Brunch Review: Barbary, Tryp By Wyndham
We do love ourselves some Barbary. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, a quick drink or an entire night of partying, the venue never disappoints. So when we were invited to try out their new relaunched brunch, they didn’t have to ask us twice.
Here’s the deal – we’ve brunched at Barbary before, shortly after the launch, but it was an actual traditional brunch. They served typical brunch dishes, a la carte, from morning to late afternoon. The food was great, but it sadly wasn’t a brunch in the UAE sense of the word.
It’s now been revamped and the good news is that the food is still fantastic (actually, even better). And best of all, it’s now a proper UAE brunch. Running from noon to 5pm (yep, a whole five hours), you can enjoy an a la carte brunch with unlimited drinks.
On arrival, we’re surprised by how light the venue is. Admittedly, we hang out there mostly after sunset, so it’s nice to see that the tinted windows let a large amount of natural light in. Because, in all honesty, we don’t really like spending summery afternoons brunching in dingy, dark, nightclub-esque venues.
And while Barbary is known for its upbeat parties, the brunch vibe is very civilised. Not civilised as in boring, but it’s the type of place where you can have an actual conversation without having to worry about large groups of rowdy guests and excessively loud music. It’s a sophisticated brunch, much like the types you find in London and New York.
The menu hasn’t changed much, sticking to the brunch classics. The appetisers selection consists of homemade donut beignets, mac and cheese balls, mini chipolatas, steak tartare, French toast, breads and jams, and a deli platter consisting of smoked salmon, cured meat, artisan cheese, fruits, nuts and so forth. Take our word for it – everything is good. Our favourite however has to be the brûléed French toast soldiers served with fresh berries and homemade custard. Somehow Barbary has turned a simple dish into a masterpiece, and we’re here for it.
Mains don’t disappoint either. From steak and eggs and a full breakfast, to eggs Benedict and buttermilk pancakes, we find it hard to pick one. We eventually settle for the Barbary shakshouka, which consists of two poached eggs, meatballs in a homemade tomato sauce with chilli and garlic. It’s a burst of flavours, and officially the best shakshouka we’ve ever tasted.
Our guest tries the full breakfast, which is also spectacular, and perfect if you’re looking for something more filling. It contains everything from eggs, sausages and baked beans to black pudding, fried kale, roasted tomato and a Portobello mushroom. The baked beans are served in a cute jar, instantly turning the everyday English classic into a gourmet extravaganza. Overall, the attention to detail is spectacular.
By the time the desserts reach the table, we’re rolling. Fortunately, the selection of cakes and fruits aren’t too big, so we don’t feel overwhelmed as we work our way through them.
The highlight of the brunch, however, is the fabulous Build-a-Bary concept, during which you customise your Bloody Mary. A tower of diverse ingredients is delivered to the table, and we have only five minutes to decorate and garnish our drinks. The garnish options include everything from olives and cherry bombs to meatballs and pickled vegetables. Our drink ends up with a mini burger, celery and capers – unique, fun and somehow delicious.
It’s safe to say the Barbary Brunch Affair is now up there with the best of ‘em.
INFO: Dhs299, weekends noon-5pm, three courses with unlimited beverages, Tryp by Wyndham Hotel, 04 247 6688, barbary.ae