Brunch at Roberto’s starts at noon, but doesn’t seem to fill up until after 1pm. Until then we have the staff all to ourselves. And they’re excellent – charming, welcoming and seemingly waiting in the wings to cater to our every need.
The format is simple. There is a seafood platter to start, then a few antipasti plates.
Then choose a main course from a fair chunk of the usual à la carte menu. Desserts are then brought out to share.
Setting the bar high from the off, the seafood platter is simply superb. Perhaps the best we’ve ever had. Wonderful oysters, sweet clams, plump prawns and mussels and outstanding lobster and king crab make it up. And we’re made up with it. The antipasti that follows just can’t match.
A garden salad is perfectly fine and fried calamari, prawns and courgette fritters work, too. But the beef carpaccio on thin bread is underwhelming.
We want more of the mushroom dressing and can do without the bread. Smoked salmon bruschetta suffers a similar fate. It’s top-quality fish but it seems like a step back after the seafood platter.
Things pick up with the mains and by now the vibe has, too. The restaurant is filled with chatter, and the sounds of a DJ playing an eclectic mix of party tunes. And while they might not be traditional brunch dishes, the wild mushroom risotto and lobster and courgette ravioli are what Roberto’s does best.
Desserts fall a little flat – the sharing platter just doesn’t have enough of we want to tuck into, sadly.
It’s a great afternoon, despite leaving slightly hungry. A pasta course before the mains would add value and showcase more of what Roberto’s is all about.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs550 (sparkling and premium beverages), Dhs80 (supplement for bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. Gate Village 1, DIFC (04 386 0066).
The Bottom Line
Some excellent dishes here but an extra course would make it better value.