Friday Brunch at BB Social Dining

Funky, seriously intimate brunch in DIFC

Friday Brunch at BB Social Dining
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If you ever find yourself growing weary – and, indeed, wary – of Dubai’s enormous restaurants, you’ll find everything you need to restore a cocooned sense of calm at BB Social Dining.

Actually, even if you don’t, and you haven’t yet checked out this brilliant Asian-meets-Middle Eastern eatery in DIFC, cancel your plans for Friday and get booked into this brunch.

Barely weeks old, and already proving one of the most unique in the city.

BB owes a lot of its charm to its setting. Spread over three floors, with a narrow, iron-wrought spiral staircase leading throughout, it has the feel of an old townhouse-turned-bistro that wouldn’t feel out of place in any ancient European city.

Taking place only over the upper floors of the restaurant, BB’s brunch packs in live entertainment from a musical duo who roam between tables, plus fridges filled with hops and grape beverages for diners to help themselves to. Behind the bar, staff expertly blend mixed drinks to order.

A piping hot pretzel filled with spinach and cheese awaits guests upon arrival at their table, which is (in our experience) quickly and enthusiastically devoured while menus are eagerly perused.

Those menus feature two of the main Bs for which BB is named – bites and barbecue dishes, making up starters and mains.

Of the former, the sharp, feta-laden kale tabbouleh, nutty, shiso-sprinkled beef tartare and delicate seafood pot-stickers are absolute winners, and we’re in danger of taking the staff up on their offer to order unlimited rounds. The arrival of four mini bao stops us in our tracks, neatly presented and niftily timed. The sweet, sesame-glazed beef of the ‘habibi’ bun is the hero of the quartet, but the kofta with tzatziki and an onion and parsley garnish is a smart marriage of two cuisines that should banish for good any reservations about Middle-meets-Far Eastern fusion.

But after starting on such a high – including but not limited to the moment when our reluctant dining companion turned a deep shade of raspberry through a very public serenade from the brunch’s charismatic singer – the experience falters at mains.

Choices are limited to lamb shoulder, grilled chicken, spicy fish, cheesy sweet potato and an unexpectedly truffle-packed barley risotto. After so much variety and creativity in the smaller plates, it all feels a little flat, and at odds with the quirky, characterful nature of everything that makes BB so worth visiting.

But to the rescue come two mini ice cream lollipops and a mini baonut served with fresh strawberry jam and chantilly cream. And oh, what a rescue. Don’t have a sweet tooth? Borrow one for these dainty desserts.

Attractive, creative and just the right size, they’re the perfect metaphor for BB itself.

You’d B mad not to try it.
Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs368 (house beverages), Dhs450 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Gate Village 8, DIFC (04 407 4444).

WHAT IS IT...
Funky, seriously intimate brunch in DIFC

WHY GO...
For the brilliant small bites and an atmosphere you’re unlikely to come across regularly in Dubai

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