The big brunch review: Hell’s Kitchen

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Is Dubai’s latest brunch red hot – or does it leave guests feeling a little blue?

If you’re familiar with the Hell’s Kitchen TV show, you’ll know the basic premise is that two teams; red and blue  battle it out to be crowned head chef of a restaurant. And now Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Dubai is launching a brand new brunch – and it’s inspired by exactly that concept.

But is this new brunch red hot, or do we leave feeling a little blue?

Upon arrival, the red and blue teams are not immediately clear. Stations are split into cold and hot starters, an array of breads and pastries and a dedicated dessert buffet, with a separate station for children. Each station is manned by a team of chefs eager to share their knowledge, with half in red hats, the other half in blue. It’s a subtle nod to the theme, which we appreciate.

There’s a wide variety of starters on offer, from seafood and oysters to salads, cold cuts, sliders and a dedicated tartar and ceviche station, where guests can pick between pre-made options of beef, tuna and salmon, or are invited to make their own with the chefs on-hand to help. This interactive element is one of our favourite parts of the brunch, and also extends to being able to build your own eggs benedict at the hot starter station, and topping up a chicken and waffles with an array of sauces and sides.

While guests can help themselves to an unlimited array of starters, mains are a la carte, with eight options of signature dishes to choose from. Gordon Ramsay’s signature Beef Wellington arrives cooked to perfection, and a generous prime dry aged strip that arrives topped with a heap of glazed wild mushrooms is another tasty hit.

Though the food stations are inside, pop-up bars line the terrace outside and while on our visit it’s not the right weather to dine alfresco, we enjoy occasional trips to the bar to check out the extensive cocktail menu, which features favourites such as Pimms and Espresso Martinis. But if you’d rather have brunch brought to you, an expertly trained team of service staff ensure drinks are never empty.

 

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Towards the end of the brunch, four brunchgoers are selected to take part in an eton mess-making competition, overseen by head chef Craig Best and general manager Danny Thomas. While I don’t think the culinary team have much competition from the willing participants, it gets the whole room on their feet and involved. Plus, the winner gets themselves a free brunch – not bad if your whisking skills are worth shouting about.

The live band kick off almost from the beginning, belting out indie rock and pop hits that are sure to get any Brit feeling nostalgic. It starts at an audible – but not overpowering level, before building into the backdrop to a lively afternoon sing-along.

While the element of the red and blue team may not be very apparent, it really doesn’t matter. A brilliant live act, impressive and varied dishes plus plenty of interactive elements make this a must-try Friday feast.

Hellicious Brunch, Hell’s Kitchen, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, Bluewaters, off JBR, Dubai Marina, 12.30pm to 4pm, Fridays, Dhs350 soft, Dhs450 house, Dhs600 champagne. Tel: (04) 556 6466. caesars.com/dubai

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