Top 8 brunches in Dubai

Sofitel Downtown Dubai's Street Food Festival Brunch

Sofitel Downtown Dubai’s Street Food Festival Brunch

With the rather long steamy summer behind us now, brunch season is in full swing, so back by popular demand is this year’s Dubai round-up. I have purposely pulled together a selection that differs from 2013’s (which you can refer to here). You’ll find a mix of newbies, al fresco options, buffet, à la carte or the now mainstream, half-half brunch, plus many on Friday and some on Saturday – but bar one restaurant – what ties them together is free-flowing champagne (and am talking the real French deal), if you so wish to opt for that package.

All of these brunches are tried and tasted by myself or FooDiva’s guest reviewers. So voila, here’s FooDiva’s 2014 round-up of top 8 brunches in Dubai – in alphabetical order:

  • Le Classique – it’s a tough call finding a brunch on Saturday with a champagne option, as opposed to cheaper fizz, but this long-standing French restaurant at Emirates Golf Club ticks the box (albeit with an unknown brand, Cattier). The Jazzy Gourmet Brunch serves up the half-half concept, where starters and desserts are on a buffet, whilst you can choose unlimited main courses from a compact à la carte menu – all to the tune of a live jazz band. There’s also terrace seating with full view of the golf course – FooDiva.

Le ClassiqueMezzeriePrime 68Moana

  • Mezzerie – a light-infused restaurant at Waldorf Astoria Palm with stunning views of both Burj’s and Atlantis, a smooth jazz duo, and prompt arrival of two glasses of crisp rosé (there’s also Laurent Perrier champagne) makes for a great start to our Friday afternoon at this New York-inspired brunch. Yet many of the dishes have a strong French influence – foie gras, truffle-crusted grilled scallops, escargots, frog legs and salmon coulibiac pie. A welcome bonus is the children’s buffet and supervised activity corner – guest reviewer Alex.
  • Moana – out at the near-end of Palm Jumeirah’s East Crescent in the Sofitel, Moana’s new Ocean Brunch offers a sit-down seafood table d’hôte menu, with as many as 25 courses of modern, international seafood dishes (with some veggie selections) served in tasting portions across cold and hot appetisers, mains, and desserts. There’s no buffet here, only dishes served at your table as they’re prepared. With a DJ playing chill-out tunes in the background and some interesting cocktails on the drinks menu, it’s a strong option for anyone looking for quality food in a relatively calm brunch atmosphere across a lazy, relaxed afternoon. Oddly for a French hotel brand, there’s no champagne package – guest reviewer, The Man in the White Hat.
  • Prime 68 – the Friday theme at this boutique steakhouse atop the world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis, is 1920’s swing complete with props to jazz yourself up. There’s not a buffet in sight, with all dishes served at the table. And it’s not all meat, with pescatarians and veggies catered for. The champagne is Laurent Perrier. Bag the tables overlooking Burj Khalifa or Burj Al Arab – FooDiva. 

Q'baraView from Sofitel Downtown DubaiSofitel Downtown DubaiBubbalicious

  • Q’bara – this new Friday brunch on the scene at Wafi Fort is so good, I’ve tried and tasted it twice in the space of one month (and that says a lot given am not a big brunch fan). There’s an à la carte menu of the modern Arabic fare Q’bara is renowned for, where you can choose unlimited dishes across all three courses, with the interesting food flowing as much as the Veuve Cliquot – FooDiva.
  • Q’bara
  • Wafi Fort, Dubai, UAE
  • +971 4 7092500
  • Modern Middle Eastern, Arabic
  • Yes
  • AED350 food only
    AED490 with house beverages
    AED590 with Veuve Cliquot champagne
  • Friday 12.30-4pm
  • Sofitel Dubai Downtown – if you fancy a family-friendly al fresco brunch on a Friday, the Sofitel Downtown’s new Street Food Festival is for you. Spread around the hotel’s infinity pool overlooking Burj Khalifa, six food trucks serve freshly prepared Chinese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese, Mexican and Italian dishes. Separate stations for cheese, pork charcuterie, BBQ, salads, ice cream and desserts are also available. Kids under eight are free to use the pool, whilst adults soak up some rays and indulge in the mojito bar or the free-flow Laurent Perrier champagne – guest reviewer SJ.
  • Sofitel Dubai Downtown
  • Pool deck, Sheikh Zayed, Downtown Dubai
  • +971 4 5036666
  • International
  • Yes
  • AED220 with soft drinks
    AED300 with house beverages
    AED450 with Laurent Perrier champagne
  • Friday 12.30-4pm
  • The Ivy – here at Jumeirah Emirates Towers you have the option of brunching on Friday or Saturday, with the latter a rolling brunch anytime from 11am for a three-hour beverage package. In addition to a three-course table d’hôte menu, the other differentiator is the option of an eight-course degustation menu – and both end with a cheese trolley. Not an inch of buffet here. Classic Brit dishes, plus some French fare too. The champagne served with both menus is Moet & Chandon – FooDiva. 
  • The Ivy
  • Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Office Tower, Ground level, Sheikh Zayed, Dubai, UAE
  • +971 4 3098767
  • British, International
  • Yes
  • AED299 with soft drinks
    AED399 with house beverages/ cocktails
    AED499 for the tasting menu only with fine wines/ Prosecco
    AED599 with Moet Chandon champagne
  • Friday 12.30-4pm, Saturday from 11am
  • The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Resort – the famous Bubbalicious brunch spread across three restaurants plus the terrace, has relaunched with quirkily themed food stations, quite cleverly paired with alcoholic beverages. Expect a French Village with oysters, foie gras, pork charcuterie and crepes; an American Diner with sliders, fries and donuts; a Belgium Station with moules et frites, and waffles; Brick Lane for tandoori, curries and naan, and a Cider Garden for suckling pig, pork sausages and chops. Oh and what has to be Dubai’s longest cheese buffet, plus an Alice in Wonderland tea garden hideaway. The highlight, for me at least, is that Hunter’s restaurant is now reserved for adults only on the Laurent Perrier champagne option – FooDiva. 
  • The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Resort
  • Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, UAE
  • +971 4 3994141
  • International
  • Yes
  • AED450 with soft drinks
    AED550 with sparkling
    AED650 with Laurent Perrier champagne
  • Friday 1-4pm

There’s another newbie brunch that caught my eye but with it only launching this weekend I haven’t been able to squeeze in a taste – Ritz Carlton JBR’s new rotisserie brunch (packages start from AED450 and rise to AED690 with Moet & Chandon).

