Try the brunch at Time Out's favourite restaurant in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
DETAILS: Dhs340 (soft drinks), Dhs440 (house beverages), Dhs540 (bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 4444).
It’s not long after you sit down at one of the stylish, low tables in Time Out Dubai’s Restaurant of the Year that the entertainment starts. The format and theme changes slightly each week, but, on this occasion, a man in dapper dress steps out on to the “stage” and belts out some funky, well-known tunes (he starts with Sugar by Maroon 5) in a smooth, soulful voice, while four beautiful, sequin-clad ladies dance in unison behind him.
Just 15 or 20 minutes later, one of the most flexible women you’ll come across puts on a contortion show that’ll amaze you (and perhaps have you booking some yoga classes). Moments later, a super-talented saxophonist takes to the stage. And the afternoon progresses just like this.
Every table is full in this vast, über-modern restaurant and you can’t help but enjoy yourself.
In terms of atmosphere and entertainment, PLAY has absolutely nailed it. As for the food, however, it starts off on a high note, but, unfortunately, fizzles out by the end.
It all begins with a selection of starters to share, some of which are exquisite. The truffle miso soup, for example, is so subtle and well-balanced you’ll soon be asking for more. The Pita Surprise, a crunchy piece of pita bread stuffed with truffle butter and layered with lightly seared wagyu beef, is easily one of the most delicious things we’ve eaten in a while. And we’re just as enamoured by the flavours in the ceviche, which features a mix of seafood, crispy calamari and a refreshing citrus ponzu dressing.
While we soak up the vibes and acts, we feast on numerous plates of tstarters for a good couple of hours before the sushi comes out – which is when things start to go a bit downhill.
The sushi, for a start, is all very average. Then, by around 3.30pm, we’re asked if we’re ready for dessert. We’ve been having such a great time watching the acts and sampling dishes that it’s only now we realise we haven’t even had our main course yet.
After pointing this out, the mains arrive as 4pm approaches, when the brunch is supposed to come to an end. Once again, the food, which we had high expectations of since we’ve had some incredible dining experiences here in the past, is a little disappointing.
Particularly the black cod, which is completely overcooked. By the time dessert arrives, we’re ready to make our exit.
Despite a few misses in timing and taste, however, we’ve had a brilliant afternoon.
If the team can iron out the kinks in serving times and fix a few dishes, we’re pretty sure this brunch could be flawless.
The bottom line Suitably playful, with the potential to mean business.