Doughnuts and dress-ups equal unadulterated fun…

Beano’s Family Brunch has bounded into The Scene by Simon Rimmer, delivering wholesome Friday fun for all ages. This is not just a brunch that caters to children – it’s a loud, lively affair that puts little ones front and centre.

The food

For fans of Simon Rimmer’s classic British pub grub, you’ll be pleased to know that many of The Scene’s most popular dishes have made it onto the Beano’s Family Brunch menu. It’s loaded with options that will appeal to the youngest palates (read: pastas, mini burgers and all things fried), with enough depth and variety for adult tastes.

To start, crowd-pleasing platters of popcorn chicken, crumbed brie croquettes and haloumi fingers hit the table, along with more adult-skewed dishes of beetroot hummus and spicy fish tacos.

Everyone then gets to select their own main course. For the children, the ‘Little Menaces’ menu includes a generous serve of rigatoni with meatballs, baby burgers, and battered cod with fries, among others.

beano family brunch

For us older folk, there’s The Scene staples such as sausages and mash, fish and chips with mushy peas, and a tasty cheeseburger on a brioche bun. This is comfort food, pure and simple. Calorie-counters need not apply.

One of the challenges of dealing with an a la carte menu for such a crowd is getting food on the table in a timely fashion. Our position near the kitchen means we’re among the first to get our mains (although our battered cod could have done with a few more minutes in the fryer, to be honest). Those at the window tables have a lengthier wait on their hands, but considering the generous spread of starters and the free-flowing drinks, no one seems to mind.

Desserts are a checklist of British classics, including Nan’s apple crumble and a knockout sticky toffee pudding, with bowls of ice cream for the kids.

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The entertainment

On our visit, the Dubai Marina gastropub has been transformed into a wonderland of balloons, lolly bags, little ones in their favourite fancy-dress costumes, and a doughnut wall for photo opps – which soon descends into a sticky-fingered grab fest.

There’s an arts and crafts table loaded with paints and crayons, plus a fenced play area to keep the smalls occupied. If your offspring are used to watching TV while they dine (no judgement here), then you’ll welcome the flatscreen TVs with wireless earphones, which prove particularly popular with the older kids.

For the under-six set, the afternoon’s highlight is the live performance by ‘Elsa’, who sings Frozen hits as she leads the little ones through the restaurant, before posing with each child for a photo. Our three-year-old is so smitten by meeting her idol that she becomes, quite literally, frozen to the spot.

The children in our group have had an absolute blast, and us adults have had a brilliant afternoon too. Beano’s is unpretentious, unadulterated fun, and a welcome addition to the Dubai brunch scene. 

Beano’s Family Brunch at The Scene by Simon Rimmer, Pier 7, Dubai Marina. Fri 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Dhs199 with soft drinks, Dhs299 with house drinks, Dhs349 premium beverages, ages seven to 12 Dhs49, six and under free. Tel: (04) 422 2328.

Images: Supplied