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Food review: Dining at FireLake Dubai's Friday country music brunch

Firelake brunch country duo Down Home Tunes
Down Home will make your afternoon

By David Light

Published: Wed 4 Sep 2019, 10:58 AM

Last updated: Tue 10 Sep 2019, 1:49 PM

WE HAVE A confession. We have a horrible feeling the country revolution occurred without us even being aware it was on. We realise Taylor Swift was a big part of the movement and were onboard when MTV began lauding the star as music's saviour. Then we blinked and suddenly there's an artist called Kacey Musgraves picking up every award under the sun and, despite her being absolutely wonderful, we don't know from where she sprung. What happened? When did the world pull on its hat and boots and Southern States music become the mainstream? We found ourselves lost and lonely and desperate for answers (incidentally a great country song title). Who would have thought we would discover a response at a Dubai brunch?
FireLake at the Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Waterfront, Dubai, was the name; a Friday all-you-can-eat was the game. We were early. The dining room looked well-appointed, but perhaps did not immediately signify why people had been raving about this place for months. Then, the minute we sat down, the outstanding service began. Knowledgeable, friendly and attentive, every member of staff not only made us feel at home they treated each table like royalty, which is not always a given these days. Obviously terrible experiences are few and far between, but the waiting crew at FireLake go sufficiently above and beyond as to warrant attention.
Drinks including a couple of craft brews were delivered poste haste, shortly followed by the food. Going in hard on the starters is how to tackle this menu, and tick off every item you shall. Portions are manageable, especially if you're sharing, and each is delicious as the other. Dishes including a smoked beef brisket, guacamole with spicy crab and corn chips, and the 'dirty double burger' with fontina and the chef's special secret sauce were devoured in seconds. The accompanying steak tartare was probably the stand out, though. Tangy, spicy and slathered on sourdough - we couldn't get enough.
It was around clearing the first course's plates the guitars simultaneously struck an opening riff - a Bluegrassy tilt on the opening to Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Not aware a live act was scheduled, we have to admit the duo who had set up at the front of the restaurant took us by surprise, but after the fist song we wanted to know more. They turned out to be American former-teachers-turned-country & western stars, Down Home, and they were categorically brilliant. Without a hint of exaggeration, by the end of their set we were finally ready to start line dancing with the rest of the planet.
Back to the food and main courses such as Angus skirt steak, hand-torn pasta with vegetable Ragu and fresh chargrilled prawns with green onions and garlic butter slipped down a treat and the key lime tart, sticky date cake and double chocolate ice-cream sandwich afters put a sheen on proceedings, yet, as well as the five-star food, it is the atmosphere that will have us returning. Yee-haw.
Where: FireLake, Biz Bay, Dubai
Time: 12.30pm - 4pm
Best dish: Steak tartare
Price: From Dhs250 per person

Firelake Friday brunch Radisson Waterfront country duo Down Home Tunes in Dubai
That's good eatin'
Firelake Friday brunch Radisson Waterfront country duo Down Home Tunes in Dubai
You'll be up and dancing

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