Brunch review: Friday Feast at Al Habtoor Polo Resort
Bring your appetite to this Argentinian steakhouse…
Prior to the pandemic, Dubai’s brunches were synonymous with stuffing ourselves to the gills at help-yourself buffets. With self-service still off the menu, it’s been interesting to see how different restaurants have responded to the changing regulations.
At Al Habtoor Polo Resort’s handsome Argentinian steakhouse, The Grill Pit, they’re pulling out all the stops to ensure you can still eat your body weight in food.
We were recently invited along to the Friday Feast, eight substantial courses are presented to our table. We’re not quitters, by any means, but even we find ourselves throwing in the towel for the cheese course (only so we can save room for dessert, if the truth be told).
If your brunch modus operandi is to make a beeline for the chilled seafood bar, then you’ll love The Grill Pit’s first course as much as we did. Juicy prawns, crayfish, garlicky clams and herbed mussels are served over ice, along with a zesty dish of ceviche, plus cocktail sauce and aioli.
Up next is a platter of salmon rillettes and salads, of which the pear and blue cheese version is a standout. A trio of hot appetizers follows suit, including a retro-fabulous roasted date stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon, and a moreish chicken croquette with romesco sauce.
As soon as that plate is cleared away, along comes a demitasse of creamy, well-seasoned broccoli soup (which feels slightly incongruous in the 38°C heat).
The ‘Bowl & Fork’ course appears next, including a serve of mushroom crepes; Portuguese chicken stew; and lamb liver with onion and potato gratin. Each of these dishes is almost a meal in itself. We can’t help but think these would have been better served canape-size, along with the appetizer course.
The main event is the meat and seafood platter, fresh from the asador. It’s loaded with beef tenderloin, ribs, striploin and skirt steak, lamb leg, chicken skewers, prawns, perch, calamari and lobster, and served with buttery mash, roast vegetables and South American chimichurri and criolla sauces. It’s a generous, delicious affair – we only wish we had more room to fit everything in.
Knowing that we still have two courses to summit, we skip the cheese board in favour of the dessert platter, which features bite-sized tiramisu, cheesecake, chocolate mousse and more.
There’s little chance of anyone leaving The Grill Pit unsated.
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We dined at Al Habtoor’s Friday Feast prior to the start of the polo season, so things are quiet throughout the whole resort. We’re one of five tables dining in The Grill Pit, which means service is incredibly attentive, and the vibe is more subdued than lively.
There’s a children’s play room right next to the restaurant, which is a major plus for our family – and the chef sends out plates of macaroni and cheese and french fries for our smallest diners.
Overall, The Grill Pit has done a commendable job of transitioning from buffet to table service – you won’t want for anything.
In fact, you may find it’s too much of a good thing.
Friday Feast at The Grill Pit, Al Habtoor Polo Resort, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm. Dhs245 with soft drinks, Dhs345 with house drinks including prosecco. Tel: (0)56 545 8391. habtoorpoloresort.com/dining/grill-pit/