Review: Night brunch at Aura Skypool
Brunch with sky-high views of the twinkling city…
Since Aura blessed Dubai (and world) with its first 360-degree infinity pool, located on the 50th floor of the Palm Tower, this iconic venue has been making waves throughout the city.
Often fully booked weeks in advance, this euphoric daytime location boasts unparalleled views of the city, while guests score a few tan lines and sip on cocktails. But alongside its array of daytime experiences to make a splash at, Aura Skypool has recently added a Friday night brunch, which is what we’re here to check out when we soar up in the elevator at 8pm one Friday evening.
Well-versed with the serene and understated vibe during the day, Aura completely transforms with sunset, tinted with pops of purple-hued neon lights. A sultry feel takes over the lounge, which is where the brunch takes place, fuelled by the beats of Aura’s resident DJ, which instantly transport us to breezy summer nights in Europe.
The minimalist lounge sits central, with the 360-degree infinity pool spilling around the glass venue. Doors to the pools terraces are swung open, allowing a cool nighttime breeze to dance through the sky-high paradise.
We perch on a low sofa and matching table, sipping a crisp glass of bubbles. Our waitress informs us of the format: a selection of six pan Asian sharing dishes, a dessert per person, as well as three hours of free-flowing selected cocktails, house beverages and prosecco. We sit back and relax, but our feast soon arrives, with daintily plated dishes that quickly fill our table.
First up: Gochujang cauliflower popcorn. These crunchy, yet tender bites are tossed in a chili honey glaze, creating a delicate and undeniably moreish ball of delight.
Moving on to the chicken and prawn dumplings, we tenderly soak them in soya sauce, before attempting a hefty mouthful. These smooth blankets of dough encase a tender filling seasoned with aromatic Chinese spices that could have been eaten all night. Don’t skip these, trust me.
Next up, the green papaya salad; a delicate assortment of shredded fresh veggies that bursts with zest and crunch. This vibrant dish adds a pop of colour and citrusy essence to our spread.
After this, we dive into the Balinese satay chicken. Succulent and juicy with dreamy nodes of charcoal, the chicken is drizzled with a sweet-nutty symphony of satay, which is also accompanied by a generous helping on the side, that we eagerly drown our remaining chicken in.
A well-deserved intermission presents itself when live entertainers start meandering through the restaurant, in Gatsby meets cabaret-esque glitzy costumes. Moving from table to table, the dancers lure guests from their seats in an attempted jive. Of course we oblige, following the lead of the mesmerizing dancers, trying to sway our hips into their natural samba flow.
We return to our seats to catch out breath, hydrating on our pink beach cocktails; a concoction of Pink gin, dry Vermouth, citrus cordial, lemon and topped with pink grapefruit soda. This smooth drink was a refreshing and citrusy delight, with hints of botanical essences, going down a treat.
As we pull ourselves away from the entertainment, we devour the rest of our dishes. Barbeque beef short rib with shitake mushrooms, adorned with cucumber and sesame relish. The rich umami is complemented by the hints of fresh veggies, which we happily mix with Hong Kong-style noodles, that are interlaced with exotic Asian vegetables. Delicious, but could have gotten away with more spice.
As true believers that you have a second stomach reserved for dessert, we opt for a Matcha tiramisu and Thai banoffee pie. Both an indulgent and ideal way to finish out meal.
The Verdict: Aura sky pool is known for its dreamy daytime vibe, but successfully transforms into a glamourous venue by night, that will satisfy all ardent brunch goers. An impressive place to take any visitors to in the city to get a true taste of Dubai and bask in the gorgeous views of the city.
Aura Skypool Lounge, 50th Floor, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, Friday Night Brunch, 8pm to 11pm, Dhs480 three hours of free-flow, plus Dhs240 for champagne. Tel: (0)4 566 2121. auraskypool.com