In a tweet: A casual brunch perfect for big groups looking for a fun day out. Best for chilling out in the sun.
The venue: Head outside through Sofitel the Palm and emerge into the picturesque, leafy grounds of the hotel, where cobbled stones and a running water feature create a sense of serenity. Seafood restaurant Moana is situated just in front of the hotel’s main pool, with the private beach beyond. If the weather permits, sit outside to soak up the atmosphere. The sound of splashing in the pool, amid the lush surrounds, gives this brunch a peaceful ambience.
The food: Cold and hot starters, a main course and dessert course are served to the table, each artfully plated and presented. The selection will delight pescatarians, being 90 percent seafood. Of the starters, the yellowfin tuna tataki is a delight to eat, while the ginger and chilli-glazed grilled salmon, and pan-seared sea bass with spinach potato puree and black grape salsa will make your taste buds dance. The amount of food served is impressive, but not overwhelming; you’ll get through it all, especially if you work up an appetite in the pool beforehand.
The drinks: A small selection of house beverages, mixed drinks and impressive mocktails are on offer. The pomme vanilla – lime wedge, mint leaves, vanilla syrup and apple juice – is a refreshing thirst-quencher that should not be missed.
The crowd: Expect young families and holidaymakers, many of whom we suspect are the hotel’s guests.
The dress code: Casual. Beachwear is acceptable, but be sure to dry off and cover up before sitting down to eat
The service: Friendly, if a little frenetic. Be watchful of the time and ask for last orders, since staff may forget to inform you.
Extras & entertainment: Guests have access to the beach and swimming pool.
Highs & lows: The presentation and execution of dishes is nothing short of exquisite, especially for the price. And with full-day beach and pool access, value for money is unrivalled. Staff could sharpen up their service skills, though, which should hopefully come with time.
The after party: The hotel’s Porterhouse Bar, Maui Bar and main pool bar all offer buy one, get one free on house beverages from 4pm-7pm.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs100 (children aged six-11), ala carte (children under six). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Sofitel The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 6677).