The venue is light, bright and airy. The décor of light woods and plenty of, well, blue and white shades gives it a real Gallic farmhouse vibe. Big windows at one end, overlooking the Dubai Water Canal, also bring in natural light and give great views.
We take a seat at the bar for a welcome drink or two. The mixologists are super friendly and very good at what they do. The house beverage package includes a choice of mixed drinks, making an already good value deal look even better. For an extra Dhs200 you can choose the bubbly package, though we don’t feel the need. The soft drinks package also includes plenty of mocktail options, which gets it another big tick from us.
You might find it tough to tear yourself away from the bar but if anything will do it, the smells from the open kitchen and the sight of fellow brunchers’ plates coming out will.
The food arrives direct to the table here, and is a satisfying journey from traditional breakfasty-type brunch dishes to rich desserts.
Service is extremely friendly and helpful from the off, with the staff all going to great lengths to make sure we know what we’re getting and when and have full glasses.
The first course includes a selection of breads and croissants, an avocado and egg tartine and oxtail tartine. The latter has a generous portion of the deeply flavoured oxtail sitting on sourdough toast, a spicy pickle offsets the rich meat. The boiled eggs on the avocado version have wonderfully runny yolks.
Next up are starters of salt-baked beetroot, kale salad, polenta croquettes and pesto ravioli. The beets are drizzled with sweet, sticky balsamic and pine nuts add texture. The croquettes demand a second portion and the ravioli is just stunning.
Our only niggle is the speed at which the dishes are coming out of the kitchen, but a request to take things more slowly works.
Mains include an incredible cut of skirt steak and some of the best mac ’n’ cheese we’ve tried. King prawns are also unbeliveably good, but sea bass seems a little bland in comparison to the rest.
One of the desserts is a simple bowl of cream. It’s a magnificent way to finish.
Great value, incredible cooking, generous drinks and excellent service. It doesn’t get much better. Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs599 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Marasi Drive, Business Bay (04 512 5533).