Brunch of the month: MayaBay
Could ‘MayaBrunch’ be your new favourite way to wind down the weekend?
Call it blasphemy, but some of us are big fans of the end of the week brunch. For one, it’s the perfect way to escape the Sunday scaries, preferably with a cocktail in hand. Secondly, Sunday brunches are always just a little more… refined.
At relatively new Monaco import MayaBay – located at the far side of Jumeirah Al Naseem’s turtle lagoon – chef Shane MacNeil has designed an extensive Asian-influenced Sunday brunch menu that’s both elegant and bountiful.
Inside, MayaBay is loosely split into three areas: a large lounge area, even larger main dining room, a smaller private dining space as well as an enormous open kitchen, with an army of chefs working diligently at their stations. The ceilings are high – so high in fact that on one side of the main dining room, a DJ guitarist and singer perform sporadically throughout brunch from a balcony to the guests below.
We’re at the second Sunday that MayaBay has hosted brunch and all the tables are full. There are couples, families and groups of friends all looking relaxed as they sit on the plush-red chairs and nosey through the extensive menu.
Here’s the general gist: guests are welcome to choose one soup from a selection of three; three appetisers each, and two mains and sides each. Oh, and there’s unlimited sushi and sashimi, and unlimited dim sum. In short, it’s a feast fit for an emperor, and his entire family.
Can’t-miss items we recommend for your brunch table: prawn toast with Thai chilli sauce, which are more like piping-hot prawn parcels; Cantonese roast duck tacos; chicken and shrimp xiao long bao soup dumplings (unlimited, can you believe?); shui jao, an elegant take on the traditional shui mai only with smoked scallop, chicken and carrot; and, of course a trip to the sashimi and sushi counter for a plateful of the good stuff. And that’s all before you’ve even reached the main courses, which run the gamut of top Asian specialities.
Think Dubai’s favourite black cod with yuzu miso sauce, plus Thai green curry, wok beef and pad Thai with prawns, chicken, or tofu. Mix and match menu items to your heart’s desire and enjoy one of two Asian-inspired cocktails or sake to wash it all down.
Despite the unlimited drinks packages, MayaBrunch never sways into rowdy territory, probably because it’s Sunday. Instead, it remains upbeat and elegant with well-executed Asian cuisine – a combination that works very well.
MayaBay, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Sun noon to 3.30pm, Dhs395 with soft drinks, Dhs550 with house drinks and sake, Dhs750 with bubbly. Tel: (04) 275 2500. @mayabaydubai