This hidden gem of a brunch is still a secret...
And has the ultimate view to go with the top notch food
Treehouse opened it's doors in December to the usual fuss and attention a hip rooftop opening in Dubai attracts. Bloggers and media swarmed the venue and since then, Treehouse has been packed out every Thursday and Friday night.
New to the brunch scene, (did you even know they had a brunch?) we were kind of amazed to find there was a grand total of about six people doing the brunch. Has word not yet spread? Have we found the elusive super-stylish brunch that the masses have yet to mob?
Nestled (the only word to describe it) on the 3rd floor of the Taj in Business Bay, this chic rooftop bar-cum-restaurant is seriously cool. Long, low sofas adorned with big comfortable cushions outline the edge of the venue while a modern bar takes centre stage, surrounded by sets of small high tables. And of course, the venue is decorated with trees to give the effect of...you guessed it, a treehouse (but an excessively-elaborate treehouse, certainly unlike any you've seen before).
Here are our favourite things (and one thing we'd change) about the Treehouse brunch.
1. The picnic basket that's filled with goodies
This was my kind of starter. Fuss-free, good quality food, instead of the usual tiny spoonfuls of salad from a buffet that have been sitting out for who-knows-how-long; this is a fresh way to serve up a starter with a distinctly European feel. The basket is made up with your classic picnic items; salmon, chorizo, hummus, quinoa, a huge chunk of cheese, amazing guacamole, ceviche, beef carpaccio and a variety of freshly baked breads. Oh and there was a baguette (of course there was a baguette).
2. The à la carte menu has a little something for everyone
This menu is perfect for people who like a taster of everything. There are about fifteen options on the à la carte, all small portions which is absolutely perfect for a brunch; it's nearly like doing a restaurant tasting menu. And there's something to suit all tastebuds, with the likes of a risotto, couscous, salads, flatbreads, burgers and seafood available. The highlights for us were the truffle tempura lobster, the truffle flatbread (like a light cheesy pizza) and (if you've still got room) the hoisin duck corn pancakes were particularly good.
3. The desserts taste as good as they look (although we wish we had room for more)
It's a testament to how good the mains were that we were pretty full when it came to dessert time. Our lovely hostess Carina brought out a small selection of desserts; we shared the Banoffee pie (it was more like a tart) which was smothered in the most delicious toffee sauce and a salted caramel treat served in a garden pot. Top marks for flavour but both myself and my guest have an aversion to dry, clay pottery (are we the only ones?!) so couldn't enjoy this dessert half as much as we should have.
4. The cocktails are 'made with love'
Seeing as we were pretty much the only ones doing brunch, the wait-time between drinks was a little longer than expected, so Carina jokingly told us they were being 'made with love'...and they did taste pretty damn good when they arrived. We couldn't get enough of their signature TRA cocktail; a refreshing cucumber drink, their fruit punch was good (although probably too big for one person) and the espresso martini was a real treat; almost like a dessert on it's own.
One thing we would change...
We arrived at exactly two o'clock (this brunch starts later than most) but the venue looked like it was only just opened. The DJ didn't start until a little later and the venue only began to fill as we were leaving at about 5.30pm. I guess with such a small number doing brunch the atmosphere was lacking; this place has all the elements that make up a brilliant day...we just hope next time it will be a little more lively.
The important bits
La Guinguette Brunch every Friday 2pm - 5pm at Treehouse, Taj Dubai.
AED 345 with soft drinks, AED 445 with house drinks, AED 545 with bubbles.
Call (050) 6483083 for more info