BUrnch! Friday Brunch at BU!

Review: Interesting food and great service set to infectious tunes Discuss this article

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DETAILS: Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs400 (selected beverages), Dhs500 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm. The Hub at The World Trade Center Mall, Al Markaziya (02 666 8066).

Having been one of only a handful of people at BU! on our last few night-time visits, we are a little apprehensive as we arrive for BUrnch! (which is harder to say out loud than you might imagine), worried we might be in for a quiet afternoon. We’re pleasantly surprised, however, with how lively the place is. It’s not packed, but there is a good crowd and the Latin band make it feel like a party.

The Latin dishes here are made for sharing, and it’s a good job because this brunch is not shy on food. With guacamole, ceviche and salty, sriracha-hot edemame to begin with, followed soon by mini seabass, octopus, chicken or grilled beef tacos, it becomes clear we will be waddling out of here.

The food keeps on coming, though. Each course is brought to the table by attentive and helpful staff as soon as it’s been prepared. Everything is fresh and it really shows in the flavour – there’s not a buffet in sight, so no mystery dishes or crusty, air-dried veg.

A round of sushi, including a crunchy vegetarian version, is peppery and light, but by far the stand-out course is the skewers – chunky strips of salmon and black cod in a red miso yuzu glaze and scattered with sesame seeds arrive on a heavily smoking grill. They are sticky, sweet, umami joy on a plate. We are so overcome, in fact, that when the fuscia-clad singer of the band urges us to get up and dance with her we forget ourselves for a moment and do so. Having been worked up by their renditions of La Bamba and Despecito (twice), we are full of the Latin groove and pull some terribly out-of-time shapes, before we realise we’re in a room full of other people and gather our senses.

Everyone is in the mood though – one couple seem to have done nothing but laugh since they arrived and as the band approach them to sing Happy Birthday it seems hard to imagine anyone looking happier.

For mains we choose sea bass (robalo ala plancha), which comes with tart green tomatoes, and chicken (pollo adobado) with a robust sweet potato gnocchi. They’re good, but really nothing can top those black cod skewers, which we’re still thinking about. By the time the dessert platter arrives – churros, coconut ice cream and more – we are stuffed. However, with few carbs included it’s not an uncomfortable feeling. We are sated, but not weighted – the waddle will have to wait for another day after all.

We’re sad to go. We think BUrnch is kind of BUtifull.

The bottom line

A fun Latin brunch with top fish dishes.

Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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