find a lovely burrata dressed with sumac and pomegranate; a steak tartare (one of the highlights of the brunch), which is tender with just the right amount of bite; and roasted beetroot topped with labneh, flavoured with aromatic caraway and given some crunch with pistachio. There are also some superb oysters, excellent olives and brilliant barberi bread.
Main courses are delivered to the table and consist of five platters, each with three dishes. You can ask for these as many times as you like, in any order you like and can omit certain dishes or order more of a particular one if you fancy.
This part of the afternoon (and, in fact, every aspect of the brunch) is expertly taken care of by the staff. Everything, from the greeting to the orientation (yes, we’re calling it that) to the explanation of the offering to the recharging of glasses and plates, is faultless. Top marks to Morah for some of the best service in the city.
Of the mains, the hot mezze (spicy batata hara, veal bacon with pomegranate molasses and brilliant fried chicken) is our favourite platter. The egg option is also excellent (featuring Turkish cilbir, Benedict and shakshouka).
But the pides waver slightly – varying from the sublime (wild mushroom) to the undercooked and soggy (cheese, truffle and egg).
Don’t overlook the veggie options, which are all ace, but tread carefully with the grills. The black cod is excellent but a tough piece of wagyu striploin and a frankly out-of-place slider let the side down big time. These misses are really minor in the grand scheme of things, but are disappointing considering how well thought out everything else is.
Desserts, some served buffet-style, some to the table, raise the bar again, though, and end the afternoon on a high. The bottom line A few minor missteps but this stylish brunch is mostly excellent.