We bring you the ultimate family feasts to try from this year’s Time Out Kids Awards Best Family Brunch winners – plus, the new ones on the scene that are going the extra mile to keep the kids (and the adults) happy.
THE AWARD WINNERS
FAMILY BRUNCH, BREAD STREET KITCHEN, ATLANTIS THE PALM
This brunch took the crown at this year’s Awards thanks to a combination of excellent nosh (Gordon Ramsay’s behind it, after all), a great atmosphere and a few special touches that keep families coming back for more. There are delicious mini pizzas, sliders, classic roast dinner dishes, fresh seafood and a host of great desserts to boot. And there’s also a bouncy castle and face-painting out on the lovely lawn outside, plus a make-your-own-cookie station and a Willy Wonka-style sweet shop inside. All that, plus the kids get free tickets to Atlantis The Palm’s Lost Chambers Aquarium (right opposite the restaurant), topping off a near-perfect experience for the whole tribe. It’s a bargain, and a brilliant day out as well. Superb.
Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs335 (house beverages), Dhs95 (children aged four to 11), free (under-fours). Includes free entry to The Lost Chambers Aquarium and activities in The Beyond the Sea Activity Village. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
SUPERHERO BRUNCH, MAZINA, THE ADDRESS HOTEL DUBAI MARINA
When it could be anyone from Superman to Wonder Woman serving your table and Magic Phil topping off the entertainment bill, it’s no surprise this is consistently voted one of the city’s favourite family brunches. Highly commended by us this year, superhero costumes are actively encouraged and the kids have their own corner, piled high with finger-food staples such as sandwiches, chips, nuggets, chunks of veg and carrot cakes – right next to the bouncy castle.
Adults can choose from a vast array of dishes, including perfectly-roasted meats and some of the finest pan-Asian cuisine in the city, to teeny, tiny tasters of seared tuna and mango salsa that look almost too good to eat. But what really gives this brunch the edge is the experience itself. With face-painting, magicians, and a competition for the best-dressed superhero kid, this a brunch that has it all – in spades.
Dhs315 (soft drinks), Dhs440 (house beverages), Dhs160 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm. The Address Dubai Marina (04 888 3444).
DUKESY BRUNCH, WEST 14TH, PALM JUMEIRAH
There are probably more things for kids to do at this brunch than at almost any other in the city. They can go wild on the bouncy castle, try sandcastle-making, play five-a-side football on the beach, leap around on the outdoor trampoline and do cupcake decorating and face-painting. There’s also three hours’ free access to the kids’ club (for ages three to 12) with a Playstation and movies on loop, an outdoor play area with climbing frames and a jungle gym, and a lazy river that winds down idly from the back of the hotel. Did you get all that? Brilliant, isn’t it? And the food – especially from the grill station – is great, too.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages), Dhs97.50 (kids aged six to 12), free (kids under six). Fri, 1pm-4pm. Dukes Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 447 7601).
NOMAD BRUNCH, JUMEIRAH CREEKSIDE HOTEL
This brunch is almost a Dubai institution and is set in some of the prettiest surroundings in the heart of the city. Nomad seems to be as popular as ever, year after year, thanks to a fun, laid-back atmosphere (it overlooks the Irish Village, after all) and the grown-ups are every bit as catered for as the kids, with signature tipples, oysters, steak and lobster served while a catalogue of sing-along, chart-topping music rings out around you. There’s a gorgeous, supervised picnic area for the little ones and – of course – a bouncy castle.
Dhs240 (soft drinks), Dhs340 (house beverages), Dhs95 (children aged seven to 11), free (kids under six).Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Rebat Street (04 230 8458).
SUQ RESTAURANT BRUNCH, FOUR SEASONS RESORT DUBAI, JUMEIRAH BEACH
A decadent feast awaits the whole family at the lively, market-style Suq restaurant, which features an eclectic buffet boasting big flavours including Middle Eastern, Western and Asian specialities, as well as a lavish seafood presentation. The childrens' play area situated handily within table-distance will keep the brood entertained as you enjoy oysters freshly shucked at the table. There are sharing platters brought out, too, should your feet give up on the buffet. It’s a proper treat.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs500 (house beverages), Dhs690 (bubbly), Dhs175 (kids six to 12), free (kids five and under), Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 270 7777).
RONDA LOCATELLI BRUNCH, ATLANTIS THE PALM
Highly commended at last year’s Time Out Kids Awards, Ronda Locatelli’s Brunch All’Italiana is an afternoon where children can get stuck in and make their own pizzas, have a dabble in the art studio or learn a few tricks with the in-house magician. And because it’s crafted by celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli, this brunch also offers incredible, delicious Italian food served in sharing-style courses, and the olive tree-lined gardens with ocean backdrop are pretty impressive, too.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), free (kids under 11). Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
FLOW KITCHEN BRUNCH, FAIRMONT THE PALM
This is a brunch that’s jam-packed with fun activities for little diners, who have their own space to enjoy face-painting, balloon-twisting and a magic show. A cartoon character might even turn up to share their chicken nuggets, and we adults can then sit back and enjoy the signature buffet of Asian dim sum and Peking duck, rib-eye steaks and Yorkshire pudding, and even slices of Brazilian churrasco. All this and the panoramic views across to the Dubai Marina make this a brunch to remember.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs148 (kids six to 12), free (kids under five). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).
