What’s on offer? If by some bizarre fluke you were unaware of Yalumba’s reputation before booking, this brunch’s intentions become as crystal clear as a bubbly glass the minute you take a seat among the balloons, party hats and hooters that line the tables. This one’s a renowned party brunch, and the twee props and free-flowing bubbly – of three different yet notable varieties – don’t let you forget it. Food-wise, there’s both an à la carte menu and a small buffet area. But this brunch’s priorities are spelled out simply by reading the back of your waiter’s uniform. It boasts proudly the thousands of bottles uncorked at brunch over Yalumba’s notorious tenure.
The venue? The small and cosy indoor restaurant is far from the most exotic venue in Dubai, but things are livened up by a cheese-tastic DJ, which can have punters on the dancefloor by 3pm on rowdier days. It’s better in winter months when the pleasant terrace becomes a bearable place to linger throughout the afternoon.
What sort of crowd turn out? While it’s very much a party brunch, it’s far from the cheapest option in town, so it’s generally one you’d be unlikely to visit every Friday. Expect an older crowd with a few bob spare, in the mood to let their hair down. Noisy, convivial and quite a lot of fun, but Yalumba won't be to everyone's taste.
Room for improvement? The food is far from spectacular. The buffet itself is pretty miniscule and largely unappealing, and the à la carte options rarely stretch beyond adequate.
Standout dish? The à la carte menu is far superior to the buffet offerings. The only real standout is the range of quality bubbly on offer. But we’ve seen hungrier folk than us tucking into the full English breakfast with relish.
In one sentence… It’s all about the bubbles. Dhs499 including the full range of drinks. 12.30pm-3.30pm, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud (04 702 2455).