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A collection of great tastes.

Summary: The Collective is a great place to unwind with friends and family

Dhansak, a staple gravy made with meat and lentils Image Credit: Supplied Soft shell crab grills Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It's the Eid weekend and a great place to unwind with friends and family is The Collective where once stood the popular, self-serving Market Cafe, known for its lavish Friday brunch spreads. The setting besides an indoor tropical garden remains the same but the decor has changed for the better.

In fact, if you have been to one of the brunches in the past at this Grand Hyatt Dubai restaurant then you will know what a fitting new makeover The Collective has given to the place, bringing an eclectic mix of food and drink experiences from the Levant to the shores of India under four main stalls.

So while the Bombay Cafe rustles up hugely popular items from the west of India, it also pays rich tributes to Zoroastrian (or Parsee in India) cuisine. Meanwhile the Levant emporium, as the name suggests, is bedecked with pretty much everything from the region including simit, the good old sesame bagels sold for just a lira on most streets of Turkey.

A Grill Bar and a Boutique Bakery complete the 'emporium' that houses an awful lot of items.

To try them all is a Herculean task but some of the items can't be missed - especially those at the Bombay Cafe, arguably Dubai's only five-star setting for Parsee food. What I loved here was their dhansak, a staple gravy made with meat and lentils and their snacks - fish and mutton cutlets. Even the kheema pav, very much a Mumbai cult food, is worth a try as is the patra ni machi, fish cooked in green chutney and smoked in banana leaves.

Over at the Grill Bar, you could give the soft shell crabs and the salmon a try instead of the usual cuts. While you are at it, you must swing by the Levant Emporium not for its greens, tagines and shawarmas but the amazing simit and quinoa bil raihan, a cool salad made of the Peruvian superfood.

The last stop of course should be at the bakery where you will be spoilt for choices, but I remember I couldn't help drooling over their fresh baked cakes and brownies.


Meal for two: Dh498

Location: The Grand Hyatt, Dubai

Contact: 04-317 2221

Friday brunch: 12.30pm to 4pm

We recommend: Dhansak, cutlets, kheema pav, salmon chipotle, crab grills

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Publication:XPRESS (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 6, 2016
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