DETAILS: Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (sparkling grape), Dhs549 (premium package). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Atlantic, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 442 5662).
This brunch is all about quality over quantity, offering a four-course meal over a leisurely afternoon that fills you up, but doesn’t overwhelm you.
It begins with a platter of fresh, iced seafood featuring meaty king prawns, Fine de Claire oysters and sea snails accompanied by plenty of sauces, condiments and lemon.
Next, you’re given a choice of starter, main and dessert. Don’t overlook the vegetarian options. On our visit, the delicate salad of marinated baby beets with orange, endive, goat’s curd and coriander is absolutely stunning. Delicately presented and the perfect combination of sweet and sharp with waves of creaminess, it’s a real highlight of the afternoon. The tiger prawns – which come with the addition of crisp garlic chips – are punchy, juicy and just as good, while other options include grilled chicken thigh and salmon rillettes with sourdough.
There’s a good variety of mains, too. We’re impressed by the grilled black Angus strip loin, which is juicy and tender, and the selection of side dishes go with it perfectly (grilled courgette, a delicious rocket salad with white peaches and sublimely crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, thrice-cooked russet potato wedges). Of all the dishes, the lobster spaghettini (with chilli, garlic, olive oil and parsley) excites the least. It’s tasty, and the pasta is lovely and al dente, but it just doesn’t have the same wow-factor of the other options.
This is more than made up for, however, with dessert. The decadent Valrhona chocolate and hazelnut tart comes with a rich ganache, hazelnut crumb and a delightful, icy hazelnut sorbet (it goes down an absolute treat with an after-dinner coffee), while the red berry soup with yoghurt sorbet is refreshing and light.
Drinks in the house beverages package are also inventive and include a spicy tomato-based beverage (it’s made with squid ink to give it a themed twist) as well as a range of grape varieties.
Our only complaint is that some of the tables are too tightly crammed together on the terrace. We end up sitting uncomfortably close to our neighbours, which for couples, isn’t ideal, but for larger groups, this will hardly be an issue. And outside is where you most definitely want to be, to make the most of The Dubai Fountain views.
It’s not the cheapest of brunch options, bearing in mind that the food isn’t unlimited. But we don’t manage to finish everything we’re brought and leave feeling incredibly full.
It may be heavy on the wallet, but considering both the quality of food and the spectacular Burj Khalifa and Fountain views, it’s more than worth it.
The bottom line
A relaxing afternoon in a stunning setting that’s all about the food.
Brunch at The Atlantic
A refined brunch experience with spectacular views and stunning food
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