SECRET GARDEN BRUNCH, THE WALDORF ASTORIA, PALM JUMEIRAH
Enjoy brunch here in a relaxing, family-style garden setting. The food includes a colourful pickled vegetable bar and a freshly prepared organic, green salad made from herbs and flowers from the hotel’s own garden. More brunch classics are available in the form of seafood, grills and the perennial Waldorf salad, as well as an impressive selection of French cheeses and freshly baked pies, Meanwhile, the kids can visit the garden with the chef, where they can learn about how food is made. You even get to take home your own pot of basil.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs425 (house beverages), Dhs600 (sparkling), Dhs725 (French bubbly), half price (kids six to 12), free (kids under six). Fri 1pm-4pm. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah (04 818 2222).
FARRIERS BRUNCH, THE MEYDAN HOTEL
This is a laid-back Friday affair. Farriers is a hugely spacious, light and airy equestrian-themed restaurant, and brunch here comes complete with an indoor bouncy castle (yes!) and super-busy kids’ area for an afternoon of catching up and tucking in. There’s a live jazz band and a spread that covers everything from the roast dinners to the finest in pan-Asian cuisine. Plus, the kids will love the popcorn machine, candy floss maker and, of course, the chocolate fountain.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs155 (kids aged five to 12), free (kids under four). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Farrier’s restaurant, Meydan Racecourse, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba (04 381 3111).
FRIDAY FARMERS FAMILY BRUNCH, AL FORSAN, BAB AL SHAMS
Who doesn’t love the idea of brunch in the middle of the desert? Well, okay, it’s more of a five-star dining experience (with the price tag to match) but it’s about as authentic as you can get in terms of the stunning setting nestled between the dunes and there’s a delicious Middle Eastern slant on the spread, alongside the usual international favourites. The kids’ corner features a whopping 20 different desserts from all around the world (sorry!) but the restaurant does boast an impressive healthy dish selection to counterbalance all the greed. A bit.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs515 (house beverages), Dhs175 for children aged five and older. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Al Forsan, Bab Al Shams, Al Qudra Road (04 809 6100).
BRAND-NEW FAMILY-FRIENDLY BRUNCHES
PICNIC PANTRY BRUNCH, CROWNE PLAZA FESTIVAL CITY
We love this al fresco brunch served on the gorgeously lush lawns of the Crowne Plaza Festival City. There’s a homely twist to The Picnic Pantry where you can fill up your picnic baskets with a selection of gourmet treats including artisan sandwiches, salads, and cheeses, or choose from the barbecue platters of king prawns, lamb chops and beef brisket, surrounded by white picnic benches, cushions and umbrellas overlooking the Dubai Creek skyline. Little brunchers will love the activity zone, kids under 12 dine for free and there’s now all-day pool access included!
Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages). Kids 12 and under free with one paying adult per two children. Fri 12.30-4pm. Crowne Plaza Festival City (04 701 2222).
CARTOON BRUNCH, MÖVENPICK JLT
More character carry-on here at the newly-launched Cartoon Brunch at Mövenpick JLT’s Nosh restaurant. Think Fred’s favourite roasts, Homer’s burgers, Kung Fu sashimi and Mutant Ninja pizzas with themed desserts all from the Power Bites buffet. There’s also face- painting, movies, arts and crafts and a photo booth (for the adults as well as the kids!). This is a great-value brunch where the staff are also dressed as famous cartoon characters, and you can opt to dine on the terrace with space-age views of the surrounding towers.
Dhs149 (soft drinks), Dhs259 (house beverages). Kids age six to 12 dine with a 50 percent discount, free (kids aged five and under). Fri 12.30-4pm. Mövenpick JLT (04 438 0000).
GEALES FAMILY-FRIENDLY FRIDAY BRUNCH, LE ROYAL MÉRIDIEN RESORT & SPA
Who says brunch is just for Fridays? Le Royal Méridien Resort & Spa has launched a new Saturday brunch featuring four courses of great British classics served to the table to share and a range of puddings such as Eton mess and sticky toffee pudding that will take you right back to your childhood. You’ll have trouble keeping the kids (big and small) away from the eye-popping traditional sweet shop. There’s the obligatory bouncy castle but also kids’ yoga, face-painting and games on the lawn to keep them occupied all afternoon.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (house beverages), Dhs99 (children aged 13 to 19), kids 12 and under dine for free. Sat 12pm-4pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 316 5550).