How can it be possible to find a ‘hidden gem’ in a big shopping Mall you might ask yourself? Surely everything is on show and easy to find. Actually, not quite – Brunswick Eatery, Terrace and Bar proves the case in point.
Brunswick – Eatery Bar Terrace
It’s late afternoon on a Thursday and my first visit to Brunswick Eatery Bar Terrace (it’s all three!). Being completely honest it hadn’t appealed to me before as it was marketed as a sports bar and really, that’s not my kind of thing. Today my visit is to check out Brunswick in it’s new guise – as an Eatery, Bar & Terrace. The new look comes with a new menu which I’m excited to try as I’ve seen some great images and reviews on social media.
The interior is interesting and it’s arranged in zones, each zone being different and having an appeal to a different crowd. The bar area is more ‘gastro pub’/bistro than sports bar which is much more appealing. There’s also an area which I love which showcases some of the dry aged meat and pickled and fermented veggies. This is not just a gorgeous display, but actually full of ingredients the chefs are using and, I’m told, will form part of a ‘deli style’ offering to accompany platters of meat and cheese. I’m hooked on this and will definitely return when this is launched. Moving towards the rear of the space, we sit close to the terrace which is brighter and more to our taste. The light comes from the small open terrace which is the final zone. Whilst it’s not huge, it adds the outdoor feel and light which are an added bonus in the otherwise windowless interior.
We’ve arrived at an interesting time in the day, it’s 4pm on a Thursday somewhere between lunch and dinner, and we are handed the lunch menu to choose from. As it’s Thursday there’s also a Thursday afternoon ‘brunch’ going on which consists of a set menu and includes free flowing drinks, so there is a drinks trolley set up for this which also serves a curated list of drinks for the “Trolleys on the Terrace” Happy Hour (4pm-7pm daily) so people are filtering in for an early start to the weekend. I’m told the atmosphere ramps up later in the evening but for now it’s relaxed and calm. Overall there’s a relaxed atmosphere both in terms of dining, which I love, and service which is a bit slow and inattentive.
The menu offers bar snacks, sharing plates, main courses and desserts which should be enough to suit your reason for visit.
We start Tumeric Spiced Tempura Cauliflower fried curry leaf and rasam mayonnaise from the bar snacks section which is moreish, the cauliflower is encased in a crispy tempura. The cauliflower is still a little al dente which is great. Make sure you dig to the bottom and get some rasam mayonnaise, it adds to the dish.
We choose two plates for the Table, Habachi Chicken Wing Skewers – baby leek, sesame & kombu mayo – chicken wings are not the prettiest dish in terms of presentation, but the guys have done a reasonable job of making them look as good as they can. The chicken wings are tender, tasty and beautifully smoky. The seared baby leeks are blackened but in a good way. As for the kombu mayo (brown seaweed), it’s not to my taste but thankfully it doesn’t ruin the dish as it’s served on the side. Next up, Ceviche – papaya, pickled habanero, lime & avocado oil which looks like a piece of art on the plate. Thankfully the look lives up to the taste and I really enjoyed the combination of spicy, sweet, sour combination which went well with the delicate fish. A little of everything on the fork provided a gorgeous combination which was light and well balanced.
Moving on to the highlight of the meal for me and my guest, the Slab Cut Wagyu Pastrami – charred cabbage & Au poivre sauce which was served in a hot cast iron platter. Ohhhhh so good! The wagyu is brined, slow cooked and then quickly seared, all done in house of course. The result, a tender piece of meat which melted in the mouth without being too soft with the odd crispy bit around the edges adding a little bit of crunch. The pepper sauce lifted the dish without being overwhelming. The second charred vegetable of our meal, the cabbage, was exceptionally good. It’s amazing how charring vegetables brings out the sweetness.
No meal is complete without dessert, and this is where we were a little disappointed. There were only two items on the menu to choose from and when I mentioned this was unusual I was told there are only two items “because chef only wants two!”. Whilst chef might only want a choice of two, I would have preferred a bigger selection. In the end we settled for Banana Sticky Toffee with smoked salt caramel & banana ice-cream which was very good. Not too sweet, rich and indulgent as a dessert should be. The finale for me, was a flat white which was pretty good.
I’m thirsty for a chilled glass of wine and make an easy choice from the menu. My date chooses a Virgin Mary which looks fab and is perfectly spiced! I’m told they do a wicked Espresso Martin, so need to go back for that one.
It’s a hit! Definitely one to return to. The location, which is right next to the cinema, is perfect for pre and post drinks and dinner, they also cover valet (parking at Sheraton) for a minimum spend of 100/AED which is an added bonus. We will return to check out the deli menu when it’s launched, perhaps brunch (we’re told it’s a lively affair) and oh yes, for the Wagyu Pastrami which is definitely worth returning for, though my date tells me he’s not sharing next time! (Update : doesn’t look like this one is on the menu anymore. The menu changes regularly so if you like to return for favourite dishes, check if it’s still available).
Tip : smoking is allowed at the bar area, so move to the dining area and terrace if you want to avoid this.
Location: Brunswick Eatery Bar Terrace – Level 2, Sheraton Hotel, Mall of the Emirates. Entry is either via the hotel, or through Mall of the Emirates – next to the cinema.
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest, all opinions are my own. All images are taken by me.