Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club is bringing back its Summer Pass, which entitles golfers to unlimited access to the 18-hole championship course, free cart hire, a 30-minute golf lesson and access to the gym. Dhs4,750. May 15 to Sep 30.
This brunch is all about quality over quantity, offering a four-course meal across a leisurely afternoon that fills you up, but won’t overwhelm you.
It begins with a platter of super fresh seafood, featuring meaty king prawns, Fine de Claire oysters and sea snails accompanied by plenty of sauces and lemon.
Next, you’re given a choice of main, starter and dessert. Don’t be put off by the vegetarian options. On our visit, the delicate salad of marinated baby beets with orange, endive, goat curd and coriander is absolutely stunning – a real highlight of the afternoon. The tiger prawns – which come with the addition of crisp garlic chips – are just as good, while other options include grilled chicken thigh and salmon rillettes.
There’s a good variety of mains, too. We’re impressed by the grilled Black Angus striploin, and the selection of side dishes go with it perfectly (grilled courgette, rocket salad with white peaches and sublimely crisp and fluffy thrice-cooked russet potato wedges).
Of all the dishes, the lobster spaghettini excites the least. It’s tasty, and the pasta is lovely and al dente, but it doesn’t have wow-factor.
This is more than made up for, however, with dessert. The Valrhona Chocolate and Hazelnut Tart comes with a rich ganache and a hazelnut sorbet that goes down a treat with a coffee, while the red berry soup with yoghurt sorbet is refreshing and light.
Our only complaint is that some of the tables are rather too tightly crammed together on the terrace and we end up sitting uncomfortably close to some of our neighbours, but for larger groups this will hardly be an issue.
It’s not the cheapest of brunch options, bearing in mind that food isn’t unlimited. But considering the quality, and the spectacular Burj Khalifa and fountain views, it’s more than worth it. Dhs299 (with soft drinks), Dhs399 (with house beverages), Dhs499 (with sparkling), Dhs549 (premium package). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Atlantic, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 442 5662).
The Bottom Line A relaxing afternoon in a stunning setting that’s all about the food.
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On a Friday afternoon, streams of natural light flood the newly renovated BiCE Ristorante through floor-to-ceiling windows, which look out across the hotel’s pool.
A pianist sits by the entrance, playing smooth jazz and blues tunes, while crisp, white linen and smartly dressed tables add to the sophisticated ambience. Within minutes, BiCE’s Friday brunch has impressed.
It doesn’t take long before small plates of starters are placed in the middle of the table, inviting you to share.
The burrata with cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce is fresh, light and well-balanced, as is the salmon tartare with mango and black sesame seeds. We need a second plate of the warm goats’ cheese salad that’s served with beetroot and toasted quinoa – it’s just that good.
Sharing plates of pasta are then served (both of which are fairly bland in comparison), and a live cooking station will tempt you back for more than one portion of the indulgent ricotta and spinach tortellini.
After all this, you’re asked to order one individual main course from a choice of four. Unfortunately, this course is a bit of a let-down after such a stellar start. The slow-cooked veal ribs are too tough, while the vegetarian aubergine lasagne is more stodgy than refined. The spiced and herbed rock salt sea bream, however, is delightful.
To finish on a sweet note, there’s a dessert buffet. Small portions of classic Italian desserts are given a unique twist and, while nothing is particularly mind-blowing, the dishes are all pleasant enough and worth the extra calories. Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs430 (bubbly), Dhs135 (kids aged six to 12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 399 1111).
The Bottom Line The ambience will win you over within minutes, but the food might take longer.
DETAILS: Dhs310 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs140 (kids aged six to 12), free (under fives). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6000).
Nikki Beach’s “Saint Tropez” brunch is not mislabelled – the South of France vibe is strong at this seafront offering. With its white cushions, French grape and wooden poolside decking, the place definitely has an air of Riviera sophistication.
Don’t be put off by any preconceptions of a beach club, this brunch is in the hotel part of the Nikki Beach Resort, and there are no pumping beats or dancing here. The beach club hosts its own brunch on a Sunday if that’s more your cup of tea, whereas this is a quieter meal, with mainly family groups and couples.
When it comes to the food, there’s also a distinct French feel. It’s split between a petite buffet indoors and a selection of dishes brought to the table (although these are pleasant surprises as there’s no menu that we can find).
We start off at the buffet, where there’s an appetising seafood section with giant prawns, oysters and mussels adorning the mountains of ice.
We opt for a selection of shellfish, before the chef prepares it and brings it to our table, complete with lemon wedges and condiments.
We sit back and relax for a short while before a flatbread topped with fluffy scrambled eggs and truffle makes its way to our table. It’s delicious, the perfect breakfast aspect of the brunch concept.
Course after course appears on our culinary mystery tour of the bistro’s cuisine. The highlight for us is a traditional French seafood soup. The tomato-based liquid is poured over a generous portion of fish and seafood from a cafetière, which is a nice touch. The soup is light, fragrant and doesn’t overpower the delicate flavours of the fish.
Another authentic dish arrives next, which is described by the waiter as just how it looks – fish in bread. In reality it’s more glamorous than it sounds, and is tender sea bass in a hollowed-out French loaf.
If you love seafood, then so far so good. However, meat fans will be satisfied with a main course of beef, served in a heavy cooking pot with a rich gravy.
We make our way to the buffet for some hot sides including roasted root veg. And if you can limit yourself to just one helping of the creamy dauphinoise potatoes, then we applaud you.
Lastly, the cheese board and desserts are worth breaking any diet for.
We love the light yet buttery millefeuille with a crème pâtissière layered inside, and the rich, indulgent chocolate cake is not to be missed, either.
Finish off with a lazy stroll along the water’s edge, soaking up the sunshine and scanning for shells, and there’s no doubt you’ll feel like you’ve had an afternoon’s holiday. The Bottom Line A chilled-out, chic brunch, with some top-quality French dishes.