Is it a hole in one for this golf club restaurant?
Homesickness has a tendency to pop up when you least expect it. Perhaps it’s a song or a long-forgotten scent that gets you going. For us, it was the roast at Hillhouse Brasserie that set us off recently, specifically a side of cauliflower cheese that could make a grown man weep.
Not that you’d expect to see too many tears here. Situated in the chic surrounds of Dubai Hills Golf Club, Hillhouse Brasserie is a handsome space of timber, taupe and charcoal tones, given a relaxed holiday vibe thanks to rattan chairs, vintage fashion posters and cushions printed with palm trees. Golfers saunter in after finishing their round, an ex-Liverpool player shares a meal with a mate, and groups gather to celebrate birthdays on the terrace overlooking the greens and Downtown Dubai.
We’re here to try the Hillhouse High Tea, a family-friendly affair that promises a more civilised take on brunching. Forget about bottomless drinks packages and dancing on tables. Here, it’s all about sharing a meal with family and friends, enjoying the sense of nostalgia that comes from a home-cooked roast.
Served from noon until sundown on Saturdays, the High Tea offers two dining options, plus Happy Hour discounts on drinks. Dhs165 gives you unlimited access to the carvery, while an additional Dhs30 buys you a series of small plates for starters and a tower of desserts. We opt for the latter, and soon learn that the term ‘small plates’ is a serious misnomer here. Over the next hour, eight entrée-sized dishes arrive on our table, including an exemplary eggs Benedict, roasted sea bass with Spanish-style chickpeas, and a truffle-laced risotto that’d be worth the visit alone. We’re stuffed by the time the salmon and smoked haddock fishcake lands – and we haven’t even made it to the carvery yet.
After a breather, we’re ready for the main event. At the carvery, a chef slices tender, pink-centred slabs of roast lamb and beef, and serves them with all the trimmings your homesick heart could wish for: golden potatoes, plump Yorkshire puddings, carrots, parsnips, gravy, and a molten, gooey cauliflower cheese that takes us
back to Sunday lunch at Nan’s house.
We’re about to throw in the towel (or linen napkin, as the case may be), when our brilliant waiter appears with a three-tiered platter of desserts. And so, we muster the strength and the stomach space for mini chocolate eclairs, fudgy brownies, rhubarb-stuffed doughnuts, jars of raspberry Eton mess, and dainty scones with jam and cream. It’s gloriously good. Sorry Nan, but I think your Sunday lunch just got surpassed.
Hillhouse Brasserie, Dubai Hills Golf Club, Dubai, daily 7am to midnight. Tel: 800 666353. facebook.com/HillhouseBrasserie