Time Out Says
We were the very first to arrive, and to a very empty brunch, filled only by the sound of vintage Madonna on repeat. Eager to rate the brunch on ‘Frisky’ factor, my friend continued to keep a mental tally (out loud) of how many people had arrived. Not many, is the simple answer.
With a name like that, this new brunch is asking for guests to expect a party. Combined with a mixed drinks station (which only uses Russian beverages), a discount for cabin crew and a system that requires you to pay for brunch up front in return for a colour-coded wristband à la nightclubs, I was surprised (and confused) even to see daylight in this place.
Party expectations aside, we had a reccy of the food. The selection wasn’t vast and there were a few glaring omissions. Strangely, there was no sushi – usually a brunch staple. I’d also been led to expect both a tartare and a foie gras station, which had caused immeasurable excitement. There was in fact no foie gras to be had at all and the tartare ‘station’ was only a man shaping miniscule quenelles from one beef variety.
My friend made a beeline for the hot station (where, frankly, everything on offer looked highly unexciting) and returned with an omelette and two sickly-looking sausages worthy of a motorway service station. There was, however, a refreshingly large selection of Arabian dishes. The shawarma station offered tiny but good wraps, packed with fragrant greens. The cold mezze took up most of the brunch and, thanks to the salads, pickles and dips, I’ve never eaten so healthily at a brunch. Oddly, considering the number of dips (labneh, houmous, moutabbal, baba ganoush and more) there was no bread to be seen.
Here’s where the brunch did shine: when I asked about the bread, the waitress found some and brought it to the table. It was a similar story with all the brunch items – the staff couldn’t bear the fact that you might have to carry anything back to the table yourself. There was also a delicious, vibrantly orange and softly spicy cheese dip, sprinkled with sharp green flecks of pistachio, but sadly no one could tell me what it was. That was the other occurring theme with service at this brunch.
In the end, it was lucky we hadn’t waited until the party was in full swing before arriving. We’d never have made it to brunch, because no party started at all. Granted, this event is new: time will tell whether word will get out to enough party people (and/or cabin crew who want a discounted brunch) to make this place at least a success, if not even slightly frisky.
Dhs188 (soft drinks), Dhs288 (bubbly); half price for cabin crew. All major credit cards accepted. Fri noon-4pm. The H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8888).
By Penelope Walsh | 03 Jul 2012
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