Yum Cha Brunch
A laidback Saturday brunch enhanced by complimentary pool and beach accessThe venue:
Fairmont The Palm’s Chinese restaurant, Bã, is a light, airy space with a tasteful interior of blacks and yellows, and large windows looking out onto the beach. There’s also the option to dine outdoors on the terrace, to get you even closer to the sand.The food:
Brunchers can choose from a selection of dishes split into five courses – soups, appetisers, dim sum, mains and dessert – with the option of reordering as much as they please. The coconut-y Malaysian laksa noodle soup is full of flavour, and starters such as the green papaya salad and chilled lotus root salad with edamame and mushroom are a success. The dim sum, which you’d expect to be the main event, are a little disappointing though, as are the mains, being mostly deep-fried and, on our visit, over-salted. Things improve with dessert, with the mochi ice creams and sticky rice with mango proving hits.The drinks:
Three packages are available, offering a decent if slightly limited selection of just two mocktails as part of the soft drinks package and two mixed drinks as part of the house beverages package. That said, what is available is very good.The crowd:
Having launched only two months ago, don’t expect a huge crowd – just a mix of groups of friends, the odd family and a scattering of couples. A large proportion of brunchers on our visit seemed to be staying at the hotel.
The dress code:
Casual. The brunch includes beach access, so you’re fine showing up in flip-flops and shorts.
Based on our experience, service needs improvement, with repeated mix-ups in terms of dietary requirements and failure on the staff’s part to properly address these. With the venue half full, staff were hardly run off their feet, so we’d expect better.
Highs & lows:
The aforementioned laksa is a tasty start to the meal and the kaffir lime mocktail is a delicious, refreshing drink. Service was, however, an obvious low point and we’d prefer a larger and superior dim sum selection.
Complimentary pool and beach access adds great value and really makes this brunch stand out – without it, we would have left a tad disappointed.The after party:
The hotel puts on a post-brunch party by the pool with lounge-y tunes spun by DJ Jason Kabuki or Ilona from 4pm to 6pm.
Dhs225 (with mocktails, juices and soft drinks), Dhs395 (with signature mixed drinks, grape and hops), Dhs550 (with beach cabana (minimum two people) and a bottle of bubbly). All packages include beach and pool access. Sat noon-4pm. Bã Restaurant & Lounge, Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.dineatba.com (04 457 3338).Best for:
one for everyone