The opulence of St. Regis Dubai manages to take my breath away every time. The cobbled driveway lined with vintage street lamps transports me to the romantic era of horse-drawn carriages and corsets. The magnificence of the palatial-style facade is further enhanced when stepping into the marbled floors of the lobby. The spiraling stairway, gilded with retro glam, frames a larger than life chandelier, an epitome of luxury that would be so apt for the scenes of The Great Gatsby.
This time round, I was lunching at Brasserie Quartier, St. Regis’ decadently French all-day cafe, diner and bar.
With floor to ceiling French paneled windows letting in streams of natural lighting, the interiors of Brasserie Quartier is serenely plush, posh and très chic. The colour scheme plays with muted shades of brown, beige and green, and Parisian-style collector items are displayed across the spacious expanse.
Adding to the Parisian touch is the fact that most of the staff on duty seem to be blessed with that gorgeous French accent! The service at Brasserie Quartier is topnotch, and given the glamorous surroundings, we really felt like pampered VIPs.
With all this opulence, you’d expect lunching at Brasserie Quartier would cost an arm and a leg. However, they have a very special offer for Business Lunches. A two-course business lunch will only set you back AED 95 per person, and a three-course including dessert is AED 115.
Brasserie Quartier’s Business Lunch is available from Sunday to Thursday, from 12 noon to 4 pm. We booked a table for two around 1 pm yesterday, and went for the three-course option.
To begin our meal, we were given a basket of complimentary bread, fresh out of the oven. My favorite of the lot was the one encrusted with fennel and sesame seeds, and I managed to make quite a mess with all the crumbs across the table!
For drinks, Hubby had Brasserie Quartier’s freshly made Ginger Ale, and I had the Rose Lychee Fizz. The pale, subdued yellow of the ginger ale is rather deceptive of the boldness of the drink. It has a very strong hit of fresh ginger, and is a stark contrast to the playfully subtle, feminine flavor combination of the rose and lychee. Both drinks are so contrastingly different, yet we had a tough time narrowing down to a favorite. I’d gladly have both!
For starters, I went for the Beetroot Soup. How gorgeous is the deep, purple hue of this soup! The consistency is thick, moreish and satisfyingly warm and wholesome. A dollop of goat cheese fondue adds decadence to each spoonful, and I really enjoyed this soup with generous dunks of the complimentary bread.
Hubby tried out Brasserie Quartier’s Duck Salad. Shredded duck meat is served on a bed of rocket leaves, and drizzled with a beautifully flavorful orange, pomegranate and and fig dressing. The highlight on this salad platter has to be that perfectly boiled egg. Poached to look like it will go all runny with the touch of a spoon, the yolk has taken on a cheerful shade of sunshine yellow and is incredibly soft and creamy. The yolk acts as the perfect accompaniment to the roasted duck.
For my mains, I had the Fish Pie Gratine. This is a beautifully wholesome, rustic dish consisting of diced salmon, finely shredded potato and a whole heap of onion. Baked together as a pie, the grilled cheesy crust encases a deliciously warm, moreish interior that have all the flavors of nostalgic home-cooking. Perfect comfort food!
Hubby had the Corn Fed Chicken. How stunning is the presentation!
The chicken meat has been cooked to perfection. With the simplicity of this dish, you really have nowhere to hide if you’ve overcooked the chicken. The meat was cooked through and tender. It sits on a ‘Pomme Dauphine’, a traditional French potato patty consisting of mashed potato and choux pastry. Can’t go wrong with the combination of chicken with potato! And this is a fancy French version, finished off with a puddle of beautifully glossy celeriac puree.
Finally, we got to my favorite course, desserts! In true Parisian flair, the staff wheel in a dessert trolley loaded with tantalizing treats screaming ‘eat me!’.
When I saw the cheerful bright yellow of Brasserie Quartier’s Pina Colada, I had to have it!
Taking inspiration from the very famous cocktail that goes by the same name, this Pina Colada dessert is a very cleverly made pastry consisting of a tangy pineapple mousse, layers of stewed pineapple and pineapple puree, and a thick crust of coconut. The marriage of pineapple and coconut, so akin to the drink, come together beautifully as a dessert.
Hubby had the Chocolate Banana Cake. I am not a huge fan of the chocolate-banana combination, but this cake really changed my perspective. The banana has been baked through and through, and this soft fruit gives the very rich chocolate cake added moisture and sweetness. For a man who claims to hate desserts, the cake vanished from his plate in no time (he slyly took the chance while I was busy with my Pina Colada!).
The Business Lunch at Brasserie Quartier is great value for money, and gives diners the perfect intro to the restaurant’s stance at French fine-dining. Best of all, the menu is changed on a weekly basis, so there is always something new to try out.
The Business Lunch is valid only on weekdays, and runs from 12 noon to 4 pm. If you are planning a visit, I highly recommend booking in advance. For reservations, call 04 4355577. Bon appetit!