Viaggiare con Basta will take you on a culinary journey of Italy…

The best thing about brunching in Dubai is the sheer variety of brunches available. Some are designed for the ultimate party experience, some are extravagant and luxurious, while others are ideal for foodies. Viaggiare con Basta, the new Saturday brunch at BASTA is most definitely the latter.

Everything about the menu is designed to take you on a culinary journey of Italy, with fresh tagliatelle from the Amalfi Coast, to margarita pizza from Naples and Roscioli tiramisu from Sicily. All accompanied by a refreshing cocktail list including Aperol spritz and limoncello-based beverages.

The show-stopping piece comes right at the beginning, where a huge board of antipasti is delivered to the table to be shared (like all the dishes) between your group. Featuring tasty cold cuts, soft cheeses, a variety of fresh bread, perfect for dipping in the delicious ricotta pesto paste.

After starters, there’s a taste of true Italian cuisine, with a tomatoey seafood pasta, prepared with al dente tagliatelle, fresh prawns, calamari and clams. The balance of flavours is just right, with the perfect amount of seasoning in each bite.

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A talented singer mixes his covers through a loop station in the corner, although the restaurant’s acoustics need to be revisited to be able to hear the sound clearly. The overall vibe is relaxed, but there’s a nice hub of atmosphere as fellow diners tuck into their lunch.

For mains, there’s two meat options: a chicken scaloppini and beef tagliata. The chicken breast has been chargrilled to achieve a nice flavour and is well-paired with the sautéed veg accompanying it. The steak had a lot of flavour, although a bit heavy on the oil which left a greasy residue. A side dish of roast baby potatoes stole the limelight, thanks to its deliciously different sweet and sour sauce.

A trio of traditionally Italian desserts ends the meal on a sweet note. A big bowl of Roscioli tiramisu is the first to be devoured, topped with crunchy biscotti pieces which contrast against the smooth creamy texture of the dessert. The lemon ricotta cannoli was equally delightful, baked fresh with a lighter-than-air cream filling and flaky soft pastry.

All the dishes are available in unlimited quantities, so should you still be hungry (we doubt it) you can re-try your favourites. If you love your food, especially Italian, then this could be your new favourite brunch.

BASTA, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Business Bay, Saturdays, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299 soft, Dhs399 house, Dhs450 bubbles. Tel: (04) 512 5522.

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Images: Dubai Night