It’s Friday afternoon and we’re in the lift speedily being transported up to the 71st floor of JW Marriott Marquis to try out the newest brunch in town. We have high expectations – excuse the pun! With a stunning backdrop and a slick venue spread across two floors (71st and 72nd floors), Morah offers a mix of Eastern and Coastal Mediterranean menu. A very promising opening of 2017, the concept has been brought from Toronto and Miami (known as Byblos) by the same owners of Weslodge Saloon and we want to see what the buzz is about.
Location, Location and Location
Location wise what’s not to enjoy about being so high up with views across all of Dubai? We love the view and the interior. In contrast to Weslodge which is just a few floors below (yes, constant comparison to the sibling is inevitable perhaps because of the proximity and some of the staff from Weslodge are also on duty that day), Morah is light, bright, modern yet elegant in its simplicity and whilst my guests love it, I prefer the darker tones of Weslodge.
Starters are ‘self-serve’ and prepared at the Mezze Bar. Oysters are shucked as we watch, whilst smaller plates of Mediterranean food with a hint of the Middle East are also on offer. We dive in and are impressed. Whipped Burrata with ripe tomatoes, creamy labneh with roast beetroot, Steak Tartar and Tuna with a Jalapeno dressing were just some of our favourites.
The main course is sharing platters which are ordered from the menu and brought to your table. Each platter has three small dishes perfect for sharing. You can make your own selection, from the menu, or as we did, let the staff choose and send for you. We got to try all the dishes and to make a repeat order for one of the favourite dishes. Dishes that stand out are the Black cod served in vine leaf, the Prime Striploin, the Fried Chicken and Shakshouka complete with quail eggs.
A last-minute change to my guest list means that one of my guests has a severe allergy to garlic which I forget to mention until we are seated. No problem at all, the staff point out the dishes which contain garlic and with addition of a few more starter plates, she is more than delighted with the amount of food available to her (we will call ahead next time).
Desserts are mounted on a tiered display which is regularly replenished, the display is full of smaller size portions, handmade chocolates and some exceptionally good macarons. As well as the display, there is also a live dessert station with some nitro ice-cream action going on. You can also order baked Alaska which are made to order and brought to you. We adore the nitro ice-cream, it’s made from yogurt and so good that one of my guests goes back three times. The chocolates and macarons are a perfect pairing to our coffee and we leave feeling comfortable rather than ‘brunch stuffed’.
I had the Rose Gulab cocktail which was a clever combination of rose hip inflused gin with pomegranate rose syrup and hibiscus – worth a return visit for alone! My guests ask for a no syrup option and have a custom-made lemon grass mojito made from them which is good. The signature punch service made with chilled steeped teas featuring blends like Turkish Delight, Lapsang Souchong and Morrocan Mint are the highlights.
Entertainment comes in the form of a DJ rocking the booth as well as a belly dancer whose gorgeous figure makes you hold back on indulging in too many desserts!
Tuna with jalapeno dressing, squid ink chips
Burrata salad (left) and Morah meat platter (right)