The Friday brunch offering at this handsome pub has had a couple of incarnations since the venue opened in 2015, but has settled on “The Crunch” (it includes craft hops).
Our first tip: Get there early. It starts at 12.30pm, but the rush seems to wrong-foot the staff, who can’t cope with so many people being seated at the same time. Our first drinks take 40 minutes to arrive and an explanation of the packages never comes (causing endless confusion come bill time).
An hour into the proceedings we finally have some drinks and food is beginning to arrive. The tempura goats' cheese is a winner. The batter is light and crispy and the cheese has melted wonderfully inside. However, there are too few nuggets for our liking, with the portion being padded out with some uninspiring leaves. The red onion confit is nowhere to be seen, which is a shame as the sweetness would work well with the cheese.
A couple of egg dishes (scrambled with smoked salmon and avocado and eggs Florentine) are good for those who want to embrace the real meaning of brunch, and a burrata with tomatoes, balsamic and salsa verde is a creamy, zingy delight.
The best of the bunch, though, is the spicy lamb pâté. Drawing on the Taj hotel’s Indian heritage, it comes in an iron pot, which, when the lid is lifted, releases a wonderfully aromatic smell.
Main courses are top-notch pub grub. A huge slow-cooked beef cheek is tender and full of deep, meaty flavour, while the roast chicken comes with as good a Yorkshire pudding as you’ll find in Dubai. But the star of the show is the burger, which we top with gooey cheese and veal bacon.
Desserts are good, too, with the apple tarte tatin being our favourite, and quite refined for inclusion on the brunch menu.
The venue is loud, with everyone enjoying themselves, despite some problems during the afternoon. Some tweaks to the starters and more clued-up staff would make all the difference.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs495 (sparkling grape and craft hops). A la carte. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 438 3131).
The Bottom Line
Enjoyable and good value if it all goes smoothly on the day.