If you just mention the name "Market Kitchen" most people will already start nodding their heads with a raised eyebrow and a smile. Yep, that place is gooooood. So many people love it, yet the Market Kitchen team always seems to keep the atmosphere perfectly on par. One reason behind this is the restaurant's very organized Manager, Juliette. She stops by your table to make sure that you are enjoying your meal, or just to chat, and she has an incredible ability to remember her guests. But even more importantly, the whole team has a great sense of what to expect with each service, especially at times like this past weekend when there are only two reservations, but the restaurant fills completely with walk-ins...Lots of regulars, that keep coming back for the perfect food and the laid-back friendly atmosphere.
The Market Kitchen Brunch is civilizedly served to your table each Friday afternoon. Jamie, the young, incredibly talented (and coincidentally good-looking) guitar player starts off the afternoon, and keeps the mood upbeat. While lots of brunches have live music, Jamie is different. It is immediately obvious why he was a finalist in X-Factor Australia.
As the music kicks up, the glass-walled dining room feels bright and airy. The special cocktails are served and the appetizers appear. The menu changes each week, which means we can go back again and again without getting bored. This time, we started with Beef Tartar, their signature Tuna Sashimi with Crispy Sushi Rice, Fries, Oysters on the Half Shell, and my favorite, the mini Arancini. The next "Soup and Salad" course is a miniature cup of creamy Pea Soup, a spicy Rocket Salad, and the signature Black Truffle Pizza with salty Fontina cheese. Need I mention this is one of their most popular dishes. And don't worry if Beef Tartar is not your thing, they are more than happy to make changes for you.
The mains are both fantastic, my favorite was the Roasted Meager Fish with a spicy Malaysian chili sauce. I am addicted to spicy. The other was a chicken marinated for 24 hours, then roasted to crispy perfection as the marinade was cooked down to a thick caramelized jus. And yes there are sides. A creamy spinach that is so rich, I feel guilty eating it but also consider asking for seconds, and a buttery truffle mac and cheese with a perfectly crusty broiled topping.
Even with all of this great food, the portions are not overwhelming, and at the end of the meal we are still anticipating dessert. We end with a very light and refreshing Mango Upside Down Cake with Mango Sorbet. Wait did they get that recipe from me?? And, as a last reminder as why we should return to Market Kitchen, chef serves up one of his most creative dishes on the menu, a Cereal Milk Cream Foam with Chocolate Caramel Corn Flakes....an inventive tribute to the familiar flavors of our childhood. It is this creativity, the nearly perfect execution, and the almost contradictory modern down-home environment that makes Market Kitchen so appealing over and over again.
Le Royal Meridien
Market Kitchen Brunch
Served to your table every Friday from 12:30 to 4pm
+971 800 101101