The Lofty Caviar Brunch

A caviar brunch where caviar costs extra

The Lofty Caviar Brunch
The Lofty Caviar Brunch Image #2

Immediately after booking the new Lofty Caviar Brunch, we get an email that leaves us a bit confused. Despite literally being in the name, caviar isn’t part of the main packages – it costs a sneaky Dhs100 extra, unless you’re willing to fork out Dhs695 for premium beverages.

Still wooed by the promise of an elegant afternoon and Burj Khalifa views, we head for The Loft, the new restaurant at the top of Dubai Opera.

Despite the change of brand from well-known chef Sean Connolly at the end of last year, it feels much the same – with chic interiors and a classy terrace – although the menu has become far more European. Many of the staff have stayed on, too.

After whooshing past the Opera’s grand chandelier in a glass lift and enjoying a welcome drink with caviar-esque fruit bubbles at the bottom, we’re shown around the live stations. As well as the premium caviar in its own roped-off section, there’s a seafood bar, freshly shucked oysters, a huge open barbecue with chefs grilling steak and prawns, a cheese selection, desserts and the ever-popular truffle risotto prepared in a Parmesan wheel. But that’s not all, because this brunch comes with ten à la carte courses served sharing-style to the table.

And after galliantly eating our way through all of them, with thirds from the Parmesan wheel and plenty of oysters, we can confidently say that this brunch is a hit. The drinks selection is excellent – with mixed beverages available as part of the house package – the service is swift and the food offers exactly the level of high-end preparation you’d expect at a brunch costing the best part of Dhs600.

Favourites include the freshly-baked flatbread with ricotta, honey and pine seeds, which absorbs the melting cheese and sweet tastes among its comforting dough. The overall flavours of the dish evoke a warming breakfast crumpet with marmalade, making it a perfect way to start the brunch.

A guacamole course is served with thin, spiky triangular crispbreads which have a pleasant kick of seasoning that’s offset by the refreshing avocado.

If you don’t fancy plumping for the caviar package, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a bit on top of the steak tartare – which is itself served inventively inside a caviar tin.

However, the best dish of the menu by far is the gnocchi with tomato sauce – it’s astonishingly simple, but the dumplings are so buttery smooth that the shape quickly gives way and melts into a guilt-inducingly moreish purée. It’s the caviar of the carb world.

Following course after successful course, we’re excited for dessert – but it seems like a bit of an afterthought. The promised ‘coffee parfait magnum’ is underwhelming and coated in an unpleasantly thick layer of nuts, while the only shock about the ‘choco surprise’ is that it’s merely a piece of bubbly chocolate on the plate.

Despite the underwhelming end and the sneaky caviar marketing, we’re still impressed by the high standards shown throughout. But if this brunch wants a firm encore, like the many excellent productions downstairs on the stage of the Opera, it just needs a more spectacular final scene.
Dhs395 (soft drinks), Dhs595 (house beverages), Dhs695 (bubbly and caviar), Dhs100 (supplement for caviar with soft drinks and house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai (04 362 7312).

A caviar brunch where caviar costs extra

For the high standards of cooking and elegant surroundings

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