Cuts & Kilts = Your Perfect Friday Brunch by A to Za'atar

Hi there – I’m Courtney, an American expat behind the blog A to Za'atar, which seeks out unique culinary and hospitality experiences from the UAE and beyond.  I’m currently living in Dubai and have lived in the GCC since 2007 (including stays in Doha and Abu Dhabi).  When I'm not working on a novel, I enjoy visiting new destinations and sabering champagne.

For as long as I've lived in Dubai, I've never visited the Marriott Al Jaddaf. When an invite to the launch of the Cuts and Kilts Friday brunch appeared in my inbox, things serendipitously came together.  Located in Scots American Grill on the first floor, the tastefully decorated restaurant features over large photos of steer, plaid lined lights, and huge leather chairs -- all of which I enjoyed and thought added to the atmosphere.  The decor carries into the plaid lined uniforms of the wait staff -- a cute detail that I appreciated (and sources tell me the male servers will be in kilts shortly!).  In case it was ever in question, this is a steakhouse.  :)


Clearly, I know my way around a brunch, but it's still fun to see what unique choices restaurants decide to take.  In this instance, an ala carte approach (you know that's already in my wheelhouse).  At AED225, the 3-course menu featured a collection of appetizers, mains, and desserts.  Best of all?  Vegetarian friends won't feel left out at this venue.  The beverage package is purchased separately, which, I suppose some people might take issue with, but I think is fine and overall, the meal is in line with similarly priced offerings.  


AED75, unlimited soft drinks, water, juices and mocktails

AED150, unlimited brunch bundle, wine, beer and house spirits

AED200, Whisky Brunch Flight, sample of 12, 15, and 18 year Glenlivet

AED225, unlimited premium wine, beer and spirits


As much as I love a glass of wine to accompany my meal, I was far more interested in the food!  With a strong offering of appetizers, I had a difficult time choosing between the Jumbo shrimp cocktail and Steak tartare, while Hubs immediately selected the Scottish rock oysters (served with mignonette and Bloody Mary sauce).  In the end, it was the tartare for me (and an excellent choice I made).  Before the appetizers arrived, we were served fresh bread (my biggest weakness), which was accompanied with fresh salted butter, tapenade, and chicken pate (so fancy!).  As we were warned (repeatedly) to leave room, I began to understand why.


Along with our first course, we received a yummy mozzarella bite, as well as a small piece of smoked salmon with crouton.  As for our starters, I found my tartare to not only be of a generous size, but the perfect consistency and served with the right amount of toasted bread.  Hubs had no complaints whatsoever with his oysters.


For mains, I decided to balance my tartare with a Cedar Wood Salmon, while Hubs chose the USDA Prime Tenderloin (200 grams), served medium rare.  A note for any Scottish readers, or those interested, as you might imagine, Scots American Grill does serve Haggis (with neeps and tatties -- I'll let you Google the terms, or ask a friend -- I had to).  Even though our meal included sides (my truffle mash was a thing of pure beauty, and Hubs' triple cooked chips looked a treat), the main course was accompanied by even more small dishes -- shrimp tempura and a sausage with mash.  We were informed by our server (one of the best I've encountered in the city) that the little plates change every other week or so -- so your experience may be different.


And here's where I'm going to step in and say my only notes would be to edit the small bites!  While I think many people will appreciate the additional tapas style plates, I would rather enjoy the meal as it stands (without the additional accouterment).  Readers of my work will know I am not shy about my dislike of food wastage.  When you combine the extra food with my dislike of not sending anything back untouched (I don't want to offend the kitchen), I was at maximum capacity.  So, perhaps, wonderful staff at Scots, maybe first ask if people are interested in the additional bits? (You know you've been in Dubai too long when you start refusing food).


However full I was, I wasn't about to turn down dessert, which for me was the freshly baked double chocolate chip cookie and for Hubs, the flourless chocolate cake (with caramelized popcorn and peanut butter ice cream).  I mean, if you're going to have three courses -- forget the diet and just go for it!  You'll be glad you did.  Even though we were properly full, the staff brought us out white chocolate truffles (which they were then kind enough to box up so we could take home).


Given the service and food (Scots is highly ranked on TripAdvisor for a reason, people), I wouldn't hesitate to come back (and bring friends).  The Cuts & Kilts experience would be a lovely evening without many of the usual distractions that sometimes accompany Dubai restaurants...  Just be sure to bring your appetite.


Want to make a reservation?  You should!  Scots American Grill is open every day for dinner, and the Cuts and Kilts special is offered every Friday.  Contact the team via the website or at 04 317 7777.

A to Za'atar was a guest of Scots American Grill.  Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.