Evening brunch at The Hideout

A daily night brunch in Dubai Marina

Evening brunch at The Hideout
Evening brunch at The Hideout Image #2
Evening brunch at The Hideout Image #3

To paraphrase a once successful party tune - it’s all about brunch every weekend in Dubai. Only, at this Dubai Marina hangout filling the void left by the now defunct late-night cheesefest Societe, it’s brunch every single day of the week.

“Brunch? Every day of the week?” we hear you think to yourself – well quite, we thought exactly the same thing. But it’s because of this marketing gimmick that we’re compelled to head along to see what’s what.

Prior to its opening The Hideout, set in the Marina Byblos hotel, positioned itself as Dubai’s first-ever “Gastroclub”, a place where brunch gets served every day, where there’s footy on the tube (as and when, thankfully not constantly), and where live entertainment transforms the place to a pumping party, from its early evening “speakeasy” vibes  – don’t get us started on the pandemic misuse of that term.

We’re intrigued by the prospect, so head along during what should be peak business hours. We’re the only ones grabbing a bite to eat, on what should be one of the busiest nights of the week for most places in the city, especially in this part of town. And so, surrounded by a squadron of waiting staff, we ask if we can partake in the evening’s brunch package.

It’s a well-priced package, to be fair, and is particularly competitive against many bars in the area. We are, however, staggered when we have a struggle with the waiting staff because of the complete lack of flexibility for anyone with allergy or dietary requirements.

The basic package is a half-chicken with sides and dessert, plus unlimited drinks for three hours. If, however, you want anything other than chicken, perhaps you’re vegetarian, or perhaps you’re just not a poultry fan, then you’ll find your query being met with quizzical expressions, drawing of breath through teeth and awkward silences when you’re then told you have to pay more for the privilege. How very un-2019.

Later in the evening other punters slowly file through the door, and at 9.30pm a live duo come on stage to entertain the smatterings of paying customers dotted around. We’re talking old-school pre-recorded midi tracks, a keyboard and a guitar. The band are alright at best, and things get thoroughly bizarre when members of the public get on stage to sing along.

To be fair, by the time we do leave there’s a respectable number of people having a good time, mainly men sitting at the bar.

Service, on the whole, is attentive (unsurprising, given we’re the only people here for the vast majority of the evening) and friendly – but we just can’t put our finger on this ineffable feeling that something about The Hideout just isn’t that normal.

Maybe it’s encapsulated by the quote on the menu that reads: “please tip generously as we really don’t pay our staff enough”...
Dhs200 (house beverages, Sat-Wed), Dhs250 (house beverages, Thu-Fri). Daily 8pm-11pm. Marina Byblos Hotel, Dubai Marina (058 534 6000).

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