friday brunch at galvin’s in city walk

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Galvin was brought to Dubai by famed British brothers, Chris and Jeff Galvin, who you’ll likely know have a critically acclaimed restaurant in  London’s Harrod’s department store, late last year. The elegant multi-level restaurant, bar and lounge is another addition the fully licensed area of City Walk called The Square – offering indoor and outdoor seating which boasts a stylish and relaxed social climate. Walking inside the restaurant, I’m reminded of a high-end classic restaurant that marries styles old and new – think dark wood, emerald green and copper tones.

Led by executive chef Luigi Vespero, who worked alongside the Galvin’s in London, the cuisine at Galvin Dubai is noted as Mediterranean-basin, featuring a seasonal-led menu using ingredients from the west coast of Italy to Barcelona and the southern bay of France – all used to create “flavours of the sun”, as Chris Galvin describes. The menu, we’re told, typically isn’t designed to be shared, which for us is a very welcome concept in a city that’s all about eating ‘family style’.

The brunch menu for today includes four courses: Amuse-Bouche (a small complimentary appetiser), five different starters to share, a main dish and dessert. My dining partner and I are welcomed with a homemade bread bowl while selecting our dishes. The first two dishes to be served are the Sea Bass Carpaccio served with tomato, coriander, and a refreshing truffle and yuzu dressing and the rich and the creamy Burrata with a sweet and sour Sicilian caponata of grilled eggplant and celery.

The starters which followed are the shredded Smoked duck breast and pulled duck rillette with Josper grilled vegetables and a delicously tangy green apple puree, Fritto misto of baby calamari, fried oyster, soft shell crab with a sweet herb aioli, and Fois gras ballotine with pickled vegetables, dates and tamarind puree. The portions of these dishes alone are enough to keep you stuffed and satisfied.

For mains, the Braised Lamb Shoulder with broccolini is beautifully paired with a sweet and fragrant harissa pomme puree, providing stunning depth of flavour with the meat.  My dining partner enjoyed the Grilled Beef Sirloin, which was an equal success with perfectly cooked and tender meat, served with hand cut chips, Bearnaise sauce and bone marrow red wine jus.

If, like us, you’re a dessert lover then the course you are most enthusiastic about is the last, and it is no small occasion. The dessert platter is made up of a selection of daily sweet treats such as the classicly rich and decadent chocolate fondant, macaroons, passion fruit panna cotta, freshly made sorbet and gelato with crumble, and pralines. Is there a better way to end an excellent dining experience? We don’t think so.

Considering that Galvin Dubai has only been open a couple of months, the team here are well-trained and highly professional –  and for AED 325 (AED 450 for the alcoholic brunch) per person it is great value for money. Overall, its a great place to share an evening with your loved one or a small group of friends. We will definitely be coming back.

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