REVIEW: Hotel Cartagena brunch
Set over two floors of the JW Marriott Marquis, lays the newly opened Hotel Cartagena. A vibrant venue that boasts an interior full of colourful clashing prints, pineapples, dark wood and plants – its possibly the most tropical looking venue we’ve been to, apart from Green Planet, mind. The floors are separated by a spiral staircase with greenery hanging from the ceiling, which on closer inspection wraps around a giant gold birdcage.
The feast comes direct to your table so you can sit back and admire the views. The menu is a heady mix of South American classics and all-new creations. There’s a pre-starter tapas menu consisting of braised beef cheek empanadas, guacamole, tropical root chips, bean dips and corn chicharones.
The actual starters explore more seafood options with the spicy tuna rolls proving far too irresistible not to be gobbled up first. Vegetarians are well catered to as well as and will love the mushroom rolls, wasabi avocado, truffle cheese and crispy mushroom chips.
Mains are meaty with braised short ribs, juicy grilled prawns and a truly triumphant Trinidadian guava chicken which tastes exceptional. In fact, almost all the food here is superb – even the mini sweets that are served up in another, smaller golden birdcage are tasty and great for sharing.
Food aside, it’s worth noting that the entertainment is on point, too. We love the beats provided by the live drums and the dancers who strut their stuff throughout the restaurant in their elaborate feathered costumes – it creates a lively atmosphere that is hard not to get caught up in. Hotel Cartagena’s debut of fine cuisine, stellar packages and its carnival feel has already managed to shake up the brunch scene for the better.
Where: JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay
When: Friday, 1.30pm-4.30pm
Price: AED395 (house beverages)
Contact: +9714 560 1799, website