BLVD On One’s Friday buffet is set out in the hotel’s bright, airy and huge international eatery, which directly faces (a little too closely) the hotel’s massive, but oddly narrow, swimming pool.
It feels very much like a brunch for the hotel’s guests, since they seemingly go from pool to Friday feast via a quick change into more appropriate attire. And while a table by the window might seem like a good idea in theory, it all just feels that little bit close to the pool.
Food stations are set up throughout the venue, displaying daintily presented dishes that are a delight to the eyes. There are tiny bowls containing different salads, and gazpachos in glasses normally reserved for short measures and mixed drinks. There are also hot plates from Asia, India and the Middle East, and of course, a section featuring barbecued meat – though, it’s nowhere near as substantial and dominating as the brunch’s name would suggest.
In fact, considering the price – from Dhs350 for soft drinks up to Dhs780 for bubbly – there isn’t a sprawling amount of variety and food. Perhaps teaming this offering up with Italian restaurant Quattro Passi’s Friday feast would deliver better value.
Of the pretty little salads, the small petal-shaped dish containing a couple of mouthfuls of beetroot, pomegranate, feta cheese and watermelon is a standout. Also worth picking up is the pumpkin, feta cheese, red pepper, pine nut and crispy kale salad, all drizzled in olive oil. It’s healthy and delicious, and both offer a great start to proceedings.
Later, tuck into a plate of dahl makhani – creamy, nutty, buttery and delicious – Asian bites such as chicken satay, lemongrass chicken and beef teriyaki, and some Middle Eastern meat and fish dishes. Staff also bring a few plates to your table, including quesadillas and more salads. But the main event is, of course, the barbecued meat. The restaurant tells us it has a “seven-ton Milwaukee Smoker where meat is cured for 12 hours each weekend”, and this is the highlight of the afternoon. Go for a wedge of beef brisket and an almighty chunk of beef rib, both of which are beautifully tender, smoky, sticky and sweet.
Save some room for the actual sweets, which include chocolate cake cheesecake and chunks of different flavoured fudge – a very welcome treat.
While neither the food nor the experience is necessarily standout, this brunch does offer a decent introduction to what the classic Dubai Friday feast is all about. It lacks a little atmosphere, but if it’s holiday vibes you’re after, this could be the one to pick.
Dhs350 (soft drinks) Dhs480 (house beverages), Dhs780 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai (04 455 9988).
The bottom line
Decent food, but it could offer better value for money.