A balance of style and laid-back charm, Mina Brasserie has struck a chord with diners thanks to its superior menu. One would expect nothing less of award-winning chef and founder Michael Mina
Let's start with the food, because if you’re here for a business lunch, it’s usually less about preamble and more about the main event.
The menu blends the best from France, Italy, Spain and the Mediterranean and starters include fingerling potato with sour cream and chives on top of a sundried tomato coulis, aubergine mille feuille with buffalo mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil, and salmon tartare with caviar, avocado and lemon crème fraiche. The latter lived up to the top billing bestowed upon it by our server Monica.
On another recommendation, CEO tried the snails. “Our take on escargots represents our menu very well,” Monica confided, and she was right. While frequently presented inside the shell, at Mina they are cooked in deliciously crisp puff pastry and coated in chartreuse butter with extra butter on the side for good measure.
Choosing mains a la carte can present a challenge, with a fine selection of pasta, fish and meat dishes, and so thank goodness for the business lunch menu, at AED135, a carefully curated selection of dishes that are heavy on flavour but light enough to allow you to navigate your afternoon relatively alert. It comprises three courses including tea, coffee and desserts and you can choose from salmon crispy, tomato consommé, petit greens as the starter and lamb flank roulades, a seafood cassoulet, or steak eggplant for the mains.
CEO, dining a la carte, gamely opted for the 125g fillet mignon, a fine piece of beef sourced from the famous Creekstone Farms of Kansas, USA.
While our dining partner was in rapture over the Norwegian salmon marinated in feta, citrus, olives and cherry tomatoes, she saved particular enthusiasm for the sides and one side in particular, the crispy Brussels sprouts.
“For people who come here for the first time, I won’t let them leave before trying the Brussels sprouts,” noted Monica, and we wholeheartedly concur. The sprouts are deep fried quickly to get a crispy texture and then they are glazed with a sauce made of soya and honey, before apple sauce is finally drizzled on top before serving.
For those who can manage a dessert, the banana tarte tatin has a 15-minute prep time. This is genuine proof that good things come to those who wait and the salted toffee, honey ice cream and gold leaf is the perfect way to round off a superb meal.
You may have come in with the idea of a swift, perfunctory lunch, but there is something about Mina Brasserie that invites you to slow down just a little bit, if only to savour the sweet taste of succes and your dining partner’s inevitable gratitude for choosing this particular spot.
Mina Brasserie is located in the Four Seasons Hotel DIFC. More info: minabrasserie.com