Posted by Neenu Sajin on 14th April 2019.

“Here’s my advice: Have a little faith, and if that doesn’t work, have a lot of Mimosas.”, said the Chival menu on their website. There was a promise of a global social ambience somewhere, but thanks to the quote, I had already received all the pep I needed to get out of my PJs. A 10-minute shower and 48 minutes worth of negotiation/mommy countdowns with the kids later, we were (finally) on our way to the brunch at Chival, the cosmopolitan dining venue at La Ville, in City Walk.

Chival’s “Just Brunch” is a wholesome affair staying true to the healthy dining concept the restaurant is centered around. There is an underlying focus on responsibly and locally sourced ingredients, along with an effort to showcase the hands behind the produce. Though I’m unsure how the latter is achieved, their dishes looked like enough proof of the former.

The breakfast-centric spread starts at a smoothie counter with nutri-bullet machines at the ready. The bread counter had a good selection of savory and sweet, cereals were aplenty and honey pots called upon invitingly. There were gleaming salads, cold mezze, cheese blocks and charcuterie. Little Samar entertained himself with a bowl of rice crisps while his big sister relished her favorite cold cuts.

For the second part of the brunch, sharing platters were delivered to the table. Sadly, the Shakshuka did not impress and the poached eggs on the benedict were over cooked. The omelette was decent with abundant mushrooms, whereas the smoked salmon croissant was mediocre with little avocado. The consolation however, was the French Toast with a very mild vanilla crème and a pleasant amount of fresh berries.

Somewhere in between, a Strawberry Mimosa got tried and was given nods of approval. The quote on the website started to make sense.

For mains, we chose the crispy skin salmon and the wagyu flank steak. The salmon was a rich dish on a broccolini bed, with truffled butter & perfect seasoning. The wagyu flank while being well-cooked, came with a flavorless, thin gravy that just failed to impress. My disappointment reflected as I imagined a side of rich, thick pepper sauce bringing the dish to the better finish it deserved.

Desserts were of sensible portion sizes. What made me unhappy was the crème brulee served with a soggy top layer. While the staff torched the crust to a brilliant crisp for me upon request, it was just wrong to serve it soft in the first place. Afterall, a crème brulee without a crust to crack, is just a pudding, isn’t it?

Priced at AED 199 with one mixed drink, AED 299 with unlimited house beverages & AED399 with Champagne, “Just Brunch” is value for money.. No activities for kids apart from the coloring book and crayons, but the friendly staff help to ensure some giggles. For healthy brunching, a mimosa trolley and a tonne of natural light in chic ambience, definitely give this a thought!

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