Trader Vic’s Madinat Luau Brunch

New Friday offering from the popular Polynsian chain

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Trader Vic’s Madinat Luau Brunch
Trader Vic’s Madinat Luau Brunch Image #2
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Popular polyesian bar Trader Vic’s is a globally famous chain. It might not be the most high-end of joints but it’s kitsch, fun and does some cracking mixed drinks. So when it comes to brunch that’s a lot of the bases already covered.

And the brand, which was established in 1934, has formed a massive following over the years – especially here in Dubai.

Created by Vic “The Trader” Bergeron, there are now multiple locations around the world – with a new one opening on the Palm next year. The Souk Madinat branch has an enviable location, so when it launched a brunch earlier this winter, we couldn’t wait to check it out (in no small measure lured in by the thought of unlimited cheese balls).

There are tables in the Polynesian-themed interiors, but it’s a bit dark inside and with winter weather so lovely, we choose to sit outside.

The al fresco space is pretty, overlooking the Madinat waterways, though it’s quite an odd setting for brunch, with tourists meandering through while a live duo plays and various diners wandering in for à la carte throughout the afternoon.

The vibe is fairly lively, aided by the band and frequent appearances of feather-clad dancers energetically doing carnival-style (oddly not Polynesian) routines to get the party started. But it all feels a little disjointed. Not that we don’t enjoy it, we do, but it’s a bit awkward – possibly as the brunch is so fresh and word is not yet out.

The brunch showcases signature dishes and a pupu platter arrives rapidly with crab Rangoon – which is on the greasy side – tasty duck spring rolls and cheese balls (we’d pretend we didn’t order more of these but you’d know we were lying).

There’s also a mini flame to grill your own beef skewers, which is always fun, but the meat is tender and tasty and holds its own against the novelty factor.

There’s a small salad bar inside, with seafood, raw tuna and other healthy options, as well as pour your own drinks along the bar. Service is rapid though so you needn’t venture indoors if you don’t want, they’ll happily bring you them. And when you consider the regular cost of the signature mixed drinks here the brunch is pretty good value.

Mains are fine, but you’ll have a hard job convincing us that there’s another way to go than that of Trader Vic’s signature snacks. Nevertheless a prawn stir-fry boasts large, juicy shrimp and veggie curry is rich and creamy. Desserts we can take or leave but if you have a sweet tooth the coconut crème brûlée will float your tropical boat.

A fun brunch that while we wouldn’t say is standout, will keep fans of the Trader saying aloha.
Dhs225 (house beverages), Dhs375 (house beverages), Dhs425 (sparkling). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 368 6559).

WHAT IS IT...
New Friday offering from the popular Polynsian chain

WHY GO...
Did someone say cheese balls?

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