10 You’ve become a master tactician
Having spent large parts of your professional life stumbling between food-laden tables, your approach to brunch has been refined to a fine art. Like all serial brunchers you’ve developed a system and now believe success at brunch comes down to that first plate. Everybody knows to stay off the breads, but our advice is to go small first. The recon plate is your chance to explore the depth of food available and mentally prepare yourself for the feast that is to come. Without this culinary scouting mission, you could well miss out on live cooking areas, seafood refill stations or even, the pinnacle of all brunch corners, an entire cheese room.
9 You experiment with strange combinations
Does it count as fusion food when you just slop a bit of everything on your plate at the same time? The benefit of varied food at a standard Dubai brunch means you and your dining companions don’t need to agree on a single cuisine. You can all have what you want. Or, if you’re interested in discovering new flavour combinations like we are, you can even get a few flavours on a forkful at the same time. That’s exactly how we found out that roast beef carvery and wasabi work so well together. It’s also how we discovered tiramisu and chicken tikka masala should never be on the same plate. A shame, because tiramasala sounded like such a good concept.
8 Perfect chocolate fountain technique
Like stand-up paddleboarding, juggling fruit or successfully hailing a taxi on a crowded street, using a chocolate fountain for the first time requires confidence and dexterity. The first few times you try you’ll end up in more of a mess and there’s a good chance people will either scowl or laugh at you. Stick with it, however, and you’ll have a useful party trick and the respect of all those who can see you.
7 Early nights
There’s something about eating a week’s worth of calories in the afternoon heat that means a regular bruncher is often sound asleep by 8pm on a Friday night.
6 Portion control
Everything about what and how much you eat becomes confused at a buffet. Healthy eaters, for example, ditch their diet plan and can be seen trying to carry an entire trestle table of carbs back to their seats. As well as forgetting it’s not considered normal, decent or polite to eat four meals in one sitting, things are further confused by mini portions. The popularity of mini-desserts in glasses, canapé dishes and sample plates mean it’s hard to track what you’ve actually eaten. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.
If you hit a buffet hard in the first hour, you’ll fill up and be left for a further three looking hungrily around, but unable to face another bite. Like a thirsty man adrift at sea, you’re surrounded by the thing you crave, but unable to have it. Successful brunch aficionados know they must pace themselves to get through a full session.
4 Menus anger you
After becoming hooked on brunch, going back to ordering just a single dish is something of a culture shock. What do you mean we can only have one thing and we don’t get any seconds?
3 You’ve developed eagle eyes
Like a true detective, a bruncher does not miss a thing. Their body slows down with the weight of half a kilo of carvery on top of a trolleyful of sushi, but other senses are heightened. The second a new tray of prawns arrives, the band starts to play or a barbecue is lit, the bruncher’s eyes, ears and nose will be alerted to new possibilities.
2 Your normal behaviour drastically changes
If you’ve ever been to a party brunch, your definition of normal restaurant behaviour subtly changes. It no longer seems strange to have a playground full of face-painted children in a restaurant. Or for fellow diners to sing at the top of their voice. Or to have some face-painters and clowns sit down at your table and join you for a while.
1 Other meals
Breakfast beforehand? Dinner that evening? Actually we’ve been to thousands of brunches and we’re still no closer to working that out.