The venue: While Pizza Express may not be your first thought when it comes to brunching, this bustling little spot is a great choice for anyone looking for a casual brunch with decent live music. Don’t expect the glam surroundings of a five-star restaurant, but do expect a lively, modern destination with a great vibe.
The food: The concept is straightforward, a sharing platter of starters is served to the table with onion-topped cheesy garlic bread and stuffed mushrooms proving particularly popular. The rest of the menu is concise, with a choice of two pastas, two salads and four different pizzas that can be ordered as many times as you like. It’s simple fare but the pizza is deliciously crispy and the salads, though slightly on the small side, are fresh and full of flavour.
The drinks: A decent selection, especially considering the budget-friendly package cost. Grape, hops, mixed drinks and house beverages are all available as well as unlimited soft drinks and water.
The crowd: Expect a real mixed bag with plenty of families, couples and groups of friends as well as a few bigger groups celebrating special occasions.
The dress code: Definitely casual, although if you want to wear heels no one will object.
The service: The service is very friendly and efficient to start with. Unfortunately, as the day goes on, it gets much slower. This is obviously something the staff are aware of, you’ll be forewarned about it before it happens, so we’re optimistic that plans are being put in place to rectify the situation.
Highs & Lows: The high is the live music which, while not strictly jazz, really gets the crowd going with a good variety of old classics and musical melodies, adding to the infectious buzz of the venue. For the price, the selection of drinks on offer is decent, while the low is the slow service, but we’re sure they’re working on that.
Extras & entertainment: The band belt out hits for most of the afternoon and there's even a bit of a saxophone solo.
The after party: Next door, UBK serves ‘drunch’, kicking off at 3.30pm and offering unlimited drinks.
Best for: a music-filled brunch
Dhs99 (with soft drinks), Dhs159 (with grape, hops and selected beverages), Dhs60 (for kids 6-12 years). From October the beverage package will be Dhs189 and will include additional drinks. Fri noon-4pm. Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A, www.pizzaexpressuae.com (04 4416342).
Family friendly, outdoor seating, live music / entertainment, a la carte