DETAILS: Dhs99 (including one hot drink, juices and water), Dhs199 (two jugs of house beverages). Fri and Sat 10am-2pm. Next to Dubai Marina Mall Promenade (04 551 1576).
Brunch in Dubai, lest we forgot, has a totally different meaning than anywhere else.
Chocolate fountains, live cooking stations, roasts being carved, acres of cheese and exotic mixed drinks are not the traditional staples of this long-standing “breakfast-lunch” tradition.
However, at Bistro Des Arts, the quaint French eatery in Dubai Marina, we return to the roots of the concept, as brunch here very much is, well, brunch.
And, happily, this means eggs, pancakes and all those other morning-time favourites. Set overlooking Dubai Marina, the spacious Parisian-style terrace makes a top spot to relax and enjoy the start of the weekend.
Bring the papers to read, chat with friends or just watch the boats sail past and suddenly the time will have flown by.
We’ve walked half of the Marina before we arrive for brunch (and we’re pretty sure it’s more than the 7km total it claims to be), so we turn up at around 11.30am hungry, which is fortunate, as the spread on offer is plentiful.
The atmosphere is buzzy and the crowd diverse – from families to gym-goers refuelling post-workout. Again, unlike at many other brunches in the city, here you won’t need your posh frock or high heels; it’s a come-as-you-are kind of affair.
The brunch is a simple. There are two packages – Dhs99 for food or add an extra Dhs100 for two small jugs of mixed drink. There’s a buffet table to dive into before you order your main course (predominately egg-based) and dessert (sweet crêpes with a choice of fillings).
On the “social table” (aka buffet) you’ll find juices, cereals, breads, quiches and pastries. Plus there’s a platter of yummy French cheeses and plenty of cold cuts.
Take care not to fill up too much on all of the buttery, fresh, moreish pastries though, or you won’t be able to do justice to what’s to come (plus the table’s there all morning so you can always pop back should your pain au chocolat urges prove too strong).
Our perfectly poached eggs Florentine arrive, with a generous portion of spinach and finished with a dollop of not-too-rich hollandaise. We can’t resist a Nutella crêpe for pudding. Typically French, it’s thin and light, with plenty of nutty, chocolately, creamy filling.
After a few moments of contemplation we make our way back to the social table, this time for fruit and yoghurt, disappointed in ourselves that we can’t find room to try some of the freshly baked quiche. Next time, perhaps.
And with that, it’s au revoir, and time to make our way around the second half of the Marina to walk off those croissants.
The Bottom Line
Worth visiting for excellent breakfast classics and a relaxed vibe.