The Friday brunch at McGettigan’s Madinat Jumeirah isn’t exactly like your average Friday pub feast. Which is perhaps appropriate. Perched as it is next to turquoise waters and kitted out with state-of-the-art plasma TVs for assorted sport, it’s not exactly the Dog and Duck in London’s Soho.
Its primary selling point might sound like its generous run-time, but don’t discount the joys of its menu, either. More on the crab Benedict later, but for now, let’s start with the hours.
Not only does The Long Lunch brunch run from noon until 5pm every Friday, but last bookings can run until 4.30pm. And while you may struggle to get your money’s worth if you roll up four and a half hours’ into a five-hour service, we’re guessing that if you can’t manage to get anywhere before 4.30pm on a given day, you are either a rock star or too financially free-wheeling to care in the first place.
The deals are straightforward, easy enough to grasp by even the hooray Henrys and Henriettas of the unlimited persuasion. Dhs279 gets you three courses and five selected drinks, while Dhs349 (hello, Henry) offers a free-flowing option. There’s also live music. And on our visit an exuberant group of punters with vague ambitions to dance. Though we trust – nay, hope – that they aren’t a regular fixture.
As for those courses, they break down as follows. Starters include hand-picked crab Benedict, which is excellent, as is the foie gras terrine, which comes with a sharp apple and pear, presumably Cockney, chutney on the side. There are also scrambled eggs and salmon (good-sized portion), asparagus and turkey ham, an antipasti platter (for two), a cheddar and leek tart and a salad. All of which we’ll be back to try. Apart from, if we’re being perfectly honest, the salad.
Mains see the arrival of a choice of two roasts, lamb shoulder or beef short rib, as well as open sandwiches, pasta, fish and chips, risotto, chicken, duck and salmon. We swerve the lot and dive head-first into a pot of Irish mussels in a shallot, chive and cream broth that’s excellently seasoned and deep in rich flavour. The garlic flatbread it comes with, though, is an odd pairing – surely something bloomery or bappier to mop up all those juices?
By the time the puddings arrive, those aforementioned dancing diners are well and truly committing rhythmic murder on the dancefloor, but the desserts do just about enough to divert the gaze.
It is, frankly, the weakest part of our meal and, with a choice of just four options including a crème brûlée, a honey tart and a panna cotta, hardly broad.
Nevertheless, the peach and caramel sundae that comes loaded with marshmallows?
Lip-smacking. And quite unlike your average Friday pub feast.
Dhs279 (three courses and five drinks), Dhs349 (unlimited house drinks). Fri noon-5pm. Umm Suqeim (04 447 0219).
The bottom line
Great value and tons of fun. Good food, too.