Best Blow-out Brunches

Ahlan! rounds up its favourite Friday brunches for over Dhs350 (with free-flowing bevs included)
Thursday , 26 April 2012
Ibn Battuta Gate
Ibn Battuta Gate
Hakkasan Dubai
Hakkasan Dubai
Spectrum On One
Spectrum On One
Yalumba
Yalumba
Al Qasr
Al Qasr
Meydan
Meydan

1 IBN BATTUTA GATE
Can’t decide what to have for brunch? Then head to the Friday brunch at Ibn Battuta Gate where you don’t have to decide. The hotel’s five signature restaurants (Sicilia, Shanghai Chic, Mistral, Moroc Lounge & Bar and Chor Bazaar) prepare their best dishes at live cooking stations in a stylish gourmet marketplace. Want Italian fare with your mozzarella made seconds before you consume it and your pizza crust tossed at your table? They’ve got it. Or how about a huge room devoted to meat and pork products where you can cut huge slices of foie gras and fill your plate with Parma ham. That’s there too, along with Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Indian and every other kind of fare you’re looking for.
INFO: Dhs395 including house drinks, Dhs295 with soft drinks, 12.30pm to 4pm, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Dubai, 04 444 0000, www.moevenpick-hotels.com.

2 HAKKASAN DUBAI
Brand new on the brunch circuit is the Cantonese fine dining restaurant’s dim sum set menu deal available on Thursdays and Fridays. Ten types of dim sum, paired with 50-year-old Old Puer Ya Jian tea, are on the menu, as well as a selection of home-made sorbets.
The Friday instalment takes on more of a party atmosphere with Hakkasan’s resident DJ spinning tunes. While the award-winning food is undoubtedly delicious, we love that the restaurant itself is a bit of a lush hideaway from Dubai’s hustle and bustle. The gorgeous terrace features cascading wooden pavilions surrounded by a wall of flora – the perfect setting to enjoy a bit of Asian indulgence!
INFO: Dhs500 including bubbly and house drinks, Dhs199 with soft drinks, noon to 3pm, Emirates Towers, Dubai, 04 384 8484, www.facebook.com/hakkasanuae.

3 SPECTRUM ON ONE
Interaction and customisation is key at Spectrum on One’s Friday brunch. With eight kitchens specialising in cuisines from India, Thailand, Japan, China, Europe and the Middle East, plus a cheese room and sweets, there’s no shortage of options, but if you’re particularly picky and don’t see a certain ingredient on display, the chefs will gladly make individual dishes to taste.
New elements are always being added, the latest being a guacamole station where you can enjoy a live demonstration using the traditional mortar and pestle method.
Drinks-wise, make sure you check out the Mojito section and for those more daring – the Bloody Mary stand. A constant stream of French bubbly is served at your table all afternoon, as is coffee, which may be just what you need to help you snap out of an inevitable post-indulgence slump.
INFO: Dhs550 including bubbly, Dhs395 including house drinks, Dhs295 including soft drinks, 12pm to 3pm, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 04 311 8316. www.fairmont.com/dubai.

4 YALUMBA
Yalumba has a reputation for being a rowdy party brunch, and it certainly lives up to the hype. Each table is littered with streamers and an assortment of party hats, adding to the celebratory vibe. Diners are given the choice of buffet and à la carte options. The buffet is packed with a huge selection of international dishes for appetisers and mains – think Indian, Chinese and a roast dinner with all the trimmings – but the best options are on the menu. We recommend the salmon with creamy mashed potato – incredibly light and so soft it melts in your mouth! The volume of music is increased throughout the brunch, and by the end diners abandon their tables to dance along to the booming Eighties and Nineties hits.
INFO: Dhs499 including bubbly and house drinks, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud, Dubai, 04 702 2455, www.diningatlemeridiendubai.

5 AL QASR
Regarded by long-term expats as the best brunch in town, Al Qasr is known not only for the quality of food on offer but also for the size of the spread – a map is even presented to diners on arrival to make sure they can find their way around! The best seats are outside on the terrace overlooking the Madinat Jumeirah canal and the Burj Al Arab. Inside, the atmosphere is lively, with a band performing everything from jazzy Amy Winehouse tracks to the latest rocking R’n’B tunes.
Food is diverse, with the hotel’s restaurants combining to offer a range of cuisines and dishes from tapas and sushi to the usual roast, curry and salad offerings. The best bit, though, is the open kitchen. You can pick a juicy lobster, a cut of wagyu beef or even a fois gras burger and watch as the chefs cook it to your liking. Leave diets at the door!
INFO: Dhs525 including sparkling and house drinks, Dhs425 including soft drinks, 12.30pm to 4pm, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, 04 366 6730, www.jumeirah.com.

6 MEYDAN
Head out to Meydan for a track-side brunch.  Featuring signature dishes from some of the world’s key horse racing nations, guests are taken on a culinary journey through regions including Asia, the Middle East, France, Australia, the US, Italy the UK and Germany. The gourmet event covers the terraces, restaurants and atrium of the hotel, with theatre-style kitchens and live cooking stations that allow you to see your favourite dishes prepared right in front of you.
While this is pitched as a family brunch, the little ones are reined in at a separate kids’ club where they’re kept entertained so that you can enjoy brunch distraction-free. And while the all-you-can-eat and drink finishes at 4pm, the festivities continue at the hotel’s Shiba Bar, where beverages are 25 per cent off until 6pm.
INFO: Dhs395 including house drinks, Dhs220 with soft drinks, 12.30pm to 4pm, Meydan Hotel, 04 381 3111, meydanrestaurantreservations@meydanhotels.com.

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