New brunches: France, Mexico or China – where do you want to go?
We’re taking you around the world with these new brunches to try in February.
Where: Royal China, DIFC
Style: Dim sum feast
Royal China, the Chinese restaurant in DIFC, has started a weekend dim sum brunch. Pair the dumplings and dipping sauces with cleansing jasmine flowering tea, which is just about the prettiest drink in Dubai.
Building 4, DIFC, Dubai, Fri and Sat 11.30am to 4pm, Dhs188 with soft drinks, Dhs318 with house beverages, Dhs500 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 3545543. Metro: Emirates Towers. royalchinadubai.com
Style: Comprehensive dim sum selection
Enjoy a yum cha, or little bite, here at this classy Chinese restaurant’s new Friday afternoon brunch that launched with the start of the Chinese Year Of The Horse last month. It’s a civilised affair, offering a selection of dainty dim sum – 40 options in total – including steamed chicken dumplings with shrimp, mushroom and tobika, crispy duck and pumpkin puff and steamed scallop dumplings. You might just eat enough to fill, well, a horse.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Fri 11.30am to 3.30pm, Dhs188. Tel: (04) 4262626. Taxi: Atlantis The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com
Where: The Cave, Conrad Dubai
Style: Cosy yet refined a la carte meal
This is a brunch that’s not really a brunch. For a start, it’s on a Saturday, not a Friday. And secondly, it doesn’t have a one-off price and unlimited eating. But it’s being billed as a brunch by the Conrad Hotel, so let’s call it that. For now. This welcoming and rustic-looking bar/restaurant has an a la carte menu of just six dishes to choose from on Saturdays.
There’s a striploin steak, quail with waffles, confit duck cassoulet, asparagus gratin, crab Benedict and banana bread French toast. The crab Benedict was ingenious: shredded crab meat sat on a disc of bread, which contained a poached egg in the middle that oozed into the bread once prodded with a knife – fantastic. The steak came with crispy sprout tops and salty sauté potatoes. We finished off with the French toast and blueberry compote. The bread, which was gluten-free, was dense and nutty and carried a lovely warmth from the cinnamon and vanilla.
A Bloody Mary buffet – basically a small cart with all the usual and some unexpected ingredients such as baby corn and cucumber – was a fun talking point. The Cave are calling this lunch within a brunch Recovery Saturday and have laid out newspapers by the entrance to encourage you to kick back and take your time. If you’re in the mood for an anti brunch or perhaps you overdid it at brunch the previous day, then The Cave is for you.
Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 11.30am to 4pm. Tel: (04) 4447444. Metro: World Trade Centre. conraddubai.com
Where: Maya, Le Royal Méridien
Style: Sleepy beachside brunch in a hacienda
Signing up for the Friday brunch at Maya not only gets you a delicious Mexican feast, chilled Mexican beer and zesty margaritas in a sleepy hacienda-style setting, but also all day beach and pool access at Le Royal Méridien hotel and a chillout soundtrack from a string of DJs.
The action kicks off at 1pm. Wander from the beach or pool (no beach shorts allowed at brunch, so slip into a smarter pair of shorts before eating) and take your seat for starters of tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, plus a simple quesadilla and nachos with big slices of jalapeño to get the appetite revved up. Next up was a superb salad with chili chipotle barbecue chicken that was so crispy, it verged on Chinese kung pao chicken.
It’s a lazy, slow brunch so by the time the mixed grill arrived, the sun had started to dip. A sizzling platter of rib eye steak fajitas, lobster tail marinated in the South American spice achiote and tender lamb chops with mint sauce had our taste buds dancing. To finish, some delicious banana crêpes with caramelised milk and ice cream, which sent us merrily back to the beach for a post-brunch snooze in the sunshine.
Le Royal Méridien, Sufouh Road, Dubai, Fri 1pm to 2am, Dhs350 with soft drinks, Dhs450 with selected beverages. Tel: (04) 3165550. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. maya-dubai.com