In a tweet: Great venue but disappointing food at this à la carte offering. Best for groups of friends.
The venue: Geales has a spacious indoor area, decked out in British-themed paraphernalia (think Union Flags, post boxes and black and white photographs of Olde English gents). There’s also an impressive fish counter and bar area. Weather-permitting, most of the brunch action takes place on the terrace, which has great views of the hotel’s gardens.
The food: Promising course after course of British fare, the menu looks amazing, but doesn’t live up to its billing. Far from being packed with British classics as described, there are a few missteps, including the distinctly American (and very stodgy) macaroni with cheese. One oyster each as part of the cold starter course also feels very mean – especially when you’re sat gazing at the fresh fish counter packed with the slippery delicacies. In fact, it all seems a little on the stingy side; a small, floppy and lukewarm quiche was perhaps the lowest point of all on our visit. The high point, though, is the Yorkshire pudding, stuffed with roast beef, mash and gravy, but out of 16 things listed, that’s not really enough. The menu does change regularly, though, so that’s not to say there won’t be more things now available to hit the spot.
The drinks: Two packages are available – soft drinks and house beverages. You can expect sparkling, Belgian hops or red or white grape on the latter, as well as a small selection of mixed beverages.
The crowd: A few couples and families, as well as groups of friends enjoying themselves.
The dress code: Smart casual is fine, though some guests are dressed glamorously, ready to keep the party going.
The service: Some staff members are more helpful than others. On our visit, it took a while to get any service initially, and then we were seen to sporadically.
Extras & entertainment: Some background music, but that’s it.
Highs & lows: The food, rather than being poor, is simply underwhelming, and there isn’t enough of the better options. The chips are great, though more fish would be welcome. Given the restaurant’s usual menu, a seafood platter would really lift this brunch.
The after party: Move on to other venues in the Le Royal Méridien, or take a short ride to Pier 7 in Dubai Marina.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs500 (house beverages), Dhs175 (children aged five to 12), free (children under five). Fri 1pm-4pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, www.geales-dubai.com (04 316 5550).