April 12, 2016 / Leave a Comment
From the moment you step into the serene Taj lobby, you can see this is a property that has good taste oozing out of its walls. Hoping this impeccable sense of taste will continue with our brunch experience at Taj’s Indian outfit, Bombay Brasserie, we hungrily ascend to the fourth floor to check it out.
Bombay Brasserie is just as stylishly decked out as the rest of the Taj property – a clean, modern, airy space with a dazzling colour palette that has just as much life and spice as the food. I loved the bold turqoise, patterned cushions, velvets, bright fuchsia silk bathroom walls, huge murals…the decor is really top notch, and tactile to boot.
This is my kind of brunch – a modern, more formal dining experience delivered to your table, tasting menu style. This one even comes with wine paring – the first time I’ve encountered this at a brunch and something I applaud heartily. Nice to see Dubai dining establishments treating brunch as a serious date in the weekly foodie calendar!
We kick off with a cocktail to get the tastebuds going…I opt for an off the menu (but still able to be ordered) classic, a mojito – always a fave, and there’s a cinnamon one on offer too for those more adventurous than I. My dining companion jumped right into the spicy end of things with her Masala Mary – a secret Bombay Brasserie recipe apparently. This one takes the Bloody Mary to India and back, packed full of spice both in the drink and on the glass rim! It’s certainly fiery, not for the faint of heart. Perhaps a little bit too much for me when it’s going alongside food that’s also spicy – at least my mojito cooled things down!
We were then presented with the extensive menu for our brunch journey – both vegetarian and non-veg options are on offer. It certainly had us feeling excited about what was to come – six savoury courses and one sweet. Of course it’s chaat to start, and what a great way to kick things off. Delicious morsels are lined up two by two on our plates, and all are delicious – a nice undercurrent of sweetness to counter the spice, but not too sweet. Well balanced and moreish – just take care when pouring your liquid for your pani puri shot, we had varying levels of success in keeping the liquid where it should be and not on the table! And hey, this was early in the brunch before any drinks – glad it’s not served later in the meal or things could get really messy…
Course two for the seafood lovers features Malabar Crab & Bhatti Prawns (this was a seriously HUGE prawn) and I went for the vege friendly option – Kurmani Ki Tikki – Apricot filled potato cake, yoghurt, tamarind & Chana Chaat – Crisp chickpeas, tamarind, yoghurt. Mine was fab. The crunchy chickpeas were a delight as was the potato cake. I have to say apricots and potatoes are two of my least favourite ingredients, but this was a marriage made in heaven! Well done Bombay Brasserie on converting me with this one.
Round three was all about the chicken – Chicken Turka Chaat & Chicken Basil Tikka. The red and green morsels looked divine on our plates and tasted even better on our palate. I think this may have been my favourite course of the meal…I’m pretty sure I could have devoured another serving with ease!
The next course was a duo of lamb delicacies – Roti Pe Boti – lamb, caramelised onions, wheat flat bread & Gosht Pasliyan – minted lamb chops, black pepper. Both certainly did not disappoint despite following such deliciousness. The Roti Pe Boti was introduced as an Indian take on the taco – so it’s totally encouraged to dig in and pick it up with your fingers, definitely the best way to enjoy it. The caramelised onions added amazing sweetness, and it’s another I can’t wait to eat again!
The only downside of all of these courses being so amazing, is that it’s a hard standard to hold throughout an entire meal. The next two courses, which consisted of curries and the dessert, didn’t delight the palate in quite the way we’d grown accustomed to in the past couple of hours of feasting. Being pretty full by now anyway, it wasn’t the end of the world that we didn’t want to inhale every last crumb of these courses. The flaming alcohol doused dessert brought with ceremony to our table was a treat to watch, but blow your head off strong in the glass – too strong for me! If there’s an Indian term for, ‘Aye Carumba’, then I think that would sum this dessert up!
Just when you think it’s all over, Bombay Brasserie’s version of the Espresso Martini arrives – the Masala Chaitini. Pleasant and certainly interesting, this is the perfect closing act for chai aficionados.
The house beverage package that includes all of these courses, cocktails, house beverages and wine pairing is on offer for 395, and lovers of fine French fizz will be well pleased to see a Veuve Clicquot option at 545. Nice to see actual Champagne on offer for the sparkling option, a classy move by the Taj brigade – I’m sick to death of seeing silly amounts being charged for standard sparkling wine. At least the good stuff justifies the difference for those who just can’t go past the real thing.
Lovers of Indian food and stylish surrounds need to go and check out this impressive brunch – they’ll provide the great food and wine, you provide the great company – what more do you need?