Barbary’s new brunch menu goes back to the original concept initiated by the English and gluttonously perfected by the Americans: simply a big breakfast for lunch
Debonair’s resident epicurean has lunch with a side of business at Gaucho Dubai
Eduan R. Maggo
Let’s be honest — few things come close to a PB&J sandwich. Rich, creamy and sweet, this is comfort food at its most basic, and it usually comes with a healthy helping of nostalgia.
But what if you’ve outgrown your schoolboy lunches, forgotten last night’s dinner leftovers at home and can’t stomach the office canteen’s — usually — less than inventive offering? Thank heavens for the business lunch, and Gaucho Dubai has an amazing deal.
The Argentinian steakhouse in the Dubai International Financial Centre presents a stylish, relaxed atmosphere, if your focus is more on the business side, and attentive service and a clued-up kitchen means you can get through three courses in an hour without feeling you need to gulp. Because this DIFC outlet is celebrated for its food, you also want to spare that a thought or two.
Code of London
We start with that most millennial of millennial dishes — avo toast. The fruit is slathered generously over pleasantly spongy bread and lightly seasoned, with a clear favour for lemon juice lending it a tangy quality. The beef taco also veers towards the tangy side of the spectrum, but with enough sweetness to balance it out, although the Chinese spice mix is clearly the star of this dish.
Meat is Gaucho’s bread-and-butter, so I hardly spare a though for the other options also adapted from the regular à la carte offering. My rib-eye steak comes perfectly medium-rare, paired with French fries and béarnaise sauce — don’t tell my trainer!
The dessert options are varied enough to appease most cravings, but I’ve found the sugar high from chocolate a great antidote to the mid-afternoon slump. The lunchtime menu also features a Bloody Mary (should you be recovering from the night before), white and reds and a cocktail.
The food is a lighter take on the regular menu, and gets updated regularly, so you won’t feel stale scheduling multiple meetings here.
Fast and effective, it’s perfect for a sneaky upmarket lunch, although I’d also recommend it for a laid-back Thursday afternoon when you need to escape the office. And that certainly trumps the best peanut butter sandwich you can come