So, a Hungry Swan went to Dubai a few weeks ago to get some vitamin D and visit friends. While we were there these friends suggested we do brunch. Now OF COURSE I said yes. I love brunch, one of the best meals of the day in my opinion. As right minded, forward thinking Londoners, you might be under the impression that you’re familiar with the concept of brunch. This is what I thought as well.
I was a fool.
Brunch in Dubai is like… uber-brunch. The Mummy and Daddy of brunches. It’s not even really brunch to be honest. Or, it’s ‘brunch’ in the same way the Shard is ‘a tall building’, Buckingham Palace is ‘quite posh’ or Oxford St on a Saturday afternoon is ‘a bit stressful’.
Brunch is a bit of a Dubai institution I’m told. They start at either 12 or 1pm and last until about 4pm. Pretty much every hotel does one (hotels being one of the only places you can drink alcohol) so if you read this post and think ‘I could have a piece of that’ there are plenty of options! We went to the ‘Bubbalicious’ brunch at the Westin Hotel near Dubai Marina. Here, you have two choices; you can either have the sparkling wine brunch, or the champagne brunch. And no, you don’t get any prizes for guessing which one I chose…
In terms of booze, this place was deadly. I’m usually the kind of girl who thinks a mimosa with brunch is a bit cheeky, but here there were rivers of alcohol and it seems to be accepted that one of the principal reasons you go to these events is to get tanked. Literally as soon as you’ve drunk an inch from your glass it gets topped up. And not only did you have your UNLIMITED champagne/fizzy wine there were other drinks stands; cider, lager, beer, wine, stalls doing huge watermelons hollowed out and filled with an awesome combination of vodka and watermelon slush puppy (anyone else remember those?) and loads of other cocktails too. There were probably soft drinks stands around as well, but when you’ve paid as much as we did for the brunch you pack in the good stuff and hang the consequences *.
And the food… Oh wow. If there were rivers of booze there were MOUNTAINS of food. An epic landscape of victuals. Three huge rooms, several ante-rooms (including some I didn’t even find and had to be told about afterwards) and everywhere you turn, something different. I can’t even list all the things that were on offer, but trust me, if you can think of a type of food, it was here. Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, European, American, BBQ, a seafood and raw bar, a whole fake boat full of buckets of different kinds of oysters, two huge tables laden with different kinds of cheese (*swoon*), a whole ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed room dedicated to cake, a chocolate fountain in the shape of an Aztec temple… I could go on. Seriously. I. Have. Never. Seen. So. Much. Food. And unlike most – if not all – of the buffet-style food I’ve had before, the quality is really good. Some of the hot food came in those big silver tureens which set my teeth on edge when I see them, but they were quite small and everything got replaced regularly. Lots of things were made fresh for you or you could watch being prepared. I enjoyed every single thing I ate, and I don’t think it was just because I chose well (though I do have exceptionally good taste, obviously).
If you’re planning a trip to the Middle East and you fancy a day of decadence (which Dubai, let’s face it, does exceptionally well) brunch should go on your ‘to do’ list.
*and my God, there were consequences
Some of the things I ate (I can’t possibly list what everyone had, there were 7 of us, and to be honest I can’t even list everything I had, as you’ll get bored and/or judge me…):
Thai spring rolls,
Tuna and seabass sashimi
Smoked salmon with horseradish cream
A whole lobster
Delicious Korean mango salad
An excellent selection of cheeses and chutneys
Chocolate fountain goodies
What we drank:
More than I care to (or even can) remember. My liver still aches.
Would I go again?
Yup (*loosens belt*)