A classy brunch in Zabeel Saray’s crystal-chandeliered Imperium restaurant
Time Out Dubai staff
The venue: Set in the grand Imperium restaurant, the hall is bedecked with chandeliers and marble walls, and despite the laid-back jazz in the background, it has the look and feel of a royal dining room. The band plays popular numbers at the front of the restaurant, giving guests a musical welcome as they arrive. The hall has views that look out over the hotel’s garden and towards the waters of The Palm, which is an ideal setting during the cooler winter months.
The food: The menu has a Creole New Orleans theme, so dishes on offer include jambalaya rice, Creole baked chicken and grilled red snapper. This is a great brunch for seafood lovers, with a fresh counter full of scallops, crab claws (that are delicately prepared and ready for easy eating), giant prawns and mussels cooked to order. The menu offers meals as rich as the decor and diners can feast on delicacies such as freshly pan-fried foie gras served on brioche and delicately braised rabbit.
The drinks: Enjoy a classic celery and tomato-based welcome drink then sip on elegant New Orleans-themed mixed beverages, or indulge with some premium bubbly.
The crowd: Mainly couples, in-house guests and groups of friends. Not really one for the kids, though.
The dress code: Smart.
The service: Staff are friendly and available when needed, but tend to leave diners to their own devices until last orders, which is announced in plenty of time.
Highs & lows: The offering of seafood here is worthy of second helpings. The dessert table is full of wonderfully decorated cakes and pastries, including a sumptuous red velvet sponge cake. No real lows that we can think of. Extras & entertainment: Live jazz music from the house band keeps the afternoon flowing without being intrusive.
The after party: French colonial Vietnam-inspired bar Vôi is open for after-brunch drinks.
Best for: one for everyone 4/5 Dhs275 (with soft drinks), Dhs395 (with house beverages), Dhs495 (with bubbly). Sat 1pm-4pm. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com (04 453 0444). Outdoor seating, live music / entertainment, pork served