What’s On previews new brunches in Dubai for October 2014. Find out about Mint Leaf of London, The Reform, Fork & Cork, Creekside, Roberto’s and even more.

New brunches for September
– Best restaurants in Dubai
– Best new restaurants
– Best dishes, part one
– Best dishes, part two

Where: Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC
Not everyone likes to get out of bed before noon on a Friday, let alone find themselves sitting in a restaurant before they have had a chance to wake up, faced with several hours of endless consumption. If you are one of those people, Mint Leaf Of London’s 2pm start time, which makes it more of a long late lunch than a brunch, has you covered.

Positioned on the 15th floor of Emirates Financial Towers’ South Tower, the restaurant offers a pleasant view, which includes Burj Khalifa. Mint Leaf’s three-course Indian menu, from which you can order as much as you can manage, is perfectly balanced – not stingy, but not too heavy, either.

From the non-veg starter platter, featuring a moreish sweet chaat, to the roasted chicken supreme with creamy dal makhni, spinach and rice for mains and the shared dessert platter with its refreshing rose water ice cream, we couldn’t find serious fault with any of the dishes we tried.

South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai, Fri 2pm to 5.30pm, Dhs245 with soft drinks, Dhs395 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 7060900. Taxi: Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC. Metro: DIFC. mintleafgroup.com

New brunches in Dubai - Mint Leaf Of London

Where: The Lakes
If traditional British fare at a leisurely pace is your kind of thing then look no further than the recently-launched brunch at gastro pub favourite, The Reform Social & Grill. Things kicked off with a Ploughman’s spread, including pickles, crusty bread and cured meats, served on a rustic cheese board; a solid introduction to a taste of Blighty. Next up were mains, which you’re invited to choose from the menu, including steamed Shetland mussels, fish and chips, and even a full English breakfast. If you have room for dessert, we suggest you go for the classic rhubarb and custard crumble or a homemade ice cream from the old fashioned ice cream parlour. It’s a trip down memory lane if ever we saw one.

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

Reform Social and Grill, The Lakes - best outdoor bars in Dubai

Where: Anantara Dubai, The Palm
With unique themed areas, novel drink stations and designated children’s sections, there’s a lot to love about Fort & Cork. We liked the oriental section, transformed to resemble Hong-Kong hawker stalls, which offered authentic noodle soup and crispy duck. Another popular station was the sombrero stand complete with chilli, nachos and guacamole, plus the carvery, with its deliciously crispy Yorkshire puddings that oozed buttery goodness. Don’t eat too much though because the enormous dessert section was filled with some of the prettiest and tastiest sweets you’re likely to find in Dubai, including an area devoted to chocolate.

Crescendo, Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai, Fri 1pm to 4pm, Dhs300 with soft drinks, Dhs420 with house drinks, Dhs530 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 5678304. Taxi: Anantara Dubai, East Crescent. dubai-palm.anantara.com

New brunches in Dubai - Fork and Cork, Anantara The Palm

Where: Sheraton Dubai Creek
Doing raw fish and fresh sushi in a buffet setting can be a risky business, but the Omakase Friday Brunch checks all the right boxes. The variety is excellent. There are salads, sashimi, several types of sushi, cooked lobster, chilled oysters, and live noodle stations. Unsurprisingly, this means there’s something for everyone – even fish free vegetarians. Particular highlights included the mixed grilled squid; and eggplant marinated in rich peanut sauce. As for desserts, the coconut pudding stood out. With live music and a calm atmosphere, this is family friendly brunch – it has a section dedicated to children, filled with games, beanbags, and a TV, and foods such as sweet potato fries, and chicken nuggets are available on kid-sized tables.

Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Dubai, Fri 12pm to 4pm, Dhs209 with soft drinks, Dhs249 with house beverages, Dhs309 with premium beverages. Tel: (04) 2071750.. Metro: Union.creeksidejapanese restaurant.com

New brunches in Dubai - Creekside, Sheraton

Where: Roberto’s, DIFC
You’re assured of noise, buzz and excitement at Roberto’s new Italian brunch. It’s a slow, relaxed lunch, in true Italian style, and it works well.  Starters such as creamy burratina cheese, courgette and calamari – battered and fried – and beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan, were all light and tasty. A seafood platter of mussels, lobster, crab and oysters to share was a fun way to break the ice.

Next came firm parcels of ravioli filled with shredded beef and sage butter; a sticky beef cheek, nicely served with roast potatoes; and a succulent piece of sea bream that had been salt-baked and was theatrically cracked open at the table.

To finish, a baba pastry that soaked up the vanilla sauce on the side, while a cubed dish of tiramisu got our spoons working overtime.

Service was a tad fussy. Several waiters repetitively explained dishes; while another grabbing discarded seafood shells from our plates with tongs while we were still eating was unecessary. Take it easy, guys, we’re having pranzo.

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

Pranzo Italiano, Roberto's


Cravin’ Cajun has moved its brunch from Saturday to Friday. Look forward to Creole cuisine, great gumbo live jazz and killer cocktails.

Novotel Al Barsha, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm Dhs195 with soft drinks, Dhs295 with house beverages. Tel: (04) 3049000.
Metro: Sharaf DG. novotel.com

The Waldorf Astoria Palm has unveiled three new Friday brunch packages: the ‘classic’ at Mezzerie (1pm to 3.30pm, from Dhs345), featuring international cuisine; an Asian-inspired feast at Lao (12.30pm to 3.30pm, from Dhs268); and a ‘fine-casual dining’ experience at Social By Heinz Beck – think oysters and Italian fare (12.30pm to 3.30pm, from Dhs345).

Waldorf Astoria Palm, The Palm, Dubai. Tel: (04) 8182222. Taxi: Waldorf Astoria. waldorfastoria3.hilton.com 

The new Friday brunch  at Casa de Tapas is a suitably Spanish affair, with cheese, pinxos (snacks) and paella all up for grabs, plus live flamenco music.

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Deira, Dubai, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs149 with soft drinks, Dhs199 with house beverages, Dhs249 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 2956000. Taxi: Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. dubaigolf.com

Bystro’s new brunch is an alcohol-free family-friendly option. The café in Al Manara offers up its popular dishes – including beetroot hummus, burrata with gremolata and piri piri chicken – alongside classic desserts and mocktails.

Al Manara, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, Fri 11am, Dhs125. Tel: (04) 3368056. Taxi: Opposite Times Square Centre. facebook.com/bystrodubai