If you get to the Geales brunch before it starts, you might think you’re in for a quiet Saturday. However, as soon as the clock strikes noon, the place quickly fills up with families and kids – which is fitting as it’s billed as a lazy family brunch.
Located in Le Royal Méridien’s beach resort, Geales’ all-white outdoor seating exudes weekend fun and holiday vibes.
After changing our assigned table from the rather calm indoor seating of the British-inspired dining room (think Union flag cushions alongside a large central seafood bar), we proceed to the bright and sunny outdoor area. Full of happy, positive vibes, the casual venue is a good fit for a lazy Saturday brunch.
We sit near to the kids’ area, and the sound can’t be drowned out by the mellow beats, so if you’re brunching without the kids then you’d be best off looking elsewhere. If, however, you’re dining en masse, it’s an excellent option, thanks to the plethora of activities from face-painting to bouncy castles. The fact that kids under 12 dine free doesn’t hurt, either.
The service is friendly and swift, and the brunch is soon underway.
We start off with sharing appetisers from the à la carte set menu served to the table. It promises Great British fare, but starters fall short of expectations.
A much-anticipated prawn cocktail is drowned in dressing, while a caprese salad lacks that fresh taste. Brioche topped with mushrooms doesn’t fare much better and is exceptionally bland. The colcannon bon bons are an interesting dish, though, and are pleasantly robust in texture and flavour.
Some of the main courses are an improvement, such as the roast dinner, which boasts crispy yet fluffy roast potatoes and juicy chicken. But the traditional shepherd’s pie is overly salty, while the fish and chips swim in grease. Vegetables and a sad looking Yorkshire pud are on the soggy side, too.
The promised red onion and goat’s cheese tart is nowhere to be seen, yet we’re not disappointed.
After a short break it’s on to dessert. Happily, the famous Geales sweet shop is a delightful sight, with colourful puddings and sweets displayed all around, like a small-scale Willy Wonka’s factory.
Heaving under the weight of sugary treats, this course is sure to delight the hoards of mini brunchers (and us older ones, too).
The sticky toffee pudding, which is tasty and indulgent, is the winner of this round.
The family-friendly atmosphere at Geales will keep the whole gang happy, but if you’re looking for a excellent culinary choices for a Saturday afternoon, you’re unlikely to find them at this brunch.
Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs385(house beverages), Dhs125 (kids aged 13-18), free (kids under 12). Noon-4pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 316 5550).
The bottom line
Good for families, if not feasting.