Time Out Dubai is the guide to the best brunch in Dubai. Here we profile the pick of Saturday brunches in Dubai. Get reviews, contact details and more
The first day of the weekend is undoubtedly the most popular time to enjoy brunch in Dubai but Friday isn’t the only day that restaurants in the city put on their finest spreads and serve up buffet and a la carte dishes as part of a package. Here’s where to go on Saturdays in the emirate to take advantage of dining event everyone in the city must do.
Eating probably isn’t the first thing on people’s minds when they come to Blue Marlin. It is, after all, primarily a beach club with an outstanding line-up of international and local DJ talent performing every weekend.
However, anyone who’s been to the Saturday brunch will tell you that the kitchen here turns out some pretty tasty food.
With that in mind, on our latest visit to check out one of the world’s leading DJs – Pete Tong – we thought we’d take a table in the restaurant instead of hanging out at the bar.
It turns out that the view of the DJ booth from the restaurant is pretty special, especially if you nab a table on the edge rather than one of the more loungey tables further back.
It’s a pleasant space, still filled with the beautiful people who come here to be seen, but it’s far less hectic than anywhere else in the venue.
The menu includes a good selection of meat, fish and pasta dishes, as well as salads, sashimi and smaller plates ideal for sharing.
We heartily recommend the padrón peppers and crispy squid, as well as some maki rolls. Prices aren’t as high as you might fear, though drinks will push the bill upwards. It’s a top way to experience Blue Marlin.
The bottom line
Excellent food while you party.
An upscale restaurant vibe with a casual feel is not an easy combination to pull off. But Al Maeda does it with style, both in its understated décor and its menu. Diners can sit down in a sophisticated indoor setting for a more refined experience, or head outside onto the outdoor terrace, where, if the sea views aren’t enough, a TV screen showing live sports will keep your eyes busy. Lovers of Arabic cuisine will also have plenty to choose from. Middle Eastern favourites are celebrated here, from tasty Moroccan tagines, to much-loved staples such as hummus and labneh manakish. What you might not expect, however, are burgers and sliders. You can get your hands on a juicy beef patty, but we can’t resist the lure of the camel burger. A tender cut of meat is served on a behemoth-sized bun, complemented by caramelised onion and a refreshing yoghurt sauce, it’s not your standard fast food fare, which is entirely in keeping with a restaurant putting its own bold stamp on Arabic dining.
After a visit to Nineteen, the European restaurant with wonderful views of The Address Montgomerie Dubai’s championship golf course, you won’t have much to complain about. The dining room is sleek and minimal; all dark wood and sharp corners, with tables surrounding the open “show kitchen” in the centre. It is fine during summer, when outdoor dining is out-of-bounds, but a visit during cooler months demands a spot on the terrace, overlooking the sprawling fairways and, after dark, the beautifully lit lake. An impressive-looking menu features European classics such as burrata, baked fish and a weekly mussels night, and dishes live up to billing nine times out of ten. But given the high prices, you may feel that is one failure too many (the tough, sinewy steaks – one of the menu’s most expensive dishes – are particularly disappointing). For the same cost as a visit here, you could eat at far more sought-after restaurants in the shadow of some iconic Dubai landmarks. If you’re stranded in Emirates Hills and feeling flush with cash, a visit to Nineteen will probably not disappoint. Otherwise, you might be better off trying one of its many rivals.
In our experience, the first thing service staff are likely to do when you arrive at pan-Asian eatery Toshi is introduce you to their generous daily eat and drink, all-in theme nights. Our advice: Ignore them. While those buffet packages are remarkable value – especially with accompanying beverages – it’s always the à la carte where things really shine. And shine they do – classics like a green curry are packed with zest, while more complicated dishes such as the steamed whole sea bass are particularly pleasing. Oddly, it’s the generic starters – typically the satisfyingly hard-to-mess-up bread and butter of any Asian joint – which feel comparatively underwhelming. However, despite pleasant 18th floor views of the Jumeirah sprawl, it’s the somewhat bland venue which might sour the taste. An odd lack of music, coupled with the threat of rowdy buffet diners, creates a sensation of sterility that is more suited to a business meeting than an anniversary dinner. Yet either way you will eat well.
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