Big brunch review: Tasca

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Portuguese street food lands in Jumeira…

Dubai’s a brunch town. On any given Friday, most of the city’s best restaurants serve some form of midday feast. That being said, not every brunch is a brunch you should munch, which is why this big brunch review at What’s On Dubai, exists. It’s to separate the good from the great. And Tasca’s new Friday offering, at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai leans towards the great.

The gorgeous roof deck on the sixth floor of the new Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai has a killer view and will be one of the best alfresco spots in the city come cooler climes. But since launching its Portuguese brunch only ten weeks ago, Tasca has been drawing crowds for its regional speciality drinks and Portuguese dishes inspired by acclaimed chef Jose Avillez, but actioned by chef Luciano Marques, who commands attention in the open central kitchen.

Inventive dishes appear at a perfect pace, starting with fun canapes -a wedge of green apple infused with margarita appear on a bed of crushed ice; a crispy tempura cod cake with a light garlic and lemon emulsion arrives served on a slate plate; while the Wagyu tartare with truffle is offered to us in an ice cream cone. Hot appetisers follow including a miniature pan of clams, a delicious platter of roasted veal chorizo, and fried green beans served with a ridiculously tasty garlic cream.

 

The staff are clearly proud of what’s coming out of the kitchen, as they serve each made-to order dish with beaming smiles, and words of encouragement. ‘Wait until you try this dish,’ our waiter exclaims. He’s talking about the Wagyu chuck, a large pan of succulent and slightly charred beef. He’s right, it is very good, but arguably not as good as the humble seabass dish, which is steamed and smoked with a delightfully crispy skin

More dishes appear from every angle: a side of broccolini, chunky fries and a comforting risotto-meets-fish-stew concoction, all culminating in a theatrical dessert platter of fruit, sorbet, and of course, two superb Portuguese egg tarts.

An intimate yet lively brunch, and happy bellies all-round. Just what you want from a great brunch.

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs300 with soft drinks, Dhs400 with house drinks. Tel: (04) 777 2231. facebook.com/tascadubai

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