Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house grape and mixed beverages), Dhs495 (sparkling and hops). Fri 2pm-5pm. Gate Precinct Building 4, DIFC (04 355 1111).
As it continues to evolve as a nightlife destination, DIFC is throwing up a few anomalies. Bars juxtaposed with offices, a smattering of art galleries and this cool hangout neighbouring a supermarket.
As a venue, Bazxar really seems to work, in spite of being a scone’s throw away from a branch of Choithrams. The décor has a very urban feel to it, with New York-inspired graffiti adorning one wall at the far end and a sleek, chic feel to the bar and dining areas.
We’re welcomed in and shown to our table perched in the corner, right next to a drinks trolley. From here, we have a good view of the kitchen staff busying themselves with the flow of orders and we’re in the thick of the action between the two main areas open for the Friday shindig.
One of the first attractions of this brunch is that it starts at 2pm. And being late to rise and with stomachs rumbling, we’re eager to sample the à la carte options on offer.
Round one at Bazxar, if you’re a party of two, involves a selection of nine entrées with portions easily big enough to share. First to arrive is the deep-fried, crispy mac ’n’ cheese balls filled with some wonderfully gooey pasta and dairy. While devouring these, we also grab some pieces of the shrimp popcorn, which are delightfully light and come with a spicy dipping sauce of chipotle and ranch dressing.
We try the duo of pizzas (burrata and roasted chicken) next, and while neither is particularly ground-breaking, they are both entirely pleasant. Arguably though, the king of the starters comes from the Asian selection. The soy-glazed chicken with noodles is average, but the black pepper beef is full of flavour and has a lovely peanut crunch to it. But the dish swiftly pales into insignificance when compared to the chicken bao. This steamed bun is wonderfully soft on the outside, with a tasty, crispy chicken treat in the middle. Perfect.
At this point we already feel well fed, but after a break and a chat with the bowler hat-sporting staff as the DJ bangs out top tunes, we return for our mains.
The grilled fish of the day turns out to be sea bass and we’re instantly smitten with both the fish and its accompanying puttanesca sauce. The “naked dog” is a beef hot dog with no frills (but plenty of taste).
With what little room we have left for dessert, we dig into the quirky and thoroughly enjoyable Kit-Kat-inspired “Freakshake”, before finishing off with (or being finished off by) the ice cream sandwich, a delightful little number – think a Mint Feast ice lolly done cookie-style.
Tummies happy, we bid our adieus and head out in search of a taxi, or a forklift...
The bottom line
Swerve breakfast and have this friendly lot fill you up with some great street food.