On a search for a seafood and bubbly brunch I found and booked Ballaro through Lime & Tonic. Booking was easy and communication was good. There’s some interesting choices on the Lime & Tonic app, worth considering if you are looking for something a little different. On arrival the hostesses found my reservation easily and as I was a little early they asked if I could wait outside until restaurant opened.
12.30 on the dot, guest were invited to enter, waiters were lined up to welcome the arrival of us first guests like celebrities, clapping as you walked in and offering you the welcome drink which was a pina colada. Some will enjoy feeling special, it certainly created noise and buzz and was a hit with the children
The restaurant management had planned seating very well, with families separated on one side of the seating area and adults-only on the other. This was fantastic as not only were they closer to the desserts and had a better view of the band, it also meant we were closer to the fresh seafood counter with its rich range of salads, carparccio and tartar presented and prepared personally for you. Definitely an experienced more suited to a mature taste.
The service was faultless. It was prompt and efficient with waiting staff happy and attentive but not intrusive or disruptive to our conversation. We were offered water and preferred beverage within a few seconds of arrival. We had selected this restaurant for a bubbly and seafood brunch and that’s exactly what we got. It was refreshing to have a well-selected, comprehensive brunch based on one cuisine that exceeded expectations with freshness, quality and choice.
Non-seafood lovers had a good choice of meats with roast duck, veal and beef. Vegetables were kept simple prepared as roast, steamed or grilled while potatoes were boiled, mashed or roast. Everything I selected was delicious and there were plenty of new flavours or techniques I had not tried before. The Carpaccio in a choice of flavours including mustard, beetroot and lemon was top of my favourite selections. The beetroot cured salmon was excellent. The tuna tartare was also delicious.
The whole cured salmon with sour cream was perfectly tender, as was the salmon encroute. Options I simply was able to fit in were the salt-baked white fish; the entire grill area with its huge offering of fresh prawns, crabs, and fish steaks; the lobster and oyster bar; and the fresh pasta station.
The dessert station was of a more standard fare with a good selection of popular dishes like cheesecake and chocolate mousse. Fondue lovers would have been very happy with both white and milk chocolate fondue, and the hot dessert was sticky toffee pudding well positioned next to the mini freezer of ice-creams.
We were able to wait a while and digest before trying the cheeses which I gathered to be a selection of four types, repeated throughout the display. These were coloured stilton, a hard goats cheese, a dense cows milk cheese and an gouda style. Unfortunately there were no signs so we couldn’t accurately identify them other than by look and taste.
Overall, we experienced an impressive quality brunch that delivered the high service standards by which the Conrad differentiates itself. The freshness and choice of the seafood was exemplary and the waiting staff forthcoming with bubbly and happy for you to stay past 4.00 to finish the drinks they had served.
Booking through Lime & Tonic was easy, efficient and offered us added-value which was just icing on the cake as the overall experience was well worth the full price of 465 AED.
Ballaro is on the 6th floor of the Conrad Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road.