Is the new Secret Garden Brunch bloomin’ great or a dead weed?

There’s nothing really that secret about the new brunch at DIFC’s garden-inspired bar, Flair No5. Only weeks in, the so-called ‘Secret’ Garden brunch is the party brunch that the whole city wants a seat at. But what makes it so special?

Well there are queues round the corner to get in when we arrive promptly at 1pm, although it dissipates quickly as staff usher eager partygoers to their seats. Once you’re through the floral coloured entrance, you enter into a spacious garden complete with hanging baskets, leafy foliage and potted plants. The layout lends itself well to big groups, with booths elevated around the edges all looking into the central bar, and a few scattered smaller tables in the middle, which look directly to the DJ booth.

It’s lively from the get go, and waiters move like well-oiled machines to ensure drinks are topped up, (although many guests choose to make their way round the various drinks stations, which serve everything from Aperol Spritz and spicy pink martinis to traditional smoked old fashioneds).

On the menu, there are 14 dishes, all designed to share and staggered into appetizers, mains and desserts. Although a dish of each is brought to share between two, if you find yourself wanting more of anything, you’re able to ask for seconds and thirds. Expect to be reordering the beef tataki, five slices of rich and flavourful slightly seared beef soaked in a citrus soy dressing. The snapper crudo is another standout starter, beautifully presented and drizzled with lime and chilli.

For those that like something with a kick, the chilli and coconut prawns is an excellent main dish, while a salmon with guacamole and Asian slaw cleverly infuses Mexican and Asian flavours. Portions are a little on the small side, but a heap of truffle fries or crunchy brocollini helps.

Dessert is also quite impressive. There’s a spherical Eton mess, chocolate lollipops and an alcohol-infused ice lolly, just in case you’ve not already had your fill.

By the time dessert arrives, the partying has been cranked up a notch, as has the music, and the house hits have brunchers making their way from their tables to the dance floor.

Flair No.5, The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Fri 1pm to 5pm, Dhs299 with soft drinks, Dhs399 with house drinks, Dhs499 sparkling. Tel: (04) 372 2323.

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