Brunching al fresco with a stunning JBR view sounds like the ideal Friday, right? But we’ll be honest. Ahead of our evening brunch at Pure Sky Lounge we were worried. “Won’t we be a bit too... sweaty?”, our friend asked with trepidation, when we told her we’d be dining on the terrace.
Well, we’re here to announce that outdoor dining season is officially upon us. Three hours of eating and drinking al fresco at Pure Sky Lounge’s evening brunch and we hardly break a sweat.
The food is delicious, varied and made for sharing. The starters have a vastly (but not purely) southeast Asian theme.
We love the tuna ceviche with pomelo and baby radish, the chicken satay and the crispy vegetable spring rolls. They’re all super-fresh and very moreish. As we polish off the last bite of tuna, a second round arrives. This time, we’re treated to sesame shrimp toast, chilled tofu in a scallion and ginger soy sauce, and smoked salmon with asparagus and capers. We surprise ourselves by liking the tofu most. Packed full of flavour, we consider ordering a second portion, only to remember that the mains are still to come.
Some of the mains stick to the southeast Asian theme – Thai pulled duck green curry, roasted fish in banana leaves and Indonesian beef rendang, for instance. But they also serve a British roast leg of lamb with all of the trimmings to our table. The combination confuses us a little, but we’ve seen wilder mixes at a buffet brunch. Yorkshire pudding and a lobster claw, anyone?
We digress. Like the starters, the mains are designed for sharing. Trying a little of this, and a little of that. But a mini-roast portion is carved table-side for each diner.
The lamb is soft and succulent, served with a delicious selection of seasonal root vegetables and potato Lyonnaise – slightly indulgent, thinly sliced potatoes sautéed in butter with parsley.
But the highlight has to be the extremely tender duck Thai green curry. The meat is so well cooked, it’s almost falling apart. And we can’t get enough of the fire-hot beef rendang. On the drier end of the curry scale, it certainly packs a spicy punch, but it’s evened out by the buttered rice.
When the pepes ikan – roasted white fish, cooked in banana leaves – arrives at our table, we’re glad that we’ve been sharing, so that there is room for a little of all the dishes. The fish is cooked in a fragrant selection of Indonesian spices, and between us, the plate is pretty much licked clean.
When it comes time for pudding, we’re far too full to even contemplate the blueberry sponge cake or the New York cheese cake. But we do have just enough room for a few scoops of ice cream from the trolley that visits our table. Ending the meal on a perfectly sweet note... just as last orders is called at the bar.
INFO: Dhs245 (including soft drinks), Dhs395 (including house beverages), Dhs425 (including bubbles), 6pm-9.30pm, Pure Sky Lounge & Dining, Hilton Dubai
The Walk, JBR, 043747888, email@example.com, hilton.com