x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Gaucho: an à la carte Dubai brunch option

Ditch the buffet this Friday and head to a restaurant where you can order a la carte to your hearts' content.

Gaucho's famous Argentinian beef. Courtesy Gaucho
Gaucho's famous Argentinian beef. Courtesy Gaucho

There is a lot to love about the UAE’s Friday brunch culture. My favourite part is usually getting six oysters. Then another six. If there’s a chocolate fountain, forget about it. But isn’t it all getting a bit much? The vastness of the dishes on offer, trying to eat a bit of everything (or at least a lot of the expensive stuff), followed by the feeling that you just didn’t do it justice for the price.

Recently, two brunches have left me questioning the entire exercise: the first resulted in 24 hours of food poisoning and at the second, after weeks spent watching what I ate, I could barely eat anything. What a waste. So here’s the idea: why not scale things down and try brunch without the buffet?

These offerings are popping up all over Dubai and it can’t be long until they make their way to Abu Dhabi. Recently I spent four or so hours sampling dishes at the newly launched Friday Brunch Experience at Gaucho Dubai in DIFC. The Dubai branch of the highly regarded London eatery offers plates with an Argentinian flavour that are satisfying without being overwhelming. Starters can be ordered repeatedly and include a selection of breads served with creamy guacamole, ceviche spoons of shrimp, sea bass and tuna, and a hot trio of chorizo, grilled gambas and empanadas. Each person is limited to one main, but that’s more than enough. Since Gaucho is known for offering the finest in Argentinian beef, we chose two beef entrées, served with sides of greens, fries and salads: the trio of medallions, lomo, cuadril and ancho, and the churrasco de ancho: a 250-gram, slow-grilled, spiral-cut rib-eye. It was definitely too much beef for us, meaning our only regret was that we didn’t go for a bit more variety. The salted dulce de leche and macadamia cheesecake was a standout on a modest dessert tray.

I love Gaucho’s calm, white-and-black, cowhide-accented decor. The talented Argentinian cello player Clara White paired her stirring notes with a beat-heavy soundtrack played at just the right volume. It created a perfect, cool atmosphere to while away a hot afternoon.

Brunch at the Gaucho Way costs between Dh340 and Dh550 per person. Call 04 422 7898 for reservations


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