Friday brunch at Ají, one of Dubai’s best known (and loved) Nikkei restaurants, is nothing less than amazing. Nikkei cuisine (for those like me who are not big on fusion) is a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese food. Ají, just so you know, gets its name from the famous chilli peppers which much of Peruvian cuisine in historically based upon. Located at the swanky Club Vista Mare on Palm Jumeirah, the ambience of Ají, both inside and out on its expansive veranda and beachside lounge area, are breath-taking. That said, the once sought after (and fought over) outside dining area is good for only the diehard sun seekers these days, it’s far too hot to actually enjoy sitting outside for brunch. Evenings are still beautiful though.
The Ají brunch is NOT a buffet. Instead, you are treated to an unlimited à la carte extravaganza, starting with a selection of ceviches, tiraditos, nigiris and makis. The freshest flounder, sea bass, tuna, and salmon make up their delicious ceviches, which I simply couldn’t stop eating, and the makis were truly excellent too. But these are only half the starter story. Hot starters follow, highlighted for me by the teriyaki chicken. You have a choice of seafood or meat for your mains. After all the seafood we started with, I chose the perfectly cooked rib-eye as my main – OMG! I can think of several high-end, dedicated steakhouses which don’t come close to this level of excellent. And on top of all this, there’s dessert…
Service at Ají was surprisingly friendly and not at all pretentious (as one would expect from such a popular five-star venue). And at AED 330 per person, the soft beverages package is a steal, especially if you have an Entertainer voucher. The all-inclusive package is very competitively priced at AED 495 but, unless you want to get comatose, the ‘soft’ package with a (realistic) drink or two offers better value. Irrespective of which you choose, the Ají Friday brunch is most definitely one for your culinary bucket list.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.