Review: Bistrotheque Brunch at Indochine
It’s glitz, glamour and good food galore at this DIFC hotspot’s afternoon soiree…
It’s not often I find myself walking through DIFC on a weekend afternoon, and it turns out I’m not alone. The usual bustle of suits making their way to business lunch by day, or couples darting into the array of top-class restaurants by night is replaced by a slightly uncomfortable emptiness. But once I step inside the flora-filled entrance of Indochine, lead by a smiling and incredibly glamorous hostess, it’s a different story.
The glitzy bar area is set up ready for live entertainment later in the afternoon, although there’s lounge tables set for brunch too, and I’d recommend booking one of these if you prefer to be in the thick of the action. With a four-hour package on offer, guests are in no hurry to be seated right away, so mingle by the bar. Most opt for one of the four cocktails – all Indochine twists on the classics – included with the house package. Our pick, The Second Empire, is a reimagined spicy margarita, with hints of ginger added to the traditional mix of tequila, lime and chili.
Once seated, the Bistrotheque Brunch menu follows a format that we’ve become quite accustomed to at Dubai brunches, fusing the sharing and a la carte concepts at the right parts: six sharing starters are followed by a choice of main and a duo of desserts to share at the end. As we graze our way through plates of crunchy vegetable spring rolls, piping hot black truffle dumplings packed with shiitake mushrooms and black truffle; and perfectly diced fresh tuna dressed with lemongrass chili and topped with toasted sesame, funky disco beats are spun by the DJ. It’s just the right level to build up the tempo without forcing guests to scream across the table to hear one another.
For mains, we make one good decision and one bad one: we love the Vietnamese crab cakes with aioli, lime and dill, but find the Wagyu Banh Mi – a traditional Vietnamese baguette – too dry. As our mains are cleared, soul singer Abri, now well known in Dubai’s homegrown music scene, is already on the mic, and those a course ahead of us have already gathered to hear his smooth covers of everything from Bill Withers to Bruno Mars. Desserts are swiftly followed by dancing, and as the last of the diners move back through into the bar to be closer to the live music action, you’re left feeling like you’ve made it into one of the coolest clubs in the city.
Indochine, Gate Village 3, DIFC, 12pm to 4pm, Saturdays, Dhs295 soft, Dhs440 house, Dhs625 sparkling. Tel: (04) 208 9333, indochinedxb.com