Wake up and ‘Wok In’ for Friday brunch (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!) down at the Old Dubai end of town. Ideal for Asian food fanatics, the Wok In fusion menu includes everything from maki rolls to dim sum as well as wok tossed treats and oodles of noodles freshly prepared while you wait. Head Chef Kuan Tai Eng is committed to the “all-round experience” of the brunch – so be prepared to see live cooking, hear the roar of the burners, and smell the aromas of traditional Asian delicacies. Traditional Japanese grain as well as the usual drink options, complete the deal.
VALUE RATING: 4/5
INFO: Dhs175 including house drinks, 12.30pm to 4pm, Movenpick, Deira, 800 4934, www.moevenpick-deira.com.
THE YACHT CLUB, ABU DHABI
For such a flashy, high-class place (think uber contemporary surroundings and a drinks menu that includes an option priced at a heart-stopping Dhs5,000), The Yacht Club’s brunch option is surprisingly affordable. Perhaps in keeping with the ‘exclusive’ ethos of the venue, it’s not even called a brunch, but rather a ‘late lunch’.
Regardless of the name, a delicious range of Japanese fare is on offer – the quality of which is what you’d expect for such a swanky place. Sushi comes in small portions but is fresh, tasty and plentiful and the sashimi options match. Check out the nautical views from the terrace in between bites and an unlimited flow of what the venue describes as “exotic” drinks.
VALUE RATING: 2/5
INFO: Dhs185 including house drinks and beach access, 2pm to 5pm, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, 02 666 6888, www.ichotelsgroup.com.
SOCIAL FRIDAY ON THE PALM
There’s only so much brunching that you can do if you want to watch your waistline (and your bank balance), so we’re relieved to hear that four Palm Jumeirah hotspots have a new take on the Friday tradition. Head down to Aussie-themed bar BidiBondi, beach resort Cabana, Mediterranean-styled Barca Club, or the contemporary sanctuary that is Veda on the Palm, and for Dhs60 you can get a meal and three drinks.
Choose between a huge range of cuisines available at the different outlets between 12pm and 5pm, and then stick around for happy hour until 8pm when drinks are only Dhs20!
VALUE RATING: 3/5
INFO: Dhs60, 12pm to 5pm, The Palm Jumeirah, 04 427 0515, www.emiratesleisureretail.com/ Promotions.
Brunch takes on an Asian twist at Dusit Thani Dubai as its 24th-floor restaurants – The Californian, Benjarong and PAX – team up to offer a lavish Friday spread. Diners can take a culinary trip through India, Japan and South East Asia with dishes like Thai green curry, tempura prawns and noodles, but it’s not just a buffet-affair, live cooking stations are plentiful and you can even watch experts sculpting fruit, vegetables and blocks of ice! Should you need to sit back and take a breather in between courses, live musical performances throughout the afternoon will keep you and your guests entertained.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the waiters sometimes need prompting to keep the drinks flowing – but given the price, we really can’t complain!
VALUE RATING: 3/5
INFO: Dhs185 including soft drinks, Dhs215 including house vino and fresh juices, noon to 4pm, Dusit Thani Dubai, 04 317 4515, www.dusit.com.
Our favourite alternative to the buffet brunch, Certo dishes up Italian treats right at your table during its a la carte version of a Friday feast. Tuck into homemade antipasti and pizzas, fish and meat recipes, all served with salads and risotto. While it attracts Media City’s corporate types during the week, come Friday, the restaurant is a lot less formal and kids are regular visitors. Don’t be deterred if you’re looking for something a little more adult though, the nippers have their own area where they’re kept entertained with toys, so the sophisticated air of the venue remains. Staying true to its Italian roots, the restaurant’s dramatic decor includes a sixmetre tower housing various bottles of grape-based beverages, so you’re sure to find the right vino to match your food.
VALUE RATING: 3/5
INFO: Dhs140 including soft drinks, Dhs190 including house drinks, Dhs210 including bubbly, noon to 3.30pm, Radisson Blu Media City, Dubai, 04 366 9111, www.radissonblu.com.
It’s a long-time Dubai favourite and quite frankly one of the bestvalue brunches around. While the food is not the stuff of Michelin stars, it’s hearty, tasty and comes in generous portions. Various components of a full English breakfast (including swine rashers – no turkey or beef substitutes here!) are side-by-side with a roast beef carvery, complete with all the trimmings including apple sauce. There are two sittings – the lunch option is very ‘lads watching the match’, while the dinner option offers more of a party atmosphere. If you don’t find yourself (very) merry on the dancefloor by the end of the night, you’re doing it wrong. We’ve even heard of hardcore brunchers hitting the lunch option, going home for a nap and then coming back to indulge in the evening version!
VALUE RATING: 4/5
INFO: Dhs85 including five house drinks, noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm, Ascot Hotel, Bur Dubai, 04 352 0900, www. ascothotelduabi.com.