The Jungle Brunch at Peyote

Decent dishes at this surprisingly upbeat DIFC event, which has potential

Brunch, Restaurants Related

A Mexican restaurant in DIFC serving up a jungle-themed brunch. On first glance there are several potential pitfalls.

However, we put judgement aside and book our table at Peyote, the city’s newest high-end Mexican restaurant.

We arrive fashionably (but not overly) late, and, bar one table, are the only ones there. So far, so quiet. Undeterred we take a drink and accept the offered seat at the bar. The pre-meal drink is a nice touch, giving it less of a brunch and more fine-dining-dinner-date feel to the occasion. We happily chat away here for a while, and our drinks are replenished quickly and quietly. Service is slick and the vibe is classy.

We’re not entirely sure why a Mexican restaurant has a jungle-themed event (there’s certainly no reflection of this in the food on offer), but there’s some lively drumming happening from some men dressed in leaf costumes.

It’s all a little confusing, and yet we don’t dislike it. Next to them sits a glitter make-up bar, as is the growing trend. Fortunately we love a bit of sparkle so make a bee-line to the counter, proudly becoming the first guests of the day.

Glittered up, it’s time to embark on the food portion of the day. The small dining room becomes increasingly busy throughout the afternoon, and we’re pleasantly surprised by the vibrant buzz that takes over.

The food at Peyote didn’t wow us on our previous visit (although we loved the cactus salad), but we’re delighted by the petite buffet of starters. Everything is fresh, tasty and light. We love the prawn ceviche, with meaty chunks soaked in a zingy lime dressing, while slices of fresh tuna are perfectly seared.

We move on to the taco counter, which is excellent and miles ahead of similar stations we’ve previously encountered. We opt for one of each (it would be rude not to) and dainty, circular dishes are presented by the friendly, Mexican chefs.

Mains are an à la carte offering, but are sadly not on a par with the starters. A small portion of chopped rib-eye sits looking lonely in the middle of a large bowl, while the the arroz a la tumbla (essentially a fish risotto) is topped with meaty chunks of fish and prawns, but is far too salty. After such a strong start we’re left disappointed.

We have room for dessert, and nibble on macarons and cookies.

The price tag is hefty (especially when you add in that DIFC tax), however, with premium bubbly in the standard beverage package, it makes it better value.

We can’t help thinking it’s a shame this didn’t kick off sooner, as for a summer indoor brunch this would be a solid option. As it is, Peyote’s offering is good, but not good enough to beat others out there.
Dhs375 (soft drinks), Dhs475 (house beverages), Dhs185 (aged 12-16), free (kids under 12). Plus ten percent DIFC tax. 12.30pm-4pm. Gate Village 2, DIFC (04 521 6300).

The bottom line
Fun, but a bit hit and miss food-wise.

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