In a tweet: A playful party event for the young at heart. Best for partygoers.
The venue: Having opened during late-2014, China Grill has emerged as an impressive, trendy bar and restaurant in the Westin Mina Seyahi. Specialising in Asian fusion food (the original in New York was one of the first to do so), it’s dark and sleek, and feels like a real destination brunch.
The food: There is lots of it. More than a dozen different courses are to be had, and there are live cooking stations, including one for moreish crispy duck wraps. Most dishes will be brought to your table, including salty and spicy edamame beans, while a dim sum trolley offering some great dumplings including vegetable, chicken, duck and shrimp will be rolled over to you. A huge sushi and futomaki platter is filled with enough inventive variations to keep you interested for a long time, and that’s before soft shell crab, chicken salad, calamari and chicken skewers turn up. When you think you’re going to burst, there’s a big plate of spicy wagyu striploin and some barbecue salmon. There are also some playful desserts, if you’ve still got some space.
The drinks: The current drinks package includes grapes and Russian shorts, but we hear that the offering will soon be extended to include hops and other beverages. For those who can afford a little more, there’s also a bubbly package.
The crowd: This is a place to party. China Grill will only accept bookings of four or more people, which we feel is a little restrictive, but at least makes for a good crowd. The brunch’s emphasis is balanced finely between having a blast and enjoying the food, so you’ll get those who want to let their hair down as well as serious foodies. This is not one for families.
The dress code: The vibe is that of a New York club, so dress up if you want to fit in.
The service: Lots of staff bringing wave after wave of food. They’re efficient, if not the friendliest bunch in the city.
Extras & entertainment: Performers pop up throughout the afternoon, including mime artists and dancers. There’s also a booming DJ playing house and funk music. Drinks are served elaborately, but it’s all part of the TOY fun.
Highs & lows: The food is superb – if there’s anything that doesn’t tickle your tastebuds, don’t worry, there’ll be something else along soon that probably will. It can be a little overwhelming, though – this is a full-on experience.
The after party: The bar remains open at China Grill, and friends are welcome to join you from 3pm. Or you could always take the short walk over to Barasti.
Dhs450 (grape and shorts), Dhs550 (bubbly). Fri 1.30pm-4.30pm. The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, www.chinagrillrestaurant.com (04 511 7333).