Big brunch review: Friday brunch at Manzil Downtown
Does this bohemian brunch at Manzil Downtown live up to its carefree reputation?
Entering the Boho Chic Courtyard Brunch is a bit like stepping back into A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Canvas canopies shade the courtyard from the overhead sun, fairy lights snake round trees, and drinks carts are strewn with South African wildflowers.
Ladies are even gifted a flower crown to wear on arrival (although we did spot a couple of fellas rocking them too).
Located at Manzil Downtown, the Courtyard is a bit more family-friendly than the usual brunch crowd, with the considered food outweighing the (possible) disadvantages of a quieter atmosphere. The concept is pretty simple: starters and desserts are inside, pre-mixed cocktails and wine are outside on carts, and mains and other drinks are ordered to the table.
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Starters are international and high quality – think avocado and burrata, sushi and kimchi, and a good array of quality seafood, from langoustines to oysters.
Main dishes are nice and compact and meant to be ordered in multiples; our highlights were a piece of perfectly-cooked salmon with crushed green peas and delicate hollandaise foam, and some mouthwatering lam chops with smoked eggplant puree.
Massive honey and red velvet cakes dominated the dessert stand, and drinks service was quick and friendly – on member of staff even conspiratorially informs us that the DJ takes requests.
With a Harvest Festival feel and nice relaxed location, this is the kind of place to bring a few friends for a relaxed catch-up. A party brunch it is not, but as dusk settles and post-brunchers start to arrive (Manzil has an all-night license), it’s not a bad place to see out the night.
Manzil Downtown, Downtown Dubai, Fridays 1pm to 4pm, Dhs275 soft, Dhs375 house, half price for children 6-12, under 6s free. Tel: (04) 888 3444. vidahotels.com