Italian Weekend Brunch at BiCE Mare

Italian seafood spot in Souk Al Bahar

Italian Weekend Brunch at BiCE Mare
Italian Weekend Brunch at BiCE Mare Image #2

Saturday brunches are on the rise, with a handful of new ones popping up across town over the past couple of weeks. And it’s a trend we can certainly get on board with. BiCE Mare’s new version runs on both days of the weekend – so if you’re busy on a Friday it’s an ideal way to round off the weekend.

In the past we’ve left this longstanding seafood restaurant thinking that the value wasn’t great. However, that’s certainly not the case with this brunch, where portions are very generous.

The pretty terrace is a lovely spot on which to spend a weekend afternoon. It feels fancy yet relaxed, with white tablecloths and a grown-up vibe. There’s only a handful of diners on our visit, which is a shame, but could be that people are unaware of the Saturday offering.

We’re shown a table overlooking the water, where we’re treated to front row seats of The Dubai Fountain show. And although not as spectacular as at night, it still feels pretty special.

Food wise the brunch is simple – choose a selection of starters to share from either the “mare” or “terra” sections, a pasta dish, then a selection of mains – which are either fish or meat. So if your dining partner and yourself don’t share the same tastes (or if you’re vegetarian), you could be a bit stuck.

We kick off with the mare options, given that the restaurant specialises in seafood. Several dishes arrive rapidly – and we’re delighted with them all. A bowl of fried calamari and shrimp is light and not at all greasy, while chargrilled octopus is perfectly tender. And we love the addition of the lime-scented mash it sits on top of. A crab salad is perhaps a little sweet due to the Marie Rose sauce, but there’s plenty of tasty crustacean and creamy avocado. The highlight is the tuna tartare – light, delicious and an interesting combination of flavours thanks to the addition of juicy, sweet watermelon.

Next up there’s a pasta course – and we opt for one of each options. A steaming pan of homemade fettuccine cacio e pepe con tartufo nero arrives and it’s excellent. Creamy, cheesy and truffly without being overpowering it’s a top dish. We also get a pot of seafood risotto, which is packed full of calamari, prawns and mussels – the seafood is not scrimped on. By the time mains arrived we’re almost at saturation, despite the fact it’s been a leisurely meal.

We opt for the meat platter – which comes with steak, lamb chops and chicken. It’s all nice enough but not as impressive as the previous courses.

Service is steady, although not remarkable throughout and drinks are forthcoming.

With a pleasant al fresco ambiance, some top dishes and a decent price tag, this is a brunch with potential, it just needs a few more diners to lift the vibe.
Dhs249 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (sparkling). Fri-Sat, 12.30pm-4pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0982).

Italian seafood spot in Souk Al Bahar

The excellent pasta and Fountain views

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