Hola Hola Toro Toro brunch, Grosvenor House Best for meat lovers

Friday - - Leisure -

With a name like Hola Hola, a celebrity chef be­hind the menu and a restau­rant in the glitzy Grosvenor House, how could I have re­sisted a Toro Toro brunch? Lo­cated on the wa­ter­front, tucked around the side of the ho­tel, I didn’t need di­rec­tions – I just had to fol­low the gor­geous scent of Latino-style cook­ing.

The Hola Hola brunch is billed as Latin Amer­i­can hos­pi­tal­ity and din­ing at its best, and it lives up to the hype – and then some. Walk­ing into the uber chic and cosy eaterie – it’s all dark wood, with a gi­ant floor-to-ceil­ing fire­place and two bull sculp­tures – just a few mo­ments af­ter brunch be­gan I was sur­prised to see it was al­ready packed. Luck­ily we’d booked and our waitress led us to a ta­ble right by the win­dow so we could watch the glamorous peo­ple in their yachts glide by.

But our at­ten­tion was soon di­verted to things closer at hand: we were each given the set à la carte menu along with two coloured coast­ers. Green meant ‘keep the food com­ing’ and red ‘I’m hav­ing a rest’, or at least that’s the gist, not the ex­act trans­la­tion as it was writ­ten in what I pre­sume to be Span­ish.

Al­ready flip­ping their coast­ers, I could tell the chil­dren were go­ing to have fun with this – and we all bet my hus­band could eat all the meat this es­tab­lish­ment had to of­fer. His large car­niv­o­rous ap­petite is leg­endary among our fam­ily and friends and this was go­ing to be a chal­lenge he, if not his waist­line, would love. But be­fore the chur­rasco grill, burst­ing with South Amer­i­can flavours, could get go­ing we had to try the starters.

You ex­pect a Pan Latin restau­rant to of­fer tor­tilla chips and gua­camole, but there is gua­camole and then there is Toro Toro gua­camole: smooth, vel­vety, with a tiny kick, this was the finest mashed av­o­cado I’ve ever tasted. I la­dled lash­ings on my plate, then dipped in the chips. The chil­dren copied, be­fore div­ing into seafood ce­viche, and a first for me, a quinoa tabouli, which was de­li­cious.

There was ev­ery type of salad you could think of avail­able, along with the chil­dren’s favourite, yuca fries and crispy cala­mari. My hus­band loved the salmon flat­bread with hot horseradish, while I couldn’t get enough of the zuc­chini flower em­panadas, which re­minded me of an Ital­ian dish, but in­stead of be­ing fried in bat­ter they were en­cased in melt-in-the-mouth flaky pas­try. With each bite, cheese and roasted corn Poblano chilli oozed out. De­li­cious! To be hon­est, once I’d de­voured them, I was full and so used my red coaster to let the wait­ers know, but the car­ni­vores of the fam­ily re­mained on green.

They dined on em­panadas, beef-stuffed pas­tries and I was wor­ried they wouldn’t have room for the grill. But they were on a roll and we soon be­came the favoured ta­ble for the pas­sadors – the wait­ers serv­ing the grilled lamb, chicken and beef from skew­ers. “Ten­der,’ my hus­band mur­mured af­ter a mouth­ful of lamb. “Yum,” he mut­tered, tast­ing the achiotemar­i­nated chicken. My five-yearold daugh­ter didn’t say any­thing, she was too busy eat­ing her Brazil­ian-style Pichana steak. She let her green coaster do the talk­ing, and went for an­other help­ing. My hus­band joined her, oohing and aahing over each skil­fully cooked morsel. My son and I watched them with a grin, know­ing that we’d saved enough room for the grand fi­nale: dessert.

Sadly, the car­ni­vores were too full so we ate ex­tra large por­tions of ba­nana pud­ding with ice cream be­fore turn­ing ev­ery­one’s coast­ers to red. Fi­nally, we were com­pleto.

De­tails: The Hola Hola Toro Toro Fri­day brunch is avail­able from 12.30pm-4pm ev­ery Fri­day from Dh300-Dh400 de­pend­ing on cho­sen pack­age. 04 399 8888

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.