Candypants Dim Sum Disco

A massive shindig on the Palm

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IT’s loud, It’s lively, and when it comes to Dubai party brunches, it’s downright legendary. We’re talking about Candypants, of course, and its new Friday fiesta at Chinese restaurant Maiden Shanghai in the swanky FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

We were such big fans of the original party at XL Dubai (which is a former winner of our Best Party Brunch award) that we feared for the new “Dim Sum Disco” and the supersized stilettos it had to fill.

As ever, we’re always a little taken aback on arrival at the FIVE, with its palatial pillars and stunning views out across the Gulf. As far as location goes, it really is hard to beat, and already the brunch is racking up the points against its previous venue at Habtoor Grand.

In its new location, brunch is set across two floors, and it’s packed.

We’re seated in an adjoining room to all of the main action, where we can still enjoy the vibe but are able to have an audible conversation without shouting and bawling over blaring music.

The biggest shock – and a welcome one – is that Candypants has done away with the buffet, with sharing plates of Chinese fare being brought straight to the table.

We wait with bated breath, having fallen foul to the questionable food of party brunches past, but upon the first forkful of crispy shredded beef we’re pleasantly surprised (especially as we’ve not been bowled over by dishes at this trendy Chinese in the past).

It’s tasty (if a bit cold in parts) and it’s a good sign of what’s to come. The boom boom shredded chicken is delicious, and the crispy prawn and sea bass roll is decent, too.

The steamed spinach with sesame sauce leaves plenty to be desired and the vegetable spring rolls are a bit bland and nondescript, but as far as party brunches go, it’s some of the best grub we’ve found.

Onto the mains and some delicious kung pao chicken (of which we order a second serving) and a platter of crunchy stir-fried green beans make a real impression.

It’s hard to ignore the complete absence of dim sum at the Dim Sum Disco (good job that’s not really what we came for), but we’re so full that we’re willing to turn a blind eye.

In terms of atmosphere it’s as buzzing as ever, and the crowd dance around in true Candypants style as a Chinese dragon propelled on sticks is paraded around the tables.

A drummer takes to the bongos and slaps out beats that make the crowd (us included) go absolutely wild. Everyone is up on their feet and enjoying the opportunity to show off their best moves on the seriously packed dancefloor.

The desserts are unnecessary at this stage, but worth trying anyway, and a chocolate mandarin mousse really takes the crown. And as the brunch wraps up, the party shows no signs of slowing down, as revellers mosey upstairs where a DJ spins out a load of chart and R&B hits.

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Candpants has blown our socks off once again.
Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 9989).

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