It all depends on what you’re looking for really.

If you’re looking for a busy brunch with tons of atmosphere, Maté is the brunch for you.

If you’re looking for top quality food and drinks, Maté is the brunch for you.

If you’re on the hunt for incredible live music … yes, Maté is the brunch for you.

And if a down-at-heel offering is more your jam, come to Maté anyway - it’ll turn you!

From the minute you walk into Mate, there’s an almost palpable vibrancy. The music is the right level, the open kitchen which can be seen from every seat in the house, is firing up. The staff are efficiently starting to take drinks orders … it’s all go.

Food comes quickly and keeps on coming. Designed to take you on a tour of South America, we start with fresh and light Chilean sea bass ceviche, with undertones of coriander and mint to really bring it up. Pop in decadent chipa bread buns topped with beef tartare from Paraguay, while the more simple but no less effective cassava dough balls with an exceptional cheese pull represent Colombia. The Venezuelan arepas may be our favourite - we wanted to order more but luckily saw sense! Not for everyone but definitely for me is the chicken hearts on a bed of labneh - this fusion of Lebanese with Ecuadorian is a must-try - if it’s not your thing, close your eyes and pop in a spoonful, you might be surprised. Finally, the lomo: these tenderloin pieces are absolutely delicious.

Choose your main course: the most incredible lamb chops, black Angus rib-eye, sea bass or a really good red prawns dish arroz meloso, again featuring sweetbreads. This rice based dish is filling so if this is on your radar, don’t overdo the starters!

Our favourite sides are the wodge of sweet potato and the papas a caballo - potato wedges, perfectly crispy on the outside, and served with what might be mistaken for a splodge of sour cream, but is in fact a soft boiled egg!

And this is when the brunch really comes alive. In the middle of the floor, the massive tomahawk is doused in heated brandy, then flambéed sending tongues of fire across its length - it’s a magnificent show, and really showcases this mammoth but tasty meat, served to you to enjoy.

Finish with churros (I've since been comparing these to others I’ve had recently, I think these come out on top in a close-run race) which come with a chocolate hazelnut sauce.

The flan, Latin's answer to creme caramel, is absolutely superb with a plateful of amazing textures and tastes and the perfect way to end this meal, while the helado also does the job: biting into these cubes of dulce de leche ice cream encased in dark chocolate is one of life's great pleasures!

The cocktail game is strong: the Paloma wis exceptional, and we love the tiki punch … in fact, they all pack a punch!

There are two options for white, red and rose wine, the Champagne is Perrier-Jouet and Alta Vista Vive brut, beer is Heineken and there are a couple of non-alcoholic drinks on offer, both very good.

The ambiance is interesting: the live duo really get people moving with a superb mixed set list, and there’s a great feeling that you don’t get at other brunches - because it’s not a huge space, there’s a feeling of being part of something bigger.

It’s a great brunch for anyone who really wants a good time, covering everything from a date brunch to a birthday get-together.

It makes our top 5 in town again this season, alongside some very stiff competition.

Time: Saturday 1PM - 4PM

Price: Soft AED375 | House AED475 | Champagne AED690

20% off with BB+ - please mention on booking

Booking: 02 407 1234

Rachael Partington