The QE2 Brunch at Lido

A buffet brunch on the world’s most famous cruise liner

The QE2 Brunch at Lido
The QE2 Brunch at Lido Image #2

In an age where the buffet brunch is seeing its Dubai dominance challenged by newer, more innovative brunches with fresher formats and, for instance, sharing platters and à la carte main courses, there are a fair number of Friday brunches in Dubai where the buffet remains king.

The Friday brunch at The QE2’s Lido restaurant is one such brunch, and you’ll find it bustling come lunchtime.

If you’re yet to visit the world-famous cruise liner, now permanently docked in Port Rashid and open for business as a floating hotel, then you must pay a visit, if not at least for the bucket list box-ticking factor.

You’ll get the craning your neck upwards experience as you approach the phenomenally large vessel and you’ll find it hard not to ponder quite how this feat of engineering stays afloat. You’ll get the experience of exploring the history-draped hallways – and of course you’ll get the experience of dining aboard the QE2.

But if the perception of dining aboard this historic ship is somewhat glamorised (this isn’t the Queens Grill afterall) and you may be a tad underwhelmed arriving in the noticeably low-ceilinged all-day dining restaurant, Lido.

It’s absolutely heaving when we arrive and the layout of the restaurant makes it feel more like a busy refectory than a fine-dining experience. It feels densely populated and thus the clattering of cutlery and glasses reverberates, making for a less than chic, relaxing setting.

While that might not perturb most brunchers, it does mean we’re unable to hear the two-piece guitarist and singer combo performing at the opposite end of the room.

It must be said, however, that the food on offer at The QE2 Brunch is expertly prepared and well executed, especially for a buffet brunch, many of which can struggle to uphold quality in the face of mass production and hordes of hungry brunchgoers.
We are impressed by the quality of the papdi chaat station, the swathes of seafood, the freshness of the salads, as well as the various stations offering a range of cuisines from around the world from curries to mezze.

There’s a dedicated station to build your own nacho bowl, to have freshly made bao buns built to order in front of you, and a range of pan-Asian options too, from dim sum to Thai green curry.

Plus, we can never say no to a sticky toffee pudding with vanilla custard when it’s on offer.

But our overriding feeling from this brunch is that we don’t know who it’s targeting. It’s filled with a mish-mash of punters – from hotel guests to families and couples – many of whom probably expected more from such a famed historic location.
It’s entertaining as a whole, but needs a bit more refining to really knock our socks off.
Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house drinks). Fri 1pm-4pm. The QE2, Port Rashid (04 526 8888).

A buffet brunch on the world’s most famous cruise liner

Top-quality food from around the world

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