Brunches come in all shapes and sizes in Dubai – from the playful party spots and the cheap and cheery to the more refined and regal dining experiences that leave your wallet begging for mercy.
But Andiamo!, a mainstay Italian restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, refuses to be pigeonholed quite so easily.
The restaurant relaunched with a new kitchen team at the start of the year, and the new chef at the helm presents delicious dishes brimming with effortless sophistication, but also a lively sense of fun.
The food is presented with no shortage of flair and comes in generous portions and with plenty of variety, all at good-value prices.
The happy marriage of elegance and entertainment is clear from the moment you walk through the door. The spacious indoor dining area has a touch of Italian tradition, with striking artworks adorning the walls, while the pretty outdoor terrace is a charming spot to soak up the sun over a few courses.
As we’re led to our table by the smartly attired, friendly staff, we can’t help but notice the front end of a bright red Lambretta pinned to the wall. Our attention is then quickly drawn to a chef, resplendent in his whites, entertaining diners by performing sleight-of-hand tricks with a napkin.
Andiamo! gets top marks for style, and there’s plenty of substance, too. The bumper brunch is packed with authentic Italian dishes presented with finesse. We start off with beautiful bruschetta and hearty Italian breads, kept company on our plate by a variety of tasty cold cuts and an assortment of superb cheeses.
Somehow resisting the urge to fill up on starters alone, we make a move to the station of main courses, picking out a lovely lamb chop, meatballs in a terrifically tangy tomato sauce and a fantastic lasagne that demands a second helping. Fans of pizza and pasta are also well looked after with a wide selection of favourites on offer.
After enjoying such a lavish spread we’re glad we still actually have room for dessert – though the prospect does seem a tad more daunting when we glance over at the huge selection of sweets available.
The crowded table somehow doesn’t buckle under the pressure of the array of treats piled on it. We happily lighten the load by relieving it of a decadent praline crème and a chocolate mousse cake – which will satisfy even the most ardent sweet tooth.
It’s a fantastic end to a delicious brunch that combines a fine-dining setting with a quirky outlook for those keen on a bit of fun to go along with their Friday feast.
Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha (04 317 2221).
The bottom line
A fine Italian spread with a light-hearted feel.