A top-notch foodie offering that’s fun yet grown up, in a picturesque setting
Time Out Dubai staff
When choosing a brunch there are several major factors to consider. Those include setting, quality of food and price point. Happily, Marina Social’s Friday offering delivers on all three.
The venue’s recently revamped outdoor terrace makes an excellent space to spend an afternoon, watching the party yachts head out to sea and the traditional dhows sail serenely past. The foliage-adorned walls add a modern, quirky and jungly feel, too.
We take our seats on the terrace, making the most of the winter sun. Share & Social, is – as it suggests – a fun, friendly gathering. It’s a picnic-style offering that’s great for groups. And although this isn’t the cheapest brunch you’ll find, compared to others of its ilk, and for the standard, it’s surprisingly reasonable.
The menu is simple – you’ll get a selection of sharing starters and desserts and an à la carte main course.
From British chef Jason Atherton – who has restaurants across the world, from New York to Hong Kong, and the Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in London – dishes have a classic yet contemporary feel, with a twist on British favourites.
A selection of Marina Social’s signature starters appear before us including those moreish goats cheese churros, which are perfectly crunchy on the outside with a soft interior. We dip them eagerly into the truffley, honey sauce.
Other highlights include small pots of beef tartare and snow pea salad (mini versions of the restaurant’s most popular starters), which are a cute, kitsch touch highlighting the picnicky vibe – albeit a far more glamorous occasion than the average gingham blanket version you’d find back in Blighty (there are no pesky wasps or goosebumps to contend with, either).
We also love the beef brisket flatbread, loaded with flavoursome pulled meat and veggies. It’s a strong start.
Moving on to mains we opt for the jumbo prawns and the short rib. The former comes in a fragrant Thai broth, the large prawns are juicy, and there’s a decent chilli kick. The short rib is rich and meaty, coming with a Yorkshire pud. It’s a solid weekend dish.
We take a short break while a drinks trolley does the rounds, which is a fun touch. The brunch fills up steadily throughout the afternoon and there’s a pleasant buzz.
Desserts include éclairs and doughnuts, which are nice enough, though aren’t the highlight of the meal.
For a grown up, but upbeat Friday afternoon. You can’t get much better, and that’s why it was Highly Commended in the Brunch category at our 2018 Restaurant Awards.
And as Atherton said in his last interview with Time Out Dubai, “If it’s not delicious, why are you going?”. So go, now. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs445 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).
The bottom line Great food, great vibe, great setting.