This jazz brunch injects the scene with a touch of class
Dubai has a brunch for every mood. There are the glamorous brunches that feature wagyu beef at every turn; there are niche brunches that serve dim sum or Thai; and there are cheap boozers with unlimited alcohol. In all the hodgepodge, I’ve searched for one that really inspires. At best, I’ve described the experience as ‘nice’, ‘pleasant’ or, more often, ‘overpriced’, ‘wasteful’ and ‘gluttonous’. Never has a gasp of delight escaped my lips. That is, until I saw what Traiteur had to offer.
What really makes this brunch is the setting. Pretty much every outdoor venue at the Park Hyatt is serene and romantic – that’s the advantage of a creekside location – and Traiteur is no exception. Adding more to the innate classiness of the place is a live jazz band, though this is far from the biggest selling point (my date and I chose to sit as far from the band as possible, as it was a touch loud).
Now, I’ve never been a big believer in buffet dining. Too often, steam tables mean cold, old food. Not so at Traiteur. In an unconventional move, food is spread throughout a big open kitchen. Diners stand between furiously busy chefs and fill their plates as the staff empty out their frying pans.
A smooth, decadent foie gras brûlée starter proved a particular highlight, as did a thoughtful selection of French cheeses (including my favourite, a creamy little Saint-Marcellin). I was also impressed with some steak tartare embellished with a sunny-side-up quail egg, plus the eggs Benedict station.
Outside on the terrace were two large spits, one brandishing an entire lamb, the other a pig. We were slightly scandalised, but we dug into both. While the spits looked impressive, we both wished we’d dedicated that space in our bellies to other foods inside. We also sampled a brilliant array of sides, including hazelnut roasted potatoes, perfect haricot verts, silken scoops of mashed potato and buttery spinach. The dessert station was modest, but what it lacked in size it made up for in quality. A standout was the chocolate fondant – an airy, gooey delight.
Almost everything we sampled at Traiteur was not merely good, but awe-inspiringly beautiful. It was not cheap, but it was one of the few times I walked away from a brunch feeling the money I spent was justified. Park Hyatt (04 602 1234). All major credit cards accepted. Dhs295 with soft drinks, Dhs425 with wine and beer, Dhs550 with champagne, Dhs1,500 with limo pick-up and drop-off, all drinks and a special gift.