WAREHOUSE, LE MÉRIDIEN DUBAI
When it comes to lively party brunches in the UAE, Warehouse at Le Méridien Dubai has got quite the reputation. And having a reputation in this case is a good thing, because it merely means the brunch is consistently busy, upbeat and a guaranteed good time. Have you ever heard of someone going to The Hive Friday Brunch at Warehouse and calling it “boring” afterwards? Exactly our point.
Admittedly, we’ve tried this brunch before, and had a brilliant time. We’ve now returned a year later, and it’s evident from the moment we walk in that Warehouse hasn’t lost its magic. The food station is slightly smaller than we remember, but it’s still got more than enough options to keep everyone happy. Whether it’s light bite sandwiches or hearty spare ribs you’re looking for, the quality of the food is top-notch. Because, while many party brunches neglect the quality of food, Warehouse still offers 5-star grub. And don’t even get us started on the tasty variety of desserts.
Although the venue gets busy, the service remains on point. The downstairs area is slightly more relaxed, with lots of natural night, while the upstairs section has a darker nightclub feel to it. So it’s no surprise that the upstairs level turns into an actual nightclub the moment brunch ends. Tables are cleared away and we dance off the red velvet calories we scoffed on all afternoon. We can officially say that, once again, fun was had by all.
INFO: Dhs259 (free flow house beverages), Fri 1pm-4pm, 04 217 0000, lemeridien.com
LUCKY VOICE, GRAND MILLENIUM
Is there ever a time when karaoke is bad idea? We don’t think so. Weddings, birthdays, work dos… you name the event, karaoke makes it better. And now brunch joins the list, thanks to Lucky Voice! With temperatures steadily on the rise, opting to indulge in a Friday brunch indoors is definitely a savvy choice. While inside the air-conditioned warehouse-like Lucky Voice space, we don’t suffer from summer FOMO once. If anything, we’ve made our Insta pals jealous by posting sweat-free selfies.
The venue is big, airy and packed with fun details like neon signs, random bathtubs and spherical lights that change colour and move with the music. Arrive hungry, because Lucky Voice’s brunch is belt-busting. Food arrives in the form of varied platters, delivered by energetic waiters. We start with a mix of fresh ceviche, mouth-watering boneless beef chunks and chips with cool tzatziki dip.
Next up is more meat – this time, sticky mustard-glazed wings or ribs with big, fat beef empanadas. The bowl of steamed edamame make us feel a good two percent healthier. After a brief respite, the Lucky Voice army marches through with plates of delicious pizza. The melting four-cheese slice will please any pizza fan.Mini slider burgers and tacos are next before the eating extravaganza is rounded off with yummy desserts.
The whole time food is arriving and being refreshed, Lucky Voice’s resident entertainer hosts a lively lip sync battle, inviting one person from each brunch group to hit the stage for a chance to win complimentary karaoke booth time.
New to Dubai? Get involved. This is a great way to make friends. If you want to bag yourself a booth without having to get on stage and lip sync your way to victory, be sure to book ahead.
This is a fun-filled afternoon and one that’s meant to be enjoyed. It isn’t posh or fancy; it’s fun, filling and frivolous. Once inside, you will forget it’s only the middle of the afternoon outside! Because every Friday should be a huge, happy party with mates.
INFO: Dhs196 with soft drinks, Dhs296 with house beverages, Dhs360 with bubbles, Friday 1pm-4pm, Grand Millennium Hotel Dubai, Tecom, 04 429 9999, luckyvoice.ae
YALUMBA, LE MÉRIDIEN DUBAI
Yalumba first opened its doors more than 10 years ago at Le Méridien Dubai, the hotel by the airport. Testament to its popularity, despite the boom of Dubai Marina and the neighbouring areas at the opposite end of town, diners never stopped making the pilgrimage down to this Australian restaurant for what’s considered by many to be the happiest brunch in town. That was until it closed for refurbishment.
Finally, last October, after a summer behind closed doors, the venue revealed its new look. Inspired by its namesake, the Yalumba winery in South Australia, the décor has a rustic vibe with parquet flooring, glazed brickwork, exposed concrete and comfy brown leather chairs. It’s still a magnet for party people of all ages, and it’s still impossible to get to the bottom of your glass during brunch as the service is so good. As before, instead of offering buffet or à la carte dishes, Yalumba has both. Stroll around to pick and mix pasta, shellfish, roasts, curries, cheese platters, cakes galore and molten chocolate from the majestic fountain, or browse the menu (the dynamite shrimp is our firm favourite). Topped with coriander and spring onions, the catch of the day is filleted and lightly battered and dressed in a classic sweet and sour sauce, and served on a bed of rice with crisp peppers and onions
After brunch there’s a three-hour drinks discount, which usually sees all diners turn the terrace into a dance floor – currently the area is awaiting new furniture and bars, and once they’re fitted it will be just as banging as it ever was. Midweek, each night is dedicated to a themed buffet starting from a very reasonable Dhs219 with house drinks, but Friday’s Bubbly Brunch is the one for your bucket list.