School is back and the summer is almost behind us, which can only mean one thing: brunch season is back. To help you sort through the madness, Stacie Overton Johnson has rounded up the best new brunches to try in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The Great British Brunch at Reform Social & Grill
The Lakes, Emirates Living District, Dubai
Launches on Friday, September 16
This brunch offers a nostalgic culinary tour featuring childhood favourites from around the UK. Favourite dishes include the campsite picnic platter, with bites such as the Leicestershire broccoli and stilton tart and smoked mackerel pate, inspired by Cornwall. Representing Yorkshire, you have mini toad-in-the-hole, and don’t miss the mustard chipolatas from Norfolk. There’s even fish pie with salmon, mussels and British cheddar cheese, a taste of the Cornish Riviera. Desserts include apple crumble with custard, or visit the ice cream parlour.
• Fridays, noon to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm. Dh260 with soft drinks. Call 04 454 2638
Swanky Indian Brunch at Spice and Ice
Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai
This new Indian restaurant has just added a Friday brunch for under Dh200. Choose from the à la carte menu – including paneer makhani, lamb masala, butter chicken, pav bhaji, aloo mutter and more (all with bread and rice) – cooking stations, and an Indian snack station. The dessert platter served at the end of the meal includes mango shrikhand, rose mousse and, of course, gulab jamun.
• Fridays, noon to 4pm. Dh199, including unlimited beverages. Call 04 421 1356
Fiesta del Sol Brunch at Bu
The Hub at The Mall at World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi
This Latin restaurant serves a family-friendly brunch, with the added attraction of a dedicated kids’ play area. The set menu is served tableside and showcases house favourites such as papas bravas (potato, garlic, mayonnaise, Guajillo, and paprika) and arroz chaufa (mixed seafood with onion, cream, chilli, and Parmesan crust). There is also a dessert tasting platter. For the kids, there is face painting, games and movies, plus a special menu that includes chicken quesadillas, pasta pomodoro, fruit salad and more. Live music adds to the festive family vibe.
• Fridays, 12.30pm to 4.30pm. Dh250 with soft drinks; Dh100 for ages 6 to 12. Call 02 666 8066
Secret Garden Brunch at Mezzerie
Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah
The Secret Garden Brunch is inspired by the hotel’s new organic garden. Held in a family- style garden setting, it features a pickled-vegetable bar, an organic green salad made with herbs and flowers from the garden, a water bar, seafood, grills, cooking stations and more. There is also a selection of French raw-milk cheeses and pies. An acoustic guitarist complements the serene setting. All diners also receive a complimentary basil plant.
• Fridays, 1pm to 4pm. Dh345 (excluding taxes) with soft drinks. Call 04 818 2222
Brussels Breakfast Brunch at Belgian Beer Cafe
Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island
Launches on September 23
One for the early birds. Starting at 10am, the breakfast brunch includes breads, pastries, Belgian waffles with Chantilly cream and maple syrup, eggs, English muffins, shakshouka and other worthy breakfast bites. Don’t miss the Old Amsterdam cheese waffles with confit duck, avocado and cherry. There is a grill counter, too, with barbecued ribs, hot dogs, burgers and corn, as well as a make-your-own drink feature. A live jazz band will keep you entertained while you eat.
• Fridays from 10am to 2pm. Dh120 with soft drinks; Dh60 for ages 6 to 12 (excluding taxes). Call 02 656 2000
The Saturday Broast at The Croft
Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
Part breakfast, part roast and part tea, this Saturday “broast” gives the option of a traditional roast or a roast that includes a breakfast starter, along with afternoon tea. For the roast-only option, choose roast beef, chicken with sage and onion, studded lamb, herb-crusted salmon or veggie nut loaf. Each comes with roast potatoes, veggies and gravy. Add a brekkie starter and afternoon tea for the “broast”.
• Saturdays, from 4pm. Dh125 for the roast; Dh175 for the broast; Dh70 for ages 6 to 12. Happy-hour on drinks from 4pm to 8pm. Call 04 319 4794
The Family Fun’ch at Ting Irie
Manzil Downtown Dubai
This one is a fun, lively brunch. This new restaurant offers a break from typical brunch fare, with its authentic Jamaican cuisine. Feast on three all-you-can-eat small plates; two all-you-can-eat large plates, two sides and two desserts. Jamaican specialities include jerk chicken, fish escovitch, Jamaican patties, oxtail cocobread sandwiches (don’t miss these) and more. Try the restaurant’s carnival funnel cake for dessert – you can thank us later. Food is served family- style to your table. A DJ adds to the Caribbean vibe while a table full of games will keep the little ones entertained.
