Poul and I are moving to a new place, so this week we’ve been busy arranging movers and transferring water and electricity services. Suddenly it was Friday aka Big Brunch Day in Dubai, and nobody needed brunch more than we did. Though getting a last-minute table at the popular places can be quite a challenge, so I prepared myself to spend the morning cold calling restaurants and putting my name on waitlists, but I was lucky: Cocktail Kitchen, the first place I called, could squeeze in two more people in their non-smoking section.
Cocktail Kitchen and I go way back, and I’ve stopped counting how many times I’ve been there since they opened. They’re located in the same building as two of my other favorites, Mythos and Nola, and my usual routine would be dinner at Mythos, dessert(s) and drinks at Nola before finishing off the evening at Cocktail Kitchen. I love the carefully crafted, reasonably priced cocktails at Cocktail Kitchen, but it was the first time for me to try the Kitchen part of the place.
Brunch at Cocktail Kitchen starts with welcome drinks, and then you’re shown to your table. You can order whatever you like from their brunch menu, which includes a subset of favorites from their ordinary menu and of course a selection of some of their best cocktails.
At the Friday brunches in Dubai, the focus is usually more on booze than on food, as most of the happy brunchers don’t really mind what they’re eating after a drink or two anyway. It’s therefore rare that you find a place which both makes amazing cocktails and great food, so I didn’t expect much, but Cocktail Kitchen exceeded any expectations I might have had.
The grilled octopus came with a flattering charred touch, and the vermouth emulsion made the beef carpaccio something to remember. The black sponge bread didn’t taste of anything, but the burrata was creamy and delicious, so who cares?
According to the menu, the cured salmon was served with beetroot puree, but it turned out to be a sorbet instead. The flavor was also more of carrot than of beetroot, but it was smooth and refreshing together with the salmon.
We had two rounds of starters and we were talking about skipping the mains, but the staff convinced us to try at least one, so we shared a portion of succulent beef short ribs in an aromatic, Bloody Mary-based sauce. Very tasty, just like everything else we had. The only thing that was not-so-great, was the dessert. While the mini pastries looked pretty on the wooden tray, they had this monotone sugary taste. I think I’ve had better pastries at Carrefour.
Brunch at Cocktail Kitchen was also a good opportunity for me to play around with my new lens for my Fujifilm camera. I dropped the old one on the floor about a month ago, and despite several attempts of resuscitation, it never really came back to life. Since then I’ve therefore had to carry my heavy and bulky DSLR with me, or, which has been the case most of the time, settle for ridiculously bad iPhone pics. It’s great to have Mr. Fujifilm back in my bag, and I’m sure he’s also delighted to be on the road again.
Cocktail kitchen, Armada BlueBay Hotel, Cluster P, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai, Tel: +971 56 828 0727
To get to Cocktail Kitchen, go to the Armada Bluebay Hotel reception and take the elevator down to B1. Cocktail Kitchen is at the same level as Mythos and NOLA. Signs along the way will lead you in the right directions, and on weekends, there are usually staff members down there to guide you