In a tweet: Great atmosphere and fantastic food at this Peruvian buffet. Best for a chilled out brunch.
The venue: On the third floor of the new Taj Hotel in Business Bay is Tesoro. It has huge windows and light, neutral colours with some greenery – it’s a real pleasure to be inside. On your way into the dining room there are buffet stations with vibrant, brightly-coloured desserts; fresh, minimal, ceviche and sushi; pretty bowls of salad and hot dishes.
The food: Tesoro is a Peruvian restaurant and its brunch doesn’t waver from that template. You won’t find rooms and rooms of food from around the world, but what you will find is a focused menu covering cold starters, hot mains, breads and salads. The ceviche and tiradito (pretty much Peru’s national dishes) are both superb, as is the sushi available at the same station (there’s a big Japanese population in Peru). Small bowls of salad are fresh and colourful, and the main courses, especially the sirloin in chimichurri sauce, are all hearty and filling, but well-balanced and full of flavour. Desserts run the usual gamut of delicately-prepared fancies and cakes, so those with a sweet tooth will be happy, too.
The drinks: Mixologists are on hand to show off their skills. There are three fantastic mocktails available as well as three types of mixed beverage showing off Peru’s national short. The drinks available here are
well-thought out and a class above the usual offerings.
The crowd: Couples and groups of friends make up the crowd. The food and drinks are sophisticated, and the vibe is laidback. It’s not a place to have too much of a party, as the quality of what’s on offer is the main draw for the crowd.
The dress code: You’d look out of place if you dressed down too much as most people are quite stylish. Keep it towards the smarter end of your wardrobe and you’ll fit right in.
The service: The staff are fantastic at making sure your glasses are topped up, and are happy to recommend and explain dishes and drinks. They might even throw in a few experiments for you to try. They’ll also help carry your plates if you’re laden with buffet dishes.
Extras & entertainment: There are musicians performing throughout brunch. A DJ plays South American-style mixes of songs while a drummer and sax player accompany him. Not too intrusive and pretty impressive.
Highs & lows: The raw station is the undoubted highlight. The freshness and quality of the ingredients is palpable. Some people might not like the relatively small selection of food, but we’re big fans of the way Tesoro sticks to its brief.
The after party: Head downstairs to the hotel’s gastropub Eloquent Elephant. There’s a happy hour with a Dhs30 menu between 4pm and 7pm.
Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Taj Dubai, Burj Khalifa Street, Business Bay (04 438 3100).