February 20, 2016 / Leave a Comment
I had heard good things about this Street Food brunch at the Oberoi Downtown so was happy to give it a go when a friend booked a table. It boasted lots of stations of various cuisines – why the Dubai obsession with International cuisine and being all things to everyone? Pick something and do it well I say.
Sadly, it really didn’t live up to my expectations. From as soon as I sat down, I was disappointed by the decor – it felt generic and dated in style which surprised me, especially in this competitive and modern Dubai market (and apparently being a recent build). Honestly, it felt like an all day hotel buffet breakfast restaurant from 1998, a melange of cream, orange and brown. Trying not to let this colour my opinions, onwards we plunged into the food.
First we headed out to a series of stations placed in the hotel outside the restaurant – kind of in the Lobby. A little bizarre. Stations are also set up in the outdoor space, and the outdoor space is rather nice – most tables aren’t set up for dining at however, more for drinks/lounging so your main seating option is indoors.
The food was pretty middle of the road. While ‘street food’ may sound cool, most of it was just food court food – if I want a burger and a taco, which I mostly have to assemble myself, next time I’ll take myself to the mall and pay a fraction of the price. Some of the Indian offerings were tasty enough but nothing that drove me back for seconds. I can see they have tried hard to come up with some unique touches in the brunch but dipping things into liquid nitrogen doesn’t make for molecular gastronomy in my books.
On to the drinks…the Bacardi branded cocktails were, well…terrible, for want of a better word. I feel bad saying that as the bartender was really sweet, but they were actually undrinkable, laced with extremely fake tasting bright pink ‘strawberry’ syrup. It was not at all what strawberry tastes like from my memory. Also I didn’t really dig the idea of the sharing cocktail that circulated around the restaurant where diners took a sip and then removed their straw – I’m just not a drink sharer I guess!
The service was really pleasant however and very friendly, I can tell they were putting a lot of effort into trying to bring people a great experience but the product didn’t pull through in the end. Just not my cup of tea I guess, so like most of our table I stuck to just drinking the wine for most of the brunch. It’s a shame, as again the service and the chefs were really sweet, I wanted to love it but it wasn’t to be. It would take a bit to lure me back for a second taste.