This is a brand-new brunch on the block that is really upping the stakes when it comes to keeping the kids happy.
With promises of an American Girl Doll Zone and a LEGO area (kids are also given Magic Planet cards giving them free entry to the arcade and two free games), the four- and six-year-old were standing at the door – their own Truly Me dolls (mums of girls, you’ll know what we mean) Chloé and Jessica, plus several tiny outfits in hand – ready to go an hour before we need to leave.
The Eat. Play. Brunch at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates takes place at all-day-dining Levantine restaurant Olea, where the rather small buffet lacks the wow-factor that a lot of other UAE brunches are famous for.
A majority of the food is laid out across one main station, though around 15 main courses are lined up under large silver domes in front of the open plan kitchen.
On closer inspection however, we are pleasantly surprised to see that size really doesn’t matter as with sushi, Arabic mezze and a cheeseboard for starters, and mains that include curry, Singapore noodles and a tomato fish dish, which is delicious accompanied by some rice to soak up the tangy sauce, there is plenty to choose from.
If you’re not on a carboyhdrate detox then don’t miss the impressive selection of artisan bread, while the spit-roast lamb and paella are perfectly executed and worth a second helping.
With very few vegetarian dishes on offer, the cooked-to-order pasta is a good option for the non-meat eaters as you can choose your sauce and any extras you might like from mushrooms to sweet cherry tomatoes.
But where this brunch wins in our eyes is the band, who wander around the tables belting out top tunes from bygone eras as well as current hits – all in Italian. We promise that it’s far from the cringe-inducing serenading you might get at a café in Italy. In fact, coming to dance was the only thing that enticed the girls back from the American Girl Doll zone.
Free (kids under five), Dhs123 (kids five-12 years), Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-5pm. Olea, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, www.kempinski.com (04 341 0000).
WHAT IS IT...
A new brunch with LEGO and American Girl Doll play zones
The kids will love it and the band rock
What the kids say
There is an entire room dedicated to desserts, just sweets and chocolate and cakes. That is definitely the highlight for me.
Mummy said there was an American Girl Doll zone – and so I took my doll, Chloé with me. She had her hair done and tried on some other clothes. It was so fun!
I played with my American Girl Doll and also build some towers at the LEGO table.