Did someone say Armenian inspired menu in Dubai? Cancel all plans, this is where we are heading! I believe my bond with this beautiful country has manifested this place within my reach. Eech within reach!
VAGA, inspired by a vagabond who wanders through space and time, is a fusion concept with an eccentric menu boasting Armenian and Arabic flavors presented in a stylish manner. The venue is a depiction of time travel with the first level hinting at the past with Armenian Tuf (bricks used in the country’s cultural buildings and what the entire Republic Square in Yerevan is made of). Following a red staircase, the space opens up to the bar hosting the famous, Ararat Brandy, named after the magnificent Ararat Mountain looming over Yerevan. With the Tuf walls partially decorated in metal, this level is a reflection of the present. The future scope is yet to reveal itself and I for one cannot wait for the concept!
This October, Vaga has launched its Vagabond Brunch welcoming the subtle outdoor weather of Dubai. The venue has impressive views and terraces seating to enjoy the waterfront, The Palm, the glittering jungle of JBR and all this with a foreground of Ain Dubai.
The brunch menu is a clever packed-down version of signature and popular dishes. With a choice of one dish per course, this 4-course menu teases you to return again to experience them all. The portion sizes are done right. Eech is my absolute favourite as I have hunted this down every time I visit Yerevan. Imam Bayildi is a fabulous dish that was recommended by the team. This seriously smoked eggplant decorated with yogurt, chilli and nuts is a mysterious combination that would not stop you from another spoonful. Another fun plate is the Aleppo Kebab in cherry sauce. All these ingredients sound sumptuous on their own, however, the magic of Vaga is perfectly pairing these notes together.
Cannot miss mentioning one of the high notes of Vagabond Brunch, the DJ. The brunch has great food, views, service and all this fuses well as DJ Bianca Blanco serves some serious feet-tapping tunes the entire afternoon. Appearing into the venue on a rotating globe from an otherwise simple wall, she starts with some oriental downtempo and slowly picks the pace to great house music.
As the euphoric music and cocktails train the afternoon, the main course has its calling. Fish of the day, grilled chicken, and vegetarian options are available. The team has suggested Manti as a must-have. Let me tell you, Manti is the king of the menu! This homemade beef dumpling is baked and served with a yoghurt-tomato sauce and a garnish of pine nuts. Don’t let the simple words take away the charm of this dish as the blast of flavor and texture are mind-blowing.
The ambience is really pulled together as the jamboree mood kicks with the drinks flowing. An innovative one is, The Seed of Blessing – passionfruit sorbet is served in a champagne saucer along with elderflower cordial and then the sparkling is poured. Let the goodness melt for a moment and sip away. If you think this is the dessert, you are mistaken as the Pava is a deserved dramatic finish to this brunch. The Vaga’s take on pavlova has soft fruit jelly, a vibrant cherry sauce, crunchy sugary meringue and is to share. So grab those spoons and dig away.
Step into this time travelling fashion restaurant and you surely will be on your way to another world. Situated at the right end of Bluewaters curve of concepts, around Ain Dubai, this venue has to be on your checklist this season. See you in the future!