The zaney, airy interior at Giardino befits a restaurant that is named after the Italian for garden. The terrace gazes out over a landscaped space and pool area (complimentary access to which is available before and after brunch), and through the trees you can see the Creek. It’s a gorgeous spot worthy of attention.
Sticking to a traditional brunch template, this is a buffet and live station affair, but one that serves up quality over quantity. There’s also a fair dollop of pleasing asides, including an Italian gelato trolley doing the rounds for the final hour – you’d be mad to have filled up by then.
Having all the food in one manageable spot is also a real charm, meaning half your time isn’t wasted trotting between choices.
There’s hand-made pasta available to order, as well as hot plates of sumptuous vegetarian lasagne and giant ravioli so big that two of the parcels probably constitutes a meal. Sauces (meat, seafood and vegetarian options) for the fresh spaghetti, tagliatelle and cellentani are whisked up on request.
The most eye-catching station is the carvery, with its flaming hot spit oven, enormous slabs of meat, and grill used to flash fry the steaks to order as well as some of the thickest lobster tails we’ve ever had the pleasure of unshelling.
An ample selection of tandoor dishes in the Indian section, an area of cold cuts, cheeses and a conservative salad section, plus a vast sushi, sashimi, shellfish and seafood bar complete the line-up.
The only blot? A DJ spinning a bonkers selection of pop-house beats that belong absolutely nowhere near a place as laid-back and enjoyable as this.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs550 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Culture Village, www.palazzoversace.ae (04 556 888804 556 8888).
Most impressive dish
Huge lobster tails grilled to order.