Location: Souk al Bahar
AED 299 (Inclusive of Soft Beverages)
AED 399 (Inclusive of Alcoholic House Beverages)
AED 499 (Inclusive of Sparkling wine)
AED 549 (Inclusive of Champagne)
“Advice from the Ocean:
Be Shore of yourself
Come out of your Shell
Take time to Coast
Avoid Pier pressure
Sea Life’s beauty
Don’t get Tide down
After waking up to a rare cloudy, stormy Friday morning in the usually sunny Dubai, I decided that only a new brunch could cure my case of the bad weather blues. Searching through my Entertainer App, I stumbled across the newly launched The Atlantic Brunch- advertised as the ‘Ocean to Plate. Being a massive seafood lover I jumped into my pants ,picked up my trusted brunching companion ,and headed over to Souk Al Bahar.
The restaurant is located in what used to be Mango Tree- which had closed down its door. Souk Al Bahar restaurants seem to have a high rate of failure – and the Souk is not very busy this Friday afternoon.
After being seated we are handed the menu and we select the house beverage package. Frankly I am already disappointed as the beverages include only 1 brand of beer, which to makes things worse is bottled, and the straw that broke the camels back was that it was Heineken (the worlds most sold but also most horrible tasting beer). Wines are restricted to a single white and a single red, both Italian, and both nice. House spirits includes the usual suspects (vodka, gin, rum & whiskey) and the bar decides to put in a little effort by offer a single cocktail; the Bloody Mary, which disappoints. What do you call a bloody Mary made with gin instead of the vodka? It is called ‘ Red Snapper’ and I think it is far superior to the vodka version. Try it now, thank me later.
The food menu is limited in quantity and consists of:
- A Seafood sharing platter. The platter consisted of 4 prawn, 4 oysters, and 4 sea snails. The quality was disappointingly below average.
- Choice of starter. We both selected the Garlic Tiger Prawn, which consisted of 5 small prawns sautéed in olive oil, parsley, lemon and then topped with fried garlic. A very simple dish that anybody can easily produce at home.
- Choice of Main. For main my companion selected the Tenderloin-, which was of average quality. I selected their specialty dish: the Moreton Bay Bug Spaghettini- which consisted of spaghetti (not homemade!) and an ungenerous portion of lobster, tossed in olive oil, garlic and parsley. I simply cannot adequately describe my disappointment in this dish.
- Sharing sides. Fat chips (frozen), Grilled zucchini (undercooked), and a Rocket Salad. I love fried potatoes, but there is a massive difference between using fresh potatoes and lazily using frozen potatoes. It makes me absolutely furious when restaurants serve their customers overpriced frozen potatoes (sadly the majority of restaurants do this).
- Choice of dessert: we tried the Berry Soup and the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart. Unsurprisingly both where underwhelming, like everything else served in this brunch.
The service was equally underwhelming. My companion has certain food allergies that were clearly communicated to our waitress before selecting the dishes she could eat. Dairy was on this list. To our disappointment her steak arrived with a big slab of butter on top, and both the zucchini and rocket had cheese sprinkled on top. Whether there was a lack of communication or it was an honest error, I do not know. However the restaurant industry as a whole should start taking food allergies very seriously, and ensure no errors are made in serving their customers. Customers tend to accept these errors light heartedly, however; what if a similar human error occurred in other service related industries? What if your barber cut off too much hair? What if your dentist extracted the wrong tooth? What if your Uber dropped you off to the wrong address? What if your bank transferred your money to the wrong account?
To be brutally honest; this was my worst ever brunch experience in Dubai. Given the price tag, the food was uninspired and substandard. The service was not up to par and the entire concept is lacking in both imagination and execution. Kudos to the Entertainer who saved me 50% off the bill, otherwise I would have left absolutely fuming to have paid so much money for such an underwhelming experience.
Value for Money: 5/20.