Location: Al Habtoor, The Atrium
AED 225(Inclusive of Soft Beverages)
AED 295 (Inclusive of Alcoholic House Beverages)
AED 350 (Inclusive of Champagne)
“I’ve stopped drinking, but only while I’m asleep”.
Zoco- a Mexican themed restaurant launched in the newly inaugurated Al Habtoor City. Zoco will be directly competing with Tortuga, Loca, Maya, and Muchachas , in a crowded Food & Beverage market. Well, then did Dubai really need another Mexican Brunch?
After arriving punctually at 12.30 (brunch is the only event that I am on time for) I am led to the back of the restaurant where our table for 6 is located. Despite this being a boy’s only brunch, all my companions are surprisingly late, so I order a margarita and go inspect the food buffet.
The food is divided into 6 sections:
- Cold Starters & Salads- two types of ceviche’s and a selection of vegetables and salads, nachos, guacamole. The seabream ceviche is a hit, however the octopus & prawn version is a miss for me.
- Hot starters- Pizza, Calamari, Arancini (rice balls). These dishes were all quite poor, and I am unable to understand why the restaurant does not stick to Mexican cuisine
- Taco Station- With three options Fish, Chicken, and Chorizo. The crowd favorite is the fish taco. Everyone commented that the tacos are under filled, so hopefully the chefs start being more generous with their proteins
- Mains- Leg of lamb, beef ribs, Mexican rice, Lobster Mac n cheese, refried beans, corn on the cob.
- BBQ Station- freshly frilled rib eye and prawns are served to the table. While the quality of both was good, the table complained that the beef was over-cooked and the prawns under-cooked.
- Dessert Station- selection of cakes and desserts. The star of the station were the donut churros (best churros I’ve had in Dubai)
The beverages include:
- Beer (Corona- Yuck!)
- Wine (1 red & 1 white)
- House Spirits (vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and tequila) But they refuse to serve shots or anything neat. A Mexican brunch without tequila shots does not make any sense right?
- Cocktails- Margarita and Sangria. The Margarita is excellent and I stuck we stuck with it the whole day.
The restaurant was almost fully booked, but I suspect that is directly related to the offer on the Entertainer (buy one get one free). A mostly western expat crowd, in the 30-50 age group (along with their kids) populate the restaurant. Despite the mediocre efforts of a live band to get the crowd going, the brunch is quite tame. Additionally there was something fundamentally wrong with the speaker system and the quality of sound was poor (despite informing the staff it did not improve).
Value for Money: 16/20.