A five-hour brunch is something of a rarity, and coupled with the stipulation that the house beverages package only runs for three hours, you’d be forgiven for missing the 11am start time. In hindsight, it’s a very deliberate, carefully considered kick-off. We arrive at 1pm, and could have easily done with another couple of hours to graze and digest the mountains of food.
Billed as a “modern Parsi eatery”, this quirky restaurant blends 1950s Mumbai with modern-day Dubai and aims to maintain the legacy of Parsi cafés, so expect plenty of authentic street food.
Brunch begins with a traditional masala chai, a sweet and flavoursome measure of milky tea that warms the belly. We’re then treated to seven dishes in the first course – a traditional Indian brekkie, starting with a small cup of sweetened muesli. It’s tasty, but it’s not what we came for. However, what arrives next is just what we’re dreaming of. It’s a heavy start to the meal, so we’re already reaching for the stretchy pants – think parathas (Indian flatbreads) with eggs, potatoes, spiced lamb mince and even a cheeky bit of avocado – we’re head-over-heels in love with the food. Almost all of it looks, smells and tastes amazing. From start to finish. The aloo paratha is a highlight, with spiced potato stuffed into a flatbread and grilled, then topped with butter. Alongside the kanda poha (an oniony, ricey, saffrony combo) it goes down an absolute storm, and we hold ourselves back from banging our cutlery on the table, shouting for more.
The second course is dubbed the “Bombay Barbecue”, with grilled lamb, fish and paneer just to start. It’s largely tasty, although the paneer is eye-twitchingly sweet, and a rare miss in a meal that’s otherwise full of highlights.The main course presents butter chicken, two biryanis (lamb, and vegetable and apricot), a selection of naan breads, and a delicious black dal that provides a light and tasty side.
Dessert comes in the form of a caramel custard dish, alongside two moreish ice creams (mango and pistachio).
Stuffed, it’s time to leave Auntie’s house. We love the brunch’s à la carte format and it’s a delightful afternoon, just don’t be late – there’s a lot of great food to get through. Dhs245 (soft beverages), Dhs345 (house beverages). Sat 11am-4pm (three-house drinks package). The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8607).
The bottom line An original, tasty and (very) filling brunch