With Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) at the helm of the interiors, Mina Brasserie at Four Seasons DIFC is an elegant and modern European-inspired take on restaurant design. While in line with the French and Belgian-influenced interiors that are found in the fine dining venues at DIFC, Mina stands apart from the moment one enters. A wood-paneled hallway with small frames of minimalist gestural rabbit paintings is the first hint of what’s to come. It leads one towards a warmly-lit interior dining space with expansive windows floor-to-ceiling windows, crown molding ceilings and muted blue and white patterned marble flooring. Pale blue leather curved banquettes and intimately sized tables fill the cream and metallic hued space, a venue, which reads equally daytime as it does nighttime.
Embracing the brasserie approach, MBDS has implemented glass chandeliers as well as low-level beveled glass lighting and brass and rippled glass partitions between tables to create a reasonably bright, but discreet, ambiance. The golden bar, made of hammered antique brass and Calacatta marble, also highlights a selection of curated artworks from local artists. Exuding a refined aesthetic, the tone is easy, possessing a relaxed sophistication that appeals to both more mature diners and the younger crowd that frequents its outdoor space.
The covered outdoor area is lush with foliage and plants, separating a mix of freestanding and clustered timber-slatted tables and rattan chairs and benches that adopt a more playful twist on Budnizki’s subdued interiors – this blue fabric is patterned and paired with the material of the chairs, harks to a decidedly outdoor, casual vibe. But without losing its chic edge, the pergola is bedecked with brass tear-drop pendant lights, as well as brass and glass lanterns and wall lights, which nuance the lively section as much as the upbeat but non-distracting music that resonates throughout.
Under the culinary prowess of award-winning Michael Mina, Mina Brasserie has a revitalised take on eating that speaks to the local and often corporate crowd and palette. Paying homage to Mina’s San Francisco roots, he puts a twist on seasonal and signature dishes that effortlessly merge casual and fine dining tropes. This includes a zataar salmon and caviar with shallot potato cake and the tuna tartare with pine nuts, garlic, mint and sesame-habanero oil, but star dishes include the charred octopus with saffron aioli, citrus and garlic streusel and the large sharing seafood platter, which dramatically comes sizzling on a platter and is smothered in a lemon butter sauce poured in front of you – creating a table-gazing moment from neighbouring diners.
Tableside service is characteristic of Mina – the lobster pot pie (which cannot be found anywhere else in the city) is carted to the table and prepared on the spot, with the aroma seeping towards diners as the crust, root vegetables and full lobster tail are portioned off for each person. The same applies to the chocolate macaron, a sizeable praline cremeux with raspberries, which is drizzled with chocolate sauce upon reaching the table. The service – which is thoughtful, attentive and discreet – through to the small sharing-style plates, incites interaction between diners, whether in deciding whether to opt for the banana tarte tatin with salted toffee, honey ice cream and gold leaf, or the quirky, signature Klondike dessert – marinated mango, raspberry sorbet and sesame anglaise – or simply in the movement from table to bar and back again as dishes arrive at a pace that encourages leisurely enjoyment of a rich, playful meal.
Lunch: 12pm - 4pm
Dinner: 7pm - 11:30pm
Bar: 12pm - 1am
Dress Code: Smart Casual