A stylish, chilled brunch that struggles to draw the crowds
Time Out Dubai staff
The venue: This popular DIFC lounge and nightspot doesn’t quite emanate the same cool during the day, and the venue feels almost deserted, with intimate seating ideal for couples. There were only two or three other diners on the day we visited, so the staff to customer ratio was a little off-putting. A DJ spins chilled lounge beats to one side of the venue, but it’s all a rather understated affair.
The food: A set menu of unlimited à la carte options are brought to the table, including hot and cold appetisers, mains, sides and desserts, but much of it tastes the same. The sushi is unexciting and the mini crab tacos with guacamole don’t quite live up to expectations, but the arancini balls are tasty and filling. A round of meat including wagyu beef, chicken and smoked salmon follows with a side of mac and cheese popcorn balls and creamy spinach. Go easy as it can all feel a little heavy. We dig the vanilla yoghurt and mango sorbet and the mini chocolate fondant on the dessert plate to finish.
The drinks: The range of house beverages on offer is limited, but there is the option to order shorts with mixers Oddly, the choice doesn’t include popular mixed drinks.
The crowd: Couples and friends. It’s not really buzzing, so best for a catch-up where chit-chat is the priority rather than partying.
The dress code: Smart.
The service: Professional, but overbearing at times; we were interrupted mid-conversation and had to stave off waiters keen to take away the share plates before we were finished. On the other hand, bartenders are friendly and outgoing. Highs & lows: Following dessert, the DJ’s retro hip hop beats are the highlight, along with the bartenders, who offer alternative entertainment and good conversation at the sit-up bar. Overall, the brunch sadly feels a little overpriced for what you get.
Extras & entertainment: A DJ spinning beats.
The after party: There are a few bars around DIFC, or for those seeking a big party, brave a visit to British pub Double Decker in the Al Murooj Rotana, which is always in full swing post-4pm and their lively brunch.
Best for: a chilled-out brunch 3/5
Dhs245 (with soft drinks and mocktails), Dhs299 (with house and premium beverages), Dhs399 (with bubbly). Fri 1pm-3.30pm. Caramel, DIFC (04 425 6677). A la carte, live music / entertainment