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Brunch of The Month: Nōh Drama Brunch at Tabū

The new Japanese-inspired brunch is a theatrical experience. 

Black knee-high PVC boots are dancing, a red sequined kimono is flowing and long black hair is swaying, as a steampunk geisha strikes a pose at my table. I’m here at a new brunch in Dubai’s Tabū in The St. Regis Downtown, Dubai, which has taken Japan as its inspiration and strutted with it. 

Tabū’s Nōh Drama Brunch is created by Infini Concepts and while you may not know the company, we are pretty sure you’ll have heard of its award-winning creations – CÉ LA VI and Miss Tess, anyone?

Tabū is a sophisticated spot with drinks trolleys aplenty, plush red and blue sofas, and the kind of wrap-around windows and natural light that would excite an estate agent. Thanks to its location on the 23rd floor, it has views over Dubai, which are best seen from the terrace. 

Tabu Brunch

The Nōh Drama Brunch menu is filled with Japanese dishes, which have been created by Tabū’s renowned Peruvian executive chef, Roberto Segura. Despite being the first ones to arrive, the starters take a full 30 minutes. So, we are left with edamame while we wait. What follows, however, over the next three and a half hours is dish after dish, each more filling than the next. 

There are five courses – bites, cold starters, hot starters, mains and desserts – that contain multiple dishes. So, make sure you come hungry, as there is no scrimping on quantity. The cold starters include a fresh selection of nigiri and maki rolls, and a seabass ceviche that is bought to zingy life with tiger’s milk and crispy corn. 

Tabu Brunch

The hot starters include wagyu beef kushiyaki and yakitori, which arrive sizzling to the table on a mini charcoal grill. The grilled meats are coated with sweet and spicy flavours, and are the right amount of tender and juicy. 

The highlight from the mains is the slow-braised Wagyu beef short rib with Japanese rice and shiitake mushroom. The ingredients are mixed together to create a rich, smoky, earthy taste, which leaves us wanting more. More is more may as well be the motto, as we end with a dessert platter ranging from fresh fruit to a dark chocolate cake.

Tabū is already one step ahead of most brunches as it excels at catering to dietary requirements, as not only is there a meat and vegan menu, but the vegan menu is not an afterthought. Instead, the dishes range from a miso eggplant with gomae and kimchi to Japanese rice with shimeji mushroom, vegan meatballs and truffle.

Tabu Brunch

Tabū’s Nōh Drama Brunch keeps the energy levels high from 12.30pm to 4pm. There’s a DJ playing fun pop hits, a skilled drummer and two geishas who are fabulously OTT. We were disappointed, however, by the broken promise on Instagram: “It’s not a myth. It’s true! We have a real sumo wrestler at Tabū”. On our visit, we had FOMO and no sumo.

The brunch options include a non-alcoholic package for AED 390, a house beverage selection for AED 490, and Champagne or sake for AED 690. The house selection is a popular package, as it includes shots, a sharing cocktail jug, grapes and hops.  

Plus, if you want to return to the scene of the brunch, you have a cool new option: The Other Side. Located on the 24th floor, it bills itself as a secret bar and is inspired by Tokyo’s underground clubs. Be warned: it’s reservation-only and opens on Fridays and Saturdays from 11pm to 4am. Tabū – add this to your Memoirs of a Bruncher. 

GO: Visit or call 052 950 1309 for reservations and more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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