City Walk seems to get livelier every time we venture there and at Friday brunch time it’s positively heaving.
The licensed zone at The Square is fast-becoming a hit and with the likes of Toro + Ko and LIMA Dubai (Time Out Dubai’s Best Latin American restaurant, 2018), flanking either side of Galvin, it’s no wonder that the city’s foodies seem to be flocking here.
The first thing to note about Galvin’s brunch is that it’s civilised. Don’t show up here expecting to have a massive party – you will be disappointed.
But if you’re after good food that doesn’t involve an unlimited buffet and a chocolate fountain then you’re in the right place. It is from two Michelin-starred chefs who have a restaurant in Harrods, after all, so the decorum you’d expect is present and correct.
That being said, the vibe here isn’t pretentious. There’s a lovely ambiance, with elegant décor and a lively feel – especially when the band fire up. We’re treated to a few jazzy instrumentals at first, before the lead singer unleashes a throaty voice that could give Dave Grohl a run for his money.
Renditions of Elton John and The Police songs follow, with top work from the drummer and the pianist that we and the rest of the dining room can’t get enough of, judging by the vigorous applause.
When the food arrives, things only get better.
The menu draws from Italy, the South of France and North Africa and dishes are served to the table, kicking off with a tasty parsnip velouté.
Starters are served to share and there are some real showstoppers. The sea bass carpaccio is presented with tomato, coriander, yuzu dressing and a ton of fragrant truffle that’s not for the faint-hearted. We love it so much that we beg for a second helping, which our friendly waiter is willing to provide us with.
The burrata with Sicilian caponeta and sourdough is authentic and delicious, as is the wild mushroom arancini, although we’re not huge fans of the foie gras.
Mains range from grilled sirloin steak with chips, to risotto, braised lamb shoulder and pasta dishes.
Having being already blown away by the sea bass starter, we opt to try the fish as a main too, as well as the mozzarella and basil tortelli with smoked aubergine purée and datterini tomato sauce.
The sea bass is served with a foamy curried saffron emulsion (which tastes way better than it sounds) and seafood cannelloni that is wonderfully fresh. It looks phenomenal on the plate and tastes even better.
The fish is cooked perfectly and the saffron adds a warming, well rounded yet subtle flavour. Dessert is a selection of the restaurant’s daily offerings, and staff are liberal with portions. A chocolate cake with a warm melting middle definitely takes the crown on this course.
If you’re looking for a classy brunch with an elegant setting, top music and excellent quality dishes from world-famous chefs, then book Galvin.
Dhs325 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (mixed drinks). Fri noon-4pm. The Square, City Walk, Al Safa Street (04 590 5444).
The bottom line
Upmarket yet lively with top food.