Any more brunch experiences you’d like to share here?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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16 Responses to “Top 8 brunches in Dubai”

  1. Chef and Steward October 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Samantha, many great ideas here for us to try after having taken a break from the brunch scene for a while. I love that more restaurants are giving the option for an a la carte/ all you can eat without the traditional buffet of ageing food.

    • FooDiva October 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Steward 😉 I am with you completely on the table service – it allows you to really relish freshly cooked food, sip on ice cold champagne (without it warming up because you’re busy at a buffet) and enjoy the company 🙂

  2. Garry W October 27, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for this and when linked to the 10 suggestions from last year – the list is pretty impressive. I have heard that the Brunch at Al Bahou at the Mövenpick Ibn Battuta is also good value for money but have not ride it myself.

    • FooDiva November 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I’ve tried the Movenpick Ibn Battuta brunch in the past Garry and it is indeed a goodie – spread across all its restaurants 🙂

  3. Kelly October 27, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I am pleasantly surprised to see that not all brunches are buffet-style. Personally, though not a big fan of brunches, I would only join in if only a la carte. And a brunch must of course include a glass of champagne!

    • FooDiva November 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      I also much prefer a la carte Kelly, and brunch isn’t brunch without champagne for me too!

  4. Deb October 31, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    These look great but how about a Thursday or Friday night buffet.
    As I work weekends during the day always on the look out for buffet dinners

    • FooDiva November 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      I’ve not come across any weekend evening all-inclusive deals Deb, but Positano at JW Marriott Marquis does a Sunday evening ‘drunch’ if that helps.

  5. Bianca Vidal November 28, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Foodiva,

    We went to the Sofitel brunch today to see what Sofitel Downtown had to offer. This. Is what we had to say: (1) disorganized – guests are asked to queue in line while staff verify who had reservation or not, etc. (2) they give you papers with table numbers which do not help you at all because the tables do not have numbers!!! (3) food – quality was good, drinks were decent. (4) for those with children, I recommend that you think more clearly. I almost brought my kids but glad that I did not. Sure there were kid friendly food staples, but there was nothing much to do and my boys would have been bored midway (5) pleasant atmosphere, courteous people EXCEPT when the clock stricked 4 pm. Waiters emptied our tables and warned us of the last order. We dutifully took our last orders and stayed at our tables (6) the least lokely thing happened!!! A supervisor approaches our table and other tables and tells us ” we need the tables. We already told you.” Oh my goodness!!!! Seriously??? This is the first time we have been asked to vacate a table with such RUDENESS. And this is certainly the last time we will visit the Sofitel, Downtown. We understand last orders, but not being given the chAnce to savour your last orders is a different thing. Definitely not we were looking forward to on a beautiful weekend! I would rather head to Zuma, pay more but be treated with respect than go to these places which certainly do not understand what first class customer service is all about. NEVER AGAIN!

    • FooDiva December 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

      That’s terrible treatment Bianca. Did you ask to speak to the manager? I hope they are monitoring the feedback on this post. Sadly Zuma in Dubai has stopped its brunch. They are doing it in Abu Dhabi though! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment here.

      • Bianca Vidal December 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        Hi Foodiva,

        To be fair, the food and beverage manager took my comments constructively and cordially invited my group for another brunch on the 26th with the promise of revamping their service standards. I am thinking to go so that I can re-assess and give a better review (I hate when I comment negatively but sometimes it just really has to be done) but not sure if I can go for another one.

        So sad to find out that Zuma stopped serving brunch in Dubai! One brunch that is worth every dirham in my opinion is the Karma’s Karvery Brunch. It is a sit down brunch at Aed 449 per person. They do not serve champagne, but they do serve sparkling wine, house wine, mimosa, spirits and beer. The food choices are vast and made of high quality ingredients which you can order as much as you want – personal favourites ate japanese tuna pizza w/jalapeno & truffle dressing, organic salmon tataki w/red shiso cress & wafu sauce, and calamari. They also serve sashimi, nigiri and maki rolls, black cod, angry chicken, beef tenderloin, etc. All the desserts were amazing especially the sesame flavoured creme brulee. All these are served at the comforta of your table by fast, friendly and reliable staff.

        On a separate note, if you have any recommendations on where to dine lunch time on Dec 25 or dinner on Dec 24, I would appreciate it.

        Thank you!!!

        • FooDiva December 3, 2014 at 10:13 am

          Glad their service recovery is on the right track at least Bianca! I’ve not tried Karma’s – one for next year’s round-up I guess! As for Christmas eve and day I purposely avoid round-ups as they are over-priced with no a la carte options available. I have tried Rivington’s in the past though, and that’s always a goodie – more here. – enjoy 🙂

  6. Andy February 12, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    This is a fabulous site. I wonder if any of your readers or yourself know of a brunch at a beach club or a great beach club with a wonderful menu to make an afternoon of grazing sunbathing and sipping champagne fabulous.

    • FooDiva February 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Andy. Are you looking for somewhere in Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

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