There seems to be a butter shortage in Dubai. Whatever happened to the days when a bread basket wasn’t complete without a pat of butter you could smear thickly over half a bun and then guiltily sink your teeth into? On two occasions in the past two weeks — at two celebrated restaurants — getting butter delivered to our table proved about as difficult as getting a cab on a Friday morning.
The latest was during brunch at Almaz by Momo, where a basket of delectable bread was delivered shortly after my party were seated, but without a trace of butter. And repeated, friendly requests to different staff failed to bear any fruit.
I mention this because the staff appeared harried, even though there were only two tables occupied in the non-smoking section. They couldn’t have been more disinterested, generally. And I guess getting butter to a table isn’t that important in the greater scheme of things, but still. I did, however, get butter in the end — I stole a sliver (rock hard) off one of my companions when their croissants arrived.
Said friend wasn’t too impressed by the pastry, and my pain au chocolate was equally unexciting. Not quite as light and flaky as expected, the hard lumps in the crusty centre disappointed.
That said, my main course couldn’t be faulted. The patty of my lamb burger was lovely — fragrant, yet retaining the taste of the meat. It lay on a sweetish bed of caramelised onion that added a subtle hint to the flavour without overpowering it. Its pinkish-red centre was perfectly medium-rare as ordered, although strangely similar in colour to a friend’s well-done order. Thick-cut fries completed the dish.
Next we had chocolate brownies — moist and dense, generously sprinkled with nuts, it wasn’t too sweet or too rich. Just in case, the freshness of the helping of fruit salad complements it.
As expected, with its North African roots, Momo serves a mean Moroccan tea.
The music’s just the right type of uptempo for brunch, but the venue just isn’t as striking in the harsh light of day as it is at night.
Overall, the food was good, but rather unremarkable. There is, however, a disparity between the lush surroundings and the level of service.
Where: Almaz by Momo, Harvey Nichols, Level 3, Mall of the Emirates
Must-haves: Lamb burger, chocolate brownie
Price: Dh95 for one of three set menus, including juice and tea
Decor: North African tradition meets Dubai chic
Ambience: Stark when unpopulated