Big brunch review: Beautiful Fridays at Alici
This brand-new brunch epitomises what we love so much about this city…
In how many other cities can you sit outside in 25 degrees celsius, watching the sunshine reflect off of the glistening waves, with delicious fine-dining dishes served before you? Alright, maybe quite a few, but the experience remains something to behold. And that’s the experience you’ll get at Alici’s new brunch.
The restaurant is beautiful throughout but the gold tier spot is on the first floor terrace, overlooking JBR and the sparkling Arabian Gulf. White-clothed tables and cushy canvas chairs offer an Almafi-inspired haven from which to sip Italian beverages and sample unlimited crudo.
At first glance the menu alludes to a lighter-than-your-average brunch; appetisers will be served to the table, cold crudo is unlimited, one hot starter and main per person and a dessert table. However don’t be fooled, the dishes are plentiful and it’s difficult to know when to stop.
A heady mix of arancini, pizza, aubergine parmigiana and burrata swiftly make their way to the table. All are fine examples of quality Italian cooking, a second burrata was also requested and devoured. All of the crudo dishes are commendable, in particular the tartare spigola (sea bass) and tartare tonno (tuna), both of which are topped with fine spiralised cucumber.
For the appetisers we opt for the fritto misto and beef bresaola. Despite being referred to as hot starters, both are room temperature and gratefully so. The fritto misto includes a varied mix of bite-sized seafood, accompanied by moreish purple potato crisps, while the bresaola pairs beautifully with the aforementioned burrata.
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We should’ve learnt our lesson by now, but in a seafood restaurant it’s usually best to avoid the steak. The same rings true here as our medium-rare steak arrived with barely any pink in the centre. The mushroom risotto however is a delight, as flavourful funghi and wafers of black winter truffle arrive immersed in a dish of creamy comforting rice.
If you have any room left for dessert, a dedicated display is waiting downstairs. An authentic layered tiramisu is a clear favourite, as is the pistachio biscotti and exotic fruit selection. The packages start from Dhs395 for soft beverages and mocktails, or Dhs495 with wine and selected signature cocktails, including negroni, gin & tonic and a take on an Italian spritz.
Alternatively you can opt for the premium sparkling package, available in white or rosé, which also includes all of the previously-mentioned drinks and will set you back Dhs595.
Alici Dubai, Bluewaters, Fridays, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs395 soft drinks, Dhs495 house drinks, Dhs595 bubbles. Tel: (04) 275 2577. alici.com