Legendary brunches

Time Out Dubai is the guide to the best brunch in Dubai. Here we profile the pick of legendary brunches in Dubai. Get reviews, contact details and more

You haven't 'done brunch' until you've been to one of these top spots in Dubai that quite frankly, every resident of the emirate should have tried at some point. Some are known for providing an awesome party, others are great to attend with the family, or just so posh you have to treat yourself to the experience at least on a special occasion. Either way, these are the talking point brunches of Dubai.

+971 4 317 6000 Dubai Marina

When entering this Latin American restaurant, you can’t miss the sculpture of a fierce bronze bull, there to remind you that this place means business when it comes to food. The staff, who are thankfully friendlier looking, show us to our table. The décor is mature, with low amber lighting and contemporary art. The menu is excellent from top to bottom. For starters, try for the smoked guacamole, which goes well with crunchy tortillas. Choosing a steak for your main course is a must. It will be cooked perfectly. For a special meal or a night out with close friends, Toro Toro is one to add to the must-list.

Traiteur is closed during summer 2017 for refurbishment

Trends and fashions have changed over the years in Dubai, but the quality of this French fancy has stood the test of time. Its Creek views, waters’ edge tables and serene vibe play their parts as much as the food ever has. Indoors, the open kitchen is a lovely touch, offering plenty of chef-watching, but what they’re cooking has changed a little bit. No longer exclusively French, the menu is confusing now, with categories and subcategories that stray all over the world. Staff aren’t the best at explaining what’s going on either but it seems that the best way to order the food is, wait for it, in waves, with plates to share. For those who long for a main course all to themselves, the “Be Social” part of the menu features large plates that are enough for one. So, you can keep the chicken breast, black hake and short ribs all to yourself. Thankfully, what is served is still of the highest order. A zesty mackerel starter is exquisite, doused in a sweet and sour escobeche sauce, and the lamb rack from the “Main Event” section of the “Classics” column is one of the more brilliantly cooked pieces of meat you’ll
try in the city. Try it with plump, juicy, sweet flash-roasted cherry tomatoes.

American +971 4 217 0000 Garhoud

Please note, this review is from 2012. The picture are from 2016.

What’s on offer?

If by some bizarre fluke you were unaware of Yalumba’s reputation before booking, this brunch’s intentions become as crystal clear as a bubbly glass the minute you take a seat among the balloons, party hats and hooters that line the tables. This one’s a renowned party brunch, and the twee props and free-flowing bubbly – of three different yet notable varieties – don’t let you forget it. Food-wise, there’s both an à la carte menu and a small buffet area. But this brunch’s priorities are spelled out simply by reading the back of your waiter’s uniform. It boasts proudly the thousands of bottles uncorked at brunch over Yalumba’s notorious tenure.

The venue?
The small and cosy indoor restaurant is far from the most exotic venue in Dubai, but things are livened up by a cheese-tastic DJ, which can have punters on the dancefloor by 3pm on rowdier days. It’s better in winter months when the pleasant terrace becomes a bearable place to linger throughout the afternoon.

What sort of crowd turn out?
While it’s very much a party brunch, it’s far from the cheapest option in town, so it’s generally one you’d be unlikely to visit every Friday. Expect an older crowd with a few bob spare, in the mood to let their hair down. Noisy, convivial and quite a lot of fun, but Yalumba won't be to everyone's taste.

Room for improvement?
The food is far from spectacular. The buffet itself is pretty miniscule and largely unappealing, and the à la carte options rarely stretch beyond adequate.

Standout dish?
The à la carte menu is far superior to the buffet offerings. The only real standout is the range of quality bubbly on offer. But we’ve seen hungrier folk than us tucking into the full English breakfast with relish.

In one sentence…
It’s all about the bubbles.

Dhs499 including the full range of drinks. 12.30pm-3.30pm, Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud (04 702 2455).

Jumeirah

What’s on offer?
It would be easier to list what isn’t on offer. Three restaurants join forces to dish up almost every food imaginable. Among others, there's a sizeable sushi station, a cheese section, oyster bar, live Asian cooking stations, seafood galore, plenty of steaks and Brit grub, plus a huge dessert section with a dedicated chocolate table. The presentation of food is immaculate, and service is swift, efficient and unobtrusive. As you stroll around the venue you’ll also stumble upon various mixed drinks stations (the lemon fountain is a sight to behold). In terms of entertainment, there’s a three-piece band belting out popular hits, an outdoor petting zoo (during the cooler months) and a group of gawp-inducing Chinese acrobats.

The venue?
The main Westin dining hall, Blue Orange, is light, bright, airy and enormous – it can get pretty loud once the band strikes up and hungry brunchers go on the prowl. Alternatively, you can sit in Hunters (near the steak) or The Spice Island (which houses the Asian section) for a more intimate, less ostentatious atmosphere. In winter, there are also tables outside overlooking the Westin gardens.

What sort of crowd turn out?
It’s very family-friendly and it doesn’t get as rowdy as some rival brunches – maybe the higher price discourages younger revellers. Nearly everyone is smartly attired: women wear dresses and vertiginous heels and men don open-collared shirts and perfectly pressed chinos.

Room for improvement?
The band and acrobats could do with turning the volume down a little: if you’re seated near the speakers, conversation is impossible.

Standout dish?
Steak and Yorkshire puddings from Hunters – the meat is cooked while you wait. Superb.

In one sentence…
Everyone should try it at least once, because for sheer scale, decadence and spectacle, Bubbalicious is hard to beat.
Dhs450 including soft drinks, Dhs550 including bubbly, Dhs680 including premium bubbly, Dhs225 (children aged six-12), free (kids under six). Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, Jumeirah (04 399 4141).

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