Big brunch review: Friday at Verve Bar & Brasserie

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This new brunch has launched with a great offer…

Verve is the chic European brasserie created by award-winning chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price, located on the ground floor of Grand Plaza Movenpick, Media City’s only five-star hotel. The hotel lobby is ultra-grand, with plush sofas and sparkling light fixtures diverting the eye toward the high ceiling.

As you enter you’ll find a narrow bar, where guests are invited to perch up on the bold velvet stools, while the restaurant comes complete with white-clothed tables and wooden spiral staircase.

The brunch is currently running on a two-for-one offer on the house package, and the venue is busy. Guests can enjoy three hours of alcoholic drinks and lunch for less than Dhs200 per head, so it’s easy to see why. Setting the mood for an elegant afternoon, is the smooth saxophonist playing classic love songs live to the room.

 

After enjoying a Sommelier prepared welcome drink, it’s time to make our way to the table – and we’re given a window seat overlooking the floor-level fountain outside the hotel and views over Sheikh Zayed Road.

You might expect due to the restaurant’s elegant interior and fine-dining menu that the brunch would be table service, but instead the starters and mains are displayed in an open kitchen.

Prepare to get your steps in, as at the ‘larder counter’ you’ll find pleasantly presented plates ready to take to the table, meaning unless you have some serious table-waiting skills, you’ll probably only be able to carry two small dishes at a time.

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From the counter you’ll find a modest selection of appetisers including paprika smoked salmon and seared tuna, both of which are very tasty but require a second helping to fully enjoy the flavours. A large tray of freshly-shucked Dibba Bay oysters are laid out, with accompanying condiments, which we’re told have been personally picked by Nick & Scott.

A trolley shifts around the room with its driver preparing fresh beef tartare to preference, but sadly it never reaches our table. A plate of mushroom risotto does soon arrive which we share between two. The dish is delicious, with flavours of the parmesan wheel it’s been prepared in coming through and the crispy shavings on top adding a welcome crunch.

For a more meaty course, guests are invited to step into the kitchen, where chefs offer roast beef on a production line. The slices of beef are very tender and juicy, while the roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding might have been sat out for a while, only masked by the over-salted red wine gravy.

The final course comes as a trio of Verve’s signature desserts. The blood orange cheesecake was a favourite due to its feather light texture and firm crunchy base. There’s also a mini meringue with strawberries sliced on top, a pleasant twist on an Eton mess, and a rich dark chocolate tart complemented by a smooth real vanilla ice-cream.

While the brunch has a great promotion running, it’s not one that will have you unbuttoning your top button through over-indulgence. The house package includes red and white wine, beer, cocktails and sparkling, so value for money in that sense alone. After the summer ends, we hope the food offering increases to continue the value streak.

Once Upon A Brunch, Verve, Grand Plaza Movenpick, Media City, Fridays, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs299 soft, Dhs399 house & sparking (buy one get one free), Dhs599 champagne. Tel: (04) 525 7633. vervebrasserie.com

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Image: Supplied