As a pair of peafowl stalked and pecked gracefully in the mid-afternoon heat outside, a gaggle of rather less exotic birds was filling the air with raucous cackling at Andiamo’s brunch 5 Reviews
New Year's Eve offer
Italian favourites from live cooking stations. Dhs1,400 per person (Wednesday)
Northern Italian cuisine served in a casual atmosphere. Dishes includes seasonal antipasti, carving stations with roast lamb or beef, home-made pasta, wood-fired pizzas and gelati and tiramisu stations. Brunch includes all-day access to 3 outdoor pools, including kids pool. Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs289 (selected house beverages and sparkling grape) Timings: 12.30pm-4pm; 9am-8pm (pool access) (Friday)
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As a pair of peafowl stalked and pecked gracefully in the mid-afternoon heat outside, a gaggle of rather less exotic birds was filling the air with raucous cackling at Andiamo’s brunch. The spacious, airy restaurant was also full of the sound of children, who were busy tearing around the tables in gleeful fits of laughter. Scattered around the dining room were couples in conference over empty plates, bloated expats ordering more wine, and a family watching dad tackle an overloaded dessert bowl. It was Friday, after all.
The Italian buffet swept beside our circus of weekenders like a trapeze in a flourish of colour. So we started at the beginning with an enticing and varied selection of antipasti. There were soft, dewy curls of beef carpaccio with delicate shavings of parmesan cheese, and paunchy, dark mushrooms that flooded the mouth with moist richness. I bundled both onto my plate next to a slice of cold quiche before stopping transfixed by the hanging pepperoni and a proud pink joint of proscuitto. I pointed to the cured ham, but instead of carving a slice by hand, the chef reached for a plastic bag of meat and ran it through a machine. Nevertheless, the rich, salty meat was fresh and flavoursome, especially alongside juicy chunks of fresh honeydew melon.
Next we turned to the bakery and we were just in time. Straight from the oven, a seafood pizza was shuffled from the peel onto a wooden cutting board, where it was sliced and served, still steaming. It was extremely light yet packed with mozzarella, mushrooms and oregano. There were also thin discs of bruschetta crouching under toppings of flushed tomatoes, crisp onion and fresh green peppers. And, naturally, a selection of crusty warm breads to be broken under whispers of steam and enjoyed with salad leaves from the antipasti bar.
When it came to serving ourselves, all was well. But the busy waiters were clearly having trouble remembering drinks orders. Plus they insisted on serving mineral water by the glass instead of leaving a bottle on each table and letting us get on with it – this buffet hopping is thirsty work. By the time we’d been refreshed, I’d taken a hefty carving of beef, which was pink and tender but clotted with fat. There was also lamb, fish, vegetables and a selection of sauces. But we decided to test the waiters again by ordering from the small à la carte selection of pasta dishes. They appeared a few minutes before our cutlery did. The cannelloni was a rolled carpet of al dente pasta and creamy cheese filled with a soft pulp of minced beef. Meanwhile, my friend’s crab tagliatelle was full of fresh tomato, but woefully lacking in seafood.
The children cooed and crowded around the dessert buffet, transfixed by the chocolate fountain. So I sneaked a piece of dusty apple crumble with rhubarb and a scoop of soft vanilla ice cream from under their noses before we left the straggling crowd to whatever they were doing. The Andiamo brunch is many things to many people.
By Time Out Dubai Staff
- Previous reviews
- 21 April,2014- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 15 April,2013- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 22 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 24 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 06 April,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 19 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 02 September,2008- reviewed by Daisy Carrington
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Jeremy Lawrence
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 28 June,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 01 March,2004- reviewed by Rob Orchard
- 01 June,2003- reviewed by Rob Orchard
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