Set just away from the hustle and bustle of the heaving Mall of the Emirates shops lies a relaxing haven from the team behind popular spots Common Grounds and Tom&Serg.
Brunswick recently had a revamp, and shed its sports bar image and moniker (although it still lingers on the large sign outside), transforming into Brunswick Eatery, Bar & Terrace. And along with the new image came a new menu, which is showcased fantastically at the new Friday brunch.
Quite often places we’ve loved at dinner don’t quite cut it in terms of food quality when they lay on brunch. At Brunswick, that’s not a problem, as the food is some of the best we’ve had at brunch in some time.
We arrive on time, at noon. It’s a little early for us, and for everyone else by the looks of it, as we’re the only ones here for the first half an hour – bar the band who are soundchecking. We’re left feeling a little as if we’ve come early to a party, which is not the right tone.
The staff also seem a little confused by the brunch idea – we’re offered regular menus twice, but the package isn’t even mentioned, which means as time goes on we’re the only people partaking, surrounded by diners having a regular lunch. Being in a mall we’re not surprised that people are popping in and out, but it’s a strange feeling nonetheless.
However, the setting – all dark woods, filament lighting and greenery – is delightful. The drinks menu is grown-up and good quality, and the food matches the classy space.
It’s a ten-course menu (though courses aren’t massive, fear not), which changes regularly and features proper gastro grub – sports bar food this is not. Courses one and two come together, and are more canapé than starter – bite-sized morsels of watermelon with balsamic, mint and basil (light and refreshing) and bresaola with goat’s cheese on a slice of dried papaya. The flavours are interesting and work well – it’s a strong start. And throughout the afternoon, nothing disappoints.
We love the horseradish pomme dauphine (a posh potato croquette) atop a creamy mound of parsley purée, and the lobster bisque – which is less soup and more hunks of meaty seafood in a tasty broth. The main course of roasted rib-eye is perfectly pink, while a chocolate orange cheesecake is prettily presented and delightfully indulgent. We really can’t fault anything that comes from the kitchen.
Despite the shaky start (which seems just too early for this location), the vibe picks up throughout the afternoon as a steady stream of people come in and out.
It’s just a shame that more diners don’t appear to know about this brunch, as it’s certainly worth shouting about.
Dhs420 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (056 404 0685).
The bottom line
Stunning food at a brunch with potential.