Can a slice of Europe make this City Walk department store a dining destination too?

A European road-trip, grazing on the best dishes the Med has to offer, is the stuff of sabbatical dreams. If you can’t escape the working world for that long we suggest you head down to Izu Brasserie to get your fix instead.

Set within the French department store Le BHV Marais in City Walk, Izu Brasserie is a casual space with a long counter top, little wooden tables lining a very narrow dining room on one side of the store, and a cosy bakery set-up on the other. The man in charge, Izu Ani, is practically a local treasure and has a smile as wide as his resumé. He was the head chef at La Petite Maison and its rival La Serre, and the part owner of glorious d3 café The Lighthouse. The Izu Brasserie venue is just one in a string of openings he’s planning over the next six months.

You must start your journey in Spain with a slice of Spanish tortilla (Dhs50). Served with a delicious sweet onion relish, the tortilla has a delightfully pert wobble to it, peppered with chunks of sweet potato and onion but still manages to feel light. One mouthful and you’ll be transported to a tiny café off the coast of Valencia.

Next, we head to Italy for fantastically fresh pizza with buffalo mozzarella, anchovy and capers (Dhs65). This was followed by a plate of burrata (Dhs65), which paired its milky sweetness with the salty punch of pesto; give us a portion of fresh bruschetta on the side, and this would have been a main meal in itself.

It’s not all strictly European food, though. The Izu Burger (Dhs85) comprises slices of beef (rather than a patty) sandwiched into a beautifully buttered brioche bun.

To finish, the plate of deconstructed tiramisu (Dhs50) was a fabulous confection of cream and coffee and sponge laid on the plate like a pyramid. It was the best we’d ever eaten, and we’ve eaten a lot of tiramisu.

By the way, if you want to impress Izu when you’re there, talk to your food. Say hello to each dish when it arrives. That’s what he does when he’s cooking. He says that’s how he gets to know his food. Judging by the wonderful banquet we had one lunchtime, he’s a pretty sweet talker, indeed.

Le BHV Marais, City Walk, Dubai, Sun to Thur 11am to 11pm, Fri and Sat 11am to 1am. Tel: (04) 4033030. Taxi: City Walk.

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