What’s On previews new brunches in Dubai for September 2014. Find out about Qbara, Imperium, Urban Bistro, Prime 68, Rock Bottom, Roberto’s and more.

– Best restaurants in Dubai
– Best new restaurants
– Best dishes, part one
– Best dishes, part two

What’s it all about?
Middle eastern food with some contemporary upgrades in one of Dubai’s most beautiful restaurants. This is stunning food in a stunning location.

Best dishes: Moroccan quail wrapped in vine leaves, chicken tagine, crispy soft shell crab, and the juiciest lamb cutlets we’ve tried in a long while.

Who’s it aimed at: A well-heeled crowd who want elegance and sophistication in their brunch, with just a dash of sleepy Friday calm. This is not a mad dash to eat as much as you can. The food is carefully and thoughtfully prepared.

In three words: Theatrical, calm, modern. 

Wafi Fort Complex, Oud Metha, Dubai, Fri 12.30 to 4pm, Dhs350 with soft drinks, Dhs490 with house beverages, Dhs590 with champagne. Tel: (04) 7092500. Metro: Dubai Healthcare City. qbara.ae

Qbara brunch - new brunches in Dubai

What’s it all about? This is brunch in the traditional sense, so you’ll get free-flowing coffee, rather than bubbly. If you’re in the mood for breakfast, there’s granola, bagels, DIY toast and hot dishes at the buffet, plus eggs cooked to your liking. If it’s lunch you’re after, help yourself to soup, roast lamb and an array of Urban Bistro’s popular salads – the beetroot and feta is a winner.

Best dishes: A la carte eggs, Thai noodle salad.

Who it’s aimed at: Fridays at Urban Bistro are a family-friendly affair. Go if you want a long, lazy lunch rather than a party brunch.

In three words: Healthy, relaxed, lazy.

CNN Building, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Fri 11.30am to 3.30pm, Dhs94. Tel: (04) 3624330. Metro: Nakheel. urbanbistro.ae

Urban Bistro brunch - new brunches in Dubai


What’s it all about? A prohibition-themed brunch that draws on the best of New Orleans. Set on the JW Marriott Marquis’ 68th floor, the chic venue draws a glam crowd. Food is served a la carte, ranging from hot and cold appetisers like devilled eggs and moist crab cakes to freshly smoked salmon to steak cooked in a variety of ways. Each course is matched by themed cocktails in teacups and jam jars. The staff are attentive, the delicious food is worthy of The Great Gatsby, and the photo wall with prohibition costumes is an additional delight.

Best dishes: The chicken liver pâté served with nutmeg-spiced pecans is delicious; the twice-smoked salmon with a maple butter glaze is the best we have ever had; and the innovative after-dinner coffee with a special prohibition ‘addition’ highlights how desserts need not be confined to the plate.

Who it’s aimed at: A well-heeled crowd who want a sophisticated brunch with echoes of old world glamour.

In three words: Decadent, creative, refined.

JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, Dubai, Sat 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs495 with premium beverages, Dhs595 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 4143000. Metro: Business Bay. jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com

Prime 68 brunch - new brunches in Dubai


What’s it all about? The legendary opulence of Zabeel Saray now comes with side order of jazz on Saturdays, with the soundtrack of the afternoon provided by a three-piece band rattling off a combination of traditional jazz and classic pop hits infused with soulful sax. The high-end buffet still caters to all your foodie needs, with the added twist of a live creole cooking station, Cajun jambalaya and a themed cocktail list.

Best dishes: Made to order spicy grilled shrimps from the barbecue could have come direct from a New Orleans street vendor during Mardi Gras.

Who it’s aimed at: It’s still a special occasions kind of place, staying true enough to what made Imperium so popular in the first place.

In three words: Sophisticated, elegant, jazzy.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm, Dubai, Sat 1pm to 4pm, Dhs275 with soft drinks, Dhs395 with house beverages, Dhs495 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 4530444. Taxi: Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. jumeirah.com

Impreium jazz brunch on a Saturday - new brunches in Dubai


This new, family-friendly brunch has cupcake decorating, face-painting, and arts and crafts. There’s live music for the grown-ups, and plenty of pizza of course.

Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A, Dubai, Sat noon to 4pm, Dhs99. Tel: (04) 4416342. Metro: JLT. pizzaexpressuae.com

Reform Social & Grill
The Friday brunch has been revamped with a ‘Posh Ploughman’s Larder’, mini roast dinner sharing platters and old fashioned desserts such as rhubarb and crumble.

The Lakes Club, Emirates Hills, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs230 with soft drinks, Dhs350 with alcohol, Dhs395 with prosecco. Tel: (04) 4542638. Taxi: Lakes Club. reformsocialgrill.ae

Reform Social and Grill brunch - new brunches in Dubai

Try hot and cold appetisers such as crab tacos, followed by Scottish salmon fingers, and beef rib eye.

DIFC, Dubai, Fri 12pm to 4pm, Dhs245 with soft drinks, Dhs299 with alcohol, Dhs399 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 4256677. Metro: Financial Centre. caramelgroup.com

Mexican shawarma, Arabic food, and noodles made live in front of you – this new brunch on The Palm, named Fork and Cork, has it all.

Anantara, The Palm, Dubai, Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs300 with soft drinks, Dhs420 with alcohol, Dhs530 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 5678304. Taxi: The Palm East Crescent. anantara.com


Rock Bottom – September 5
It’s highly unlikely that much food will be consumed at this raucous watering hole’s new Friday brunch. The ubiquitous bullfrogs are unlimited, as are house wines, bottled beers and spirits.

Ramee Rose Hotel, Tecom, Dubai, Fri 5.30pm to 8.30pm, Dhs300. Tel: (04) 4500111. Metro: Dubai Internet City. rameehotels.com

Café Belge – September 12
Café Belge has moved its popular brunch from Saturday to Friday and will restart September 12. They’ve added new dishes too, including homemade duck pate with mustard.

Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4.30pm, Dhs295 with soft beverages, Dhs395 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 3722323. Metro: Financial Centre. ritzcarlton.com

Cafe Belge brunch - new brunches in Dubai

BubblOrange – September 12
The food at the new BubblOrange brunch at c.taste restaurant has been given the orange treatment. Not from a dodgy spray tan, but because the chefs like it that way. They even wear orange chef hats. Expect duck a l’orange, lamb with orange wedges and zesty crème brûlée on the menu.

Centro Barsha Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai, Fri 12.30 to 4pm, Dhs115 with soft drinks, Dhs185 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 7040000. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates. rotana.com

The Onshore Social – September 12
Beachfront bar and Miami-style villa Zero Gravity is launching a brunch this month. Begin with sharing platters of salads, and Asian nibbles, followed by hearty main courses of roasts, seafood and steaks.

Zero Gravity, Al Sufouh, Dubai, Fri 3pm to 6pm, Dhs444 with house beverages, Dhs666 with premium beverages. Tel: (04) 3990009. Taxi: Next to Skydive Dubai. 0-gravity.ae 

Roberto’s – September 26
Sharing platters of cold cuts, calamari, frittata and seafood salad are brought to the middle of each table at this Italian brunch that’s good for groups. Among the a la carte mains are risotto, lobster thermidor, fish mixed grill and pasta al forno. A selection of mini Italian pastries is the standout dessert.

DIFC, Dubai, Fri 12.30 to 4.30pm, Dhs350 with soft drinks, Dhs425 with cocktails and wine, Dhs495 with cocktails and sparkling wine. Tel: (04) 3860066. Metro: Financial Centre. robertos.ae