Food Review: MasterChef Dubai's new Friday brunch
Head Chef Margarita Vaamonde-Beggs
Try recipes concocted by the hit show's global contestants
'IT'S SHOW TIME' as they say just before transmission begins on a production, and the same goes for Dubai's MasterChef, the TV Experience - a restaurant dedicated to bringing you celebrity culinary events - as the curtain rises on their much-awaited Friday brunch this weekend at the Millennium Place Marina venue. Taking place from 12.30pm, expect a fair dose of razzmatazz along with a slim-line version of the regular a la carte menu, which as always will feature recipes from the award-winning television programme's global editions. Recreated by head chef Margarita Vaamonde-Beggs and her team in the vibrant open kitchen adorned with the requisite number of famous '@m' symbols, at this brunch your table will enjoy unlimited starters followed by one main then never-ending desserts, all washed down with free-flowing beverages and set to the tempo of one of the best live bands in Dubai. The musical duo - performing every cover classic you could ever desire on a Friday afternoon - match each course for pace. Expect softer ballads during the entrees, building to an energetic pudding crescendo around 4pm.
But what can you hope for from the main attractions? Straight out of the kitchen fly a trio of creations comprising baked Brie with pecan and maple drizzle by MasterChef US 2016 champion Shaun O'Neale, prawn bhaajis with avocado by MasterChef UK 2016 champion Jane Devonshire and lemongrass and ginger meatball skewers by MasterChef UK 2014 champion Ping Coombes. We've skipped over the bread served with a knob of delicious honey mustard butter in favour of dedicating more words to the best dish of the day: the baked brie. Sounding deceptively straightforward, the mini wheel of cheese emerges hot from the oven. Visibly gooey; its viscosity is only enhanced by the sticky sweetness of the North American confectionary pap. Smeared on a small piece of toast, we could (and did) make our way through two portions with zero shame. The skewers were also a triumph: tender and accompanied by fine condiments. The prawns, while generous in proportion, didn't overwhelm although the proceeding chilaquiles made from corn tortillas, eggs, pulled beef, queso fresco, black beans and salsa by MasterChef Australia 2016 champion Elena Duggan, rounded off the initial charge with typical South American/ Aussie cheer.
Next up is the only decision of the day. Most plumped for the steak and eggs (Hangar steak, eggs, smoked paprika hash browns and chimichurri), though we couldn't resist the look of the fried chicken eggs Benedict (fried buttermilk chicken, poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce and coriander and tomato dressing). After the marathon that was the conveyor belt of starters, the thought of a huge second plate didn't immediately appeal. Thankfully portion sizes were manageable. The steak and eggs were well put-together, though, the stand out was the poultry. Lightly fried in crispy batter, saturated in Hollandaise - what a gourmet soul food recipe.
At this point - despite being a grazing, sharing or whatever concept menu you want to call it - we were filling up with the quantity of food on offer, so desserts were restricted to a quick taste. And even then we could only handle two! Ginger key lime pie and salted chocolate tart with beetroot sorbet were enough to have us exclaiming 'bravo' on this showbiz brunch.
Where: MasterChef brunch
Best dish: Baked Brie with pecan and maple drizzle
Price: From Dhs299
A host of dishes on offer
The house band with guests