In a tweet: A relaxed afternoon with a wide selection of Asian cuisine. Best for a chilled-out brunch.
The venue: Peppercrab is a tranquil space in the day time. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the restaurant with natural light, and most tables look out onto a lush Asian garden full of fountains and bamboo. The huge seats are comfy and perfect for a big brunch meal.
The food: There’s a good spread of Asian salads, Chinese dumplings and Malaysian laksa in theatrical street-style cart stations. Mini bowls of pepper and chilli crab are brought around by staff with all the necessary crab-cracking tools. The sushi spread (in adjacent restaurant, Sushi) is lovely and fresh, and there’s a pile of huge meaty lobster tails on ice with oysters and other assorted seafood. For something different, there’s a barbecue station with juicy meat such as lamb, chicken and beef. When it comes to dessert, there’s mocha and a creamy mango soup in addition to decadent mini chocolate cakes, and an elaborate coconut and crushed ice set up – create your own bowl from a fun multi-coloured assortment of fruits and jellies.
The drinks: Asian bottled hops are available as part of the beverage package, along with sparkling grape and all the other regular house options. There’s a selection of fresh juices and mocktails with the basic package.
The crowd: Mainly families and couples, with a few quiet groups.
The dress code: You don’t need to be too smart here. It’s safe to leave the heels and collared shirts at home – but don’t dress down too much, either.
The service: Attentive and friendly, but not at all intrusive.
Extras & entertainment: Nothing of note. This isn’t a particularly flashy brunch, and feels more like a laidback long lunch. The focus is on the food here.
Highs & lows: With such a strong focus on the food, you’d expect some of it to be a bit more striking than it is. On our visit, the laksa didn’t blow us away and wasn’t hot enough in terms of either temperature or spice. The sushi spread, though fresh, is fairly simple. None of the food deviated from the straightforward and traditional, which is fine, but if you’re going to stick to the basics they should be of a very high standard. This said, the popiah rolls were crispy and had a delicious chili sauce, and the little bowls of chili crab were faultless. We also love that a couple of hours in, trays with comforting hot cups of teh tarik are brought around to enjoy with dessert.
The after party: Continue to keep things chilled at Cooz, the Grand Hyatt’s debonair jazz bar, where there’s a happy hour from 4pm to 6pm.
The verdict: 3/5
Dhs249 (soft drinks), Dhs349 (selected beverages), Dhs100 (children aged six-12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, www.dubai.grand.hyatt.com (04 317 2222).