The brunches that do well with families, are the ones that go beyond a colouring book, pot of pencils and a stab at a kids’ menu (chicken nuggets and hot dogs don’t always cut it), which is just one of the reasons why Bread Street Kitchen & Bar is the winner of the Time Out Kids award for Best Family Brunch 2019.
On our most recent visit, it’s still a tad too hot to even consider a table on the roomy terrace, which is surrounded by an appealing bougainvillea-lined lawn. But as soon as the mercury drops, being able to sit al fresco near the playground and the outdoor activities – bouncy castle and puppet show included – that appear with the cooler weather, will be beneficial for those with younger children who need keeping an eye on more closely.
Instead we join all the other families – of which there are many – inside, where traditional wood finishes and comfortable looking banquettes are illuminated by mellow amber lighting.
The restaurant by Gordon Ramsay is all about traditional British fare and the brunch provides a showcase of some of the celebrity chef’s signature dishes.
Kick things off by loading your plate from the small, but well-stocked raw bar where healthy salads, smoked salmon and cured meats can be found in abundance.
A dedicated cheese station is loaded with artisanal offerings including pungent blue-veined stilton and oozing, creamy brie.
After much deliberating (the childrens’ menu has four starters and five mains to choose from) the kids go for macaroni cheese (better than they get at home apparently) and chicken wings (can we eat these every day?) to share as a starter, followed by cheeseburgers (they’re good, but we are a bit full, plus the face painter is over there and the queue isn’t very long) as the unanimous choice for mains – though there is a grilled chicken, broccoli and mash option that will appeal to more health-conscious parents.
Back to Mums and Dads. Mini pots of satisfying cottage pie, fall-off-the-bone ribs and dinky Yorkshire puddings piled high with hearty slices of roast beef are among our favourite of the comforting hot starters lined up in front of the open kitchen.
The children, clearly oblivious to the heat, love the playground, but are lured back inside by the chance to make their own playdough in the dedicated kids’ area as well as the ice cream bar and the cupcake-decorating station.
Little people otherwise occupied, it’s time for parents to get stuck into the mains. We opt for seabass – flaky, meaty, perfect – and the waiter suggests we have the lamb shoulder to share as well – perfectly cooked, incredibly tender – from the menu, which always includes a fish, meat and vegetarian option.
The dessert offering looks appetising – pretty coloured bite-sized cakes alongside little glasses filled with mousses and parfaits. But we make a beeline for the ice cream bar and queue up alongside the kids to choose from a good selection of flavours – cookie dough wins. One regret? Not choosing a cup for the creamy frozen pudding as the cone is disappointingly not as crunchy as expected.
It’s little wonder that this brunch is so popular with the younger diners – free access to the Lost Chambers Aquarium alone beats a pot of crayons any day.
Dhs240 (soft drinks), Dhs355 (house beverages), Dhs105 (child – includes entry to The Lost Chambers Aquarium). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2000).
WHAT IS IT...
A fun family Friday brunch that’s equally as enjoyable for kids and parents
It’s packed with other families so the children can be off having fun while mums and dads get stuck into the quality food and the
WHAT THE KIDS SAY
I love the playground and being able to go inside and outside freely. It’s fun to be able to choose the fruit I want for my juice, and to be able to shake it myself in a silver shaker.
The cupcake decorating is awesome – I decorated about ten. Hanging out in the kids’ zone is fun too, I made loads of bracelets and necklaces for my Mummy.
I love the face painting and being able to make my own playdough. Macaroni cheese is my favourite and the one at Bread Street Kitchen is even better than my Mummy’s, but don’t tell her!