Post originally on A to Zaatar - www.atozaatar.com
Having had some good and some bad experiences this year, I thought it relevant to share my top 5 brunches in Dubai. If you’re looking for my other Top 5’s, be sure to check out my opinions of appetizers, apps, and desserts. For the uninitiated, Friday Brunch is a place to kick back, catch up with friends, and enjoy a meal and a few drinks together. There is a range of sizes, cuisines, and various levels of debauchery. You’ll note that I rarely (if ever) go to a buffet brunch anymore — yes, I’m a snob, but also, because the waste of food is immense. The below list will reflect that fact. Also, as always, keep an eye on the Entertainer for great 2 for 1 deals — save yourself a few dizzles for drinks after.
INTERSECT BY LEXUS
The brunch at Intersect by Lexus has been on my list for over two years. Picture a civilized affair with natural light, a fantastic duo, an inspired menu, the coolest bathrooms in the city, and well above average service. This is one for people who want to walk out of the venue feeling full, buzzed, and having spent an afternoon catching up with friends. While I haven’t had a chance to return in a while, my only hope is that they’ve updated the menu.
TORO + KO
Although a bit pricier than others, if you’re looking for a chance to sample much of what Toro + Ko has on their full menu, then this is the way to go. As the rest of Citywalk strolls by, enjoy the leisurely pace of tapas. The soundtrack is one of the best in the city and the churros at the end of the meal are worth leaving room for. My request would be an upgrade to the bubbles package — I’d love to see a brand more top shelf/recognizable brand, but this is a very minor quibble.
I went in over the summer with limited expectations. Nothing against Barbary, more that I’d had a bad run of outings and was desperate for my luck to change. Fortunately, Barbary’s ‘brunch affair’ made everything better. If you need comfort food and good music, then Barbary is your best choice. The build your own Bloody Mary station is a fun and creative addition, and the 12-5PM timing ensures a relaxed pace and value for money.
PRIME 68 (007 BRUNCH)
Having stopped in for dinner on an earlier occasion, I was invited back to Prime 68 to experience one of the most memorable brunches in the city. With a menu inspired by James Bond (the puns are perfect), a beautiful setting and brilliant views of the city, this is a place to impress out of towners. The price point matches the quality, but there are few venues that deliver this level of service or wow factor.
With outstanding live music, great grilling, a low key vibe, and views of the Burj Khalifa, while the Radisson Blu Dubai Waterfront might not seem like the location for an excellent Friday brunch, but appearances can be deceiving. Add in an expanded selection of beers (rare for the Dubai market) and it's a venue you'll end up staying well past closing time.
Of course, there are still a bunch of brunches I still want to try, including: Hotel Cartegena, Coya, Nobu, and a revisit to The Hide. As close runners-up on the list above, BOCA does fab themed brunches that are definitely worth checking out, Carnival by Tresind offers something like no one else (even if they go a bit overboard), and you will never leave feeling empty at Bleu Blanc, which also puts a fair amount of emphasis on breakfast.
A to Za’atar was a guest at all of these brunches. Opinions are my own, just ask my husband.
Where is your favorite brunch in Dubai?