Friday Brunch at Andalucia Tapas and Grill

A Spanish-themed brunch at a low-key tapas spot

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It’s always a shame to see a brunch that no one turns up to – especially when it deserves a decent crowd. Unfortunately for Andalucia, that’s the case. Perhaps it’s due to the location, or maybe because there were other events throughout the city people just couldn’t miss out on. Either way, the brunch at this Jebel Ali tapas bar is completely empty on our visit, leading to a rather souless vibe, which contrasts with the upbeat atmosphere and buzzing mood we’ve encountered on previous visits to the restaurant and bar.

The restaurant – despite being deserted – is charmingly modern both inside and out. Its gastropub-esque vibes make it fitting to sit anywhere, from the comfy couches to its lengthy and well-stocked bar.

One of a growing number of places charging more for men than women, this brunch comes in at Dhs165 for ladies and Dhs205 for gents. But there’s no denying it’s a cracking deal, either way.

The Andalucia brunch is à la carte where you pick one starter, main course and dessert, or swap out the appetiser for a salad. It’s a little limiting in terms of selection – especially when compared to all-you-can-eat versions across the city – but at this price we’re not complaining.

And the team aren’t stingy with the sizing, either. There’s a range of tapas to choose from, but a highlight is the traditional patatas bravas. We’re soon picking away at the delicious, fried chunky potato cubes, topped with plenty of mayo and fresh, zingy tomato sauce.

Don’t expect traditional Spanish mains, however. Dishes include burgers, lamb tagine, grilled chicken, creamy salmon pasta and fish and chips, so there’s a real global flavour that will suit a range of tastes.

We stick with a Latino vibe and opt for chicken fajitas. They arrive with some flair, the sizzling meat and veggies piled high on a sizeable black hot plate along with all the sides you’d expect to find.

The seasoned strips of zesty chicken are super-tasty and we load up our tortillas with heaps of the pepper, onion and garlic combo, before stuffing it with cheese, fresh guacamole and thick sour cream, which all mashes together superbly.

We return to Spain (figuratively) for dessert, and don’t regret our choice of churros, which arrive nuzzled up next to a pot of sweet chocolate sauce. Sprinkled with a liberal helping of sugar they’re moreish, tasty and we ignore the calorie count.

It’s definitely worth heading here with a group, as this is a brunch designed to have more people – the more mates you bring, the more choice of food you’ll get, and there’s plenty to go around.

The drinks selection is standard, serving bottled hops, red and white grape and a short list of mixed drinks, and the staff are swift to serve us (unsurprisingly as they’re hardly rushed off their feet).

Despite the lack of fellow diners, and therefore any vibe, there’s plenty to enjoy about Andalucia Tapas and Grill’s brunch.

The food is fresh and tasty, service is friendly and the setting is sleek. If you’re looking for a party, head elsewhere, but for a laid-back Friday brunch with some decent dishes, then you’d do worse than try here. We just hope it picks up, it deserves to.
Dhs165 (ladies), Dhs205 (gents). Every Fri 1pm-4pm. Jebel Ali Village (04 882 3771).

WHAT IS IT...
A Spanish-themed brunch at a low-key tapas spot

WHY GO...
For the decent grub

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