• Fridays and Saturdays, 1pm to 4pm. Dh195; Dh95 for ages 6 to 11. À la carte menu available. Call 04 557 5601
The ‘Friday Best’ Brunch at Crust
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island
Come dressed in your Friday best (it is the Four Seasons, after all) and tuck into seafood and roasts served family-style, complemented by cooking stations and buffet bites. Kids are treated to a mini brunch menu, with a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired sweets display. For kids, there are activities, movies, popcorn, candy floss and educational activities that teach them about the history, landscape and culture of Abu Dhabi.
• Fridays, noon to 4pm. Dh275 with soft drinks; Dh75 for ages 6 to 12 (excluding taxes). Call 02 333 2222
The Chic Brunch at Pierchic
Al Qasr Hotel, Dubai
Launches on Friday, September 16
This brunch is served at the end of a pier overlooking the water. After being transported by rickshaw down the pier, guests are served fresh oysters and drinks. Once seated, a seafood platter is served, including Canadian lobster, crevettes (prawns), Scottish rope-grown mussels, dressed crab and razor clams. Sharing starters include yellowtail carpaccio with chilli and citrus, and foie gras ballotine with apricot, almonds and Sauternes jelly. Mains include whole sea bream, thyme-roasted Angus beef tenderloin, grilled tiger prawns or Mediterranean vegetable linguini. End with the signature dessert, Pearl by Pierchic.
• Fridays, 12.30pm to 4pm. Dh450 with soft drinks. Call 04 366 5866
The Family Brunch at Bread Street Kitchen and Bar
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
This brunch features a range of British-inspired sharing starters, mains (including a classic British roast and fresh catch of the day) and a dessert selection. For kids, there is pizza-making and ice cream workshops. Complimentary access to The Lost Chambers Aquarium is included and kids get free access to Beyond The Sea Activity Village, which offers a range of arts and crafts projects.
• Fridays, 12.30pm to 4pm. Dh225 with soft drinks; Dh95 for kids. Call 04 426 2626
Tapas Brunch at The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill
Citymax Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai
This Spanish-themed brunch at The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill serves hot and cold tapas, along with paella cooking stations. Appetisers and salads include goat’s cheese and polenta crostini, chilled gazpacho shooters, roast beef pinchos and a selection of Spanish cheeses. The tapas menu includes bites such as patatas bravas, and sea bream with Mediterranean vegetables. Don’t miss the Spanish desserts: churros, caramel-topped cream puffs and crema Catalana.
• Fridays, noon to 4pm. Dh149. Call 04 407 8000
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai
This New York City import serves Jamaican cuisine and is one of one two Jamaican restaurants in the country (Ting Irie is the other). The brunch is set to launch this month but a date has yet to be confirmed. The Caribbean food on offer will include Jamaican rancheros, a full Jamaican breakfast, coconut pancakes and more. It will also have hard-to-resist fried chicken and waffles. A brightly coloured interior and reggae music will help set the mood.
• Launch date and price to be announced. Call 04 354 4074
Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers
Vivaldi has just added a Friday brunch buffet. Expect its popular Italian dishes, along with other cuisines – including Indian and Pan Asian – so there is something for every palate.
• Fridays, noon to 4pm. Dh169 (excluding taxes). Call 04 207 1717
Surf and Turf Brunch at West 14th Steakhouse
Oceana Beach Club, Palm Jumeirah
This New York-inspired steakhouse has a new surf-and-turf brunch that is perfect for meat lovers. The menu includes prime cuts of beef, kebabs, burgers and more, as well as a range of seafood. There are also salads, sides and desserts to complete your meal. The brunch offers unlimited food and soft drinks, plus 50 per cent off the price of other select beverages all day. Bonus: kids get free access to the Kids Club while the parents brunch.
• Fridays, 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Dh195 with soft drinks. Call 04 447 7601