It’s no secret that Dubai is full to the brim with brunch options, so if you want to stand out, you need to bring your A-game. FACT’s Shabana Adam went to check out the newly-launched 7Elephants Dubai’s Friday Brunch where worldly signature plates meet cool, insta-worthy interiors…

 

DIFC has always been an unusual one for us. The entire area is packed with some of the world’s top food venues offering up everything from sophisticated dining to fun ladies nights and even casual after-work hangouts. But on a weekend, it’s difficult to gage what the atmosphere will be like. On this particular Friday afternoon when we entered the vast interior of 7Elephants at Emirates Financial Towers, it was very quiet. Apart from a solo diner enjoying the surrounding picturesque views with her choice of shisha, our team of three was the only group at brunch. Did this put us off? Not in the slightest. Yes, the venue is HUGE. There’s comfy sofa seating for laid-back hangs, large quirky dining tables for those who want full-on food and wood-carved high-tables for guests who are there for drinks and small bites. And you can take a seat at the 35m-long bar where skilled bartenders whip up all kinds of liquid kryptonite.

 

Friday Brunch at 7Elephants is an east-meets-west explosion of flavours where diners will get a taste of their mouthwatering signature plates from seven traders: Indian, Balinese, Arabic, British, Italian, Spanish and Mexican. With a sharing-style brunch, food is served to the table whilst you kick back and take in the calm and inviting setting of the venue. Our culinary tour begins with a hearty Antipasto Platter made up of generous portions of cold cuts (truffle salami, beef chorizo, and cecina); marinated grilled vegetables with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic and white balsamic vinegar; grilled camembert with rosemary oil and grilled focaccia bread; endive with blue cheese, parmesan and dry apricot; and dates. This entire set up takes us back to holidaying in Spain where such tapas platters were a fun, delicious way of bringing people together. The meat is of good quality and we can’t get enough of dipping the soft focaccia in the melted camembert – D.I.V.I.N.E.

Other standouts included the SUPER crisp Market Salad which had a great balance of texture thanks to the sprinkling of mix nuts; and the Curried Salmon which was kept simple and dressed in salt, herbs, caper, pickled onion, dill and sour cream – bringing out all the flavours you’d want to taste from the fresh Norwegian fish. Things took a turn towards Mexico when the Taco Breakfast came out to the table. We’re talking scrambled  egg, beef chilli, sour cream, guacamole, jalapeno and Monterey jack cheese all neatly packed into a lush taco.

With three giant bites, it was all gone. So far, SO GOOD! Both the Sizzling Beef Tenderloin and Char Grilled Lobster Tail were big talking points at the table. The first came on a sizzling stone with juicy tenderloin peppered with top-quality salt and a side of beef jus, whilst the latter was infused with a palate-pleasing smokiness and served with a lemon butter sauce. We make our way back to the Middle East with a pictureperfect Arabic Sujuk dish, consisting of Lamb Fatayer adorned with a sunny side up egg – a playful, tasty dish that recalls many local breakfast experiences we’ve had before.

Although we were quite full at this point, the Paella was, hands down, the star of the brunch. Succulent shrimp, lip-licking mussels, clams, squids, barramundi fish and chicken thigh are all generously scattered amongst the traditional short grain, al dente rice and peas – could it get any tastier than this? And, let’s be honest, no matter how full you get, dessert is basically made for a different stomach – and you’ll want to keep that in mind at this brunch. Fluffy, moreish Picarones come out to the table and we’re head-over-heels at first bite.

These beautifully-round fried donuts glazed with dried figs and served with honey and dulce de leche ice cream are a plate sent straight from the food Gods – and we thank them with a whole lot of donut dunking! There’s also a fresh fruit platter for those who want to take things a little easy. Dubai is a melting pot of different nations and the kitchen team headed by Chef Mahmoud Turkmani at 7Elephants really does a good job of embodying the city’s diverse influences. We just hope that more people stand up and take notice of this perfect brunch spot which is ideally created to be enjoyed by groups of friends, families, and even the little ones.


 

GO: VISIT 7ELEPHANTS DUBAI IN EMIRATES FINANCIAL TOWERS. FRIDAY BRUNCH IS SERVED FROM 12NOON TO 4PM. AED195 FOR THE SOFT DRINKS PACKAGE; AED295 WITH PREMIUM BEVERAGES; AED495 WITH BUBBLY; AED125 FOR KIDS AGED EIGHT TO 15; FREE FOR UNDER EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS. AFTER BRUNCH PACKAGE FROM 4PM TO 7PM WITH UNLIMITED DRINKS IS AED195. CALL (0)4 354 4354 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION