Location: Intercontinental Dubai Marina
AED 275 (Soft drinks)
AED 395(House Beverages)
AED 445 (Bubbly)
Timings: 12.30-3.30 PM
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
Marina Social presents itself as a contemporary restaurant, serving a British-Mediterranean inspired menu. It is one of seventeen restaurants of Chef Jason Atherton (former Gordon Ramsey Executive Chef), who runs an impressive portfolio of restaurants in the UK, UAE, Hong Kong, China, Australia, and the Philippines.
Located on the 1st floor of the Intercontinental in Marina, our table of 30 are ushered into the “private room”, with magnificent views of the marina. The brunch seems to be extremely popular, and is fully booked on the day. The crowd mainly consists of western expats, in the 35+ age category.
The brunch is name “Share & Social”, with a sharing concept for the starters, served in picnic style jars, and a selection of one main. I think the concept would improve by serving the table the entire selection of mains, thus sharing everything. Also perhaps serve jugs of cocktails, to share.
- Snow pea salad
- Churros & Arrancini
- Chicken liver parfait
- Lamb flatbread
- Beef tartare
- Smoked salmon rillettes
The crowd favorites were the goat cheese churros and arrancini (brunchers always love fried starters). The remaining items were sadly underwhelming. I noticed more interesting dishes on their a la carte menu (Seared yellow fin tuna, Burrata, Asparagus and slow cooked egg), so perhaps they can include some of those, or completely replace the so-so dishes.
For mains, you can choose only one of the following:
- Veal Short rib
- BBQ chicken leg
- Chargrilled flank steak
- Mac& cheese with braised ox cheek
- Fish n chips
- Chargrilled tiger prawns
- Pea risotto
Our table almost unanimously opted for either the flank steak or tiger prawns. Flank is my least favorite cut of beef (rib-eye is my favorite); and this version of flank did little to change my mind. The prawns were good, but ordinary. The fish n chips was the best pick of the bunch (when I think of British cuisine, I only think of fish and chips). Side of potato salad and green bean salad were served with the mains, which were both “Britishly” bland.
- Beer: Becks
- Wine: Plaimont Colombelle white & red (France)
- Spirits: vodka, gin, rum, and tequila
- Cocktails: Bloody Mary (good), Mojito (ok), Cosmopolitan, Margarita (ok), Spritzumber (very good), and Silver Pineapple (the crowd favorite)
We were lucky enough to have a cocktail trolley stationed just beside our table, so drinks kept arriving swiftly. Because the venue was packed, other tables seemed to have to wait longer than they would have liked. Maybe jugs would help alleviate this issue.
After 4pm you are encouraged to continue the day at the restaurant bar, where they offer a happy hour (until 8pm), with a DJ spinning a good variety of music. Priced at a hefty AED 395, I would expect a better overall food offering from a Dubai based venue. With some menu tweaking though, the “Share & Social” has the potential to be a real winner.
Value for Money: 8/20.