Let’s start the week right with some food talk! Warning: mainly photos of really delicious and beautiful food!
Dubai is home to crazy fancy restaurants and dining experiences. You know I’m more of a cheap local food kind of girl, so I was really looking forward to the Indian food in my neighborhood. But I knew that I wanted to experience one thing: one of Dubai’s fabulous brunches.
I’ve heard from Andrea about fancy brunches in Dubai and how they’d last hours with endless wine. Friday brunch is a huge thing. In the UAE, the weekend days are Friday (which is a prayer day) and Saturday. What better way to kick off a weekend than with a large fancy meal?
Andrea found a good-valued brunch for us at Mövenpick Bur Dubai hotel, at “just” 249 AED with a voucher online (regular price is 309 AED). The discounted price equals to about $70 USD, and believe it or not, is considered a “cheap” one! A ton of brunches go for 500 AED or more, which is not in either of our budgets. This one comes with bottomless wine, which was good enough for us!
So we bought our vouchers, and planned to meet at the Movenpick on Friday at noon, when brunch begins. We were to meet Emma and Chin, one of Andrea’s friends from back home (who happened to be in town to visit), and their mutual friend.
In my eagerness for brunch, I arrived before everyone else. The staff was still setting up, so this was a perfect time for some photos!
The lobby of the Mövenpick hotel is bright and airy, elegant and clean. The first thing you see is the huge dessert spread at foot of the grand staircase. My favorite part of any meal! I got really excited when I spotted it.
And now for a closer look:
Yummmmm… I only wish I’d have enough stomach space by the end of the meal to sample one of everything.
The seating area is off to the left. It’s not too large, which is perfect because it means that there won’t be too many people fighting for food. :D
Then it was 12 pm, and the rest of our party arrived and it was time to eat! I asked Andrea how long we get to eat, and she said food is served until 4 pm, but you can stay to finish eating/drinking/chatting afterwards. Wow! Now, I’ve been to some nice buffets in Las Vegas, but you always feel a little rushed because of all the people waiting in line. Here, there’s just one group of people the entire time so you can enjoy for as long as you want.
I couldn’t wait to dig in. The bread and cheese display looked amaaaazing:
As did the appetizers:
The food they serve here is a mix of local flavors and international cuisine. I don’t even know what some of these are.
This was chicken patê with guava:
Shrimp cocktails with mango salsa:
Hummus with pomegranate. So beautifully presented.
I wanted to load up my plate with everything, but I had to be a little choosy since this was only Round #1.
I loved everything, especially the red pepper dip/spread (called muhummara, made with red peppers, walnuts, and garlic) you see in the front.
Oh, we all got a round of a sparkling red wine to start.
After the appetizers, I went back for Round #2: the meats. I didn’t get a photo of all the meats as they were in individual pots. But there were a roast beef carving station, five-spice short ribs, Thai prawns in green curry, lamb tagine with couscous, and a few more.
But the most exciting to me was the cured meats station!
Cured meats!! I always say this is one of my favorite food groups. And I was so excited because it is really hard to find pork products in Muslim countries, especially if you go out to eat. All the “pepperoni” and “bacon” and “salami” are beef, which practically have no flavor.
Here’s my meat plate:
After that, I went for the sushi station, which I didn’t get a photo of either. There’s not a ton of choices here, so I just got a few pieces of salmon rolls and sashimi (Round #3).
I forgot to mention that by then, we had switched over to mojitos and white wine.
I was ready for dessert at this point, but I wanted more of the appetizers and cured meats, cheese, and bread first. So I went back and got myself another small plate (Round #4; not photographed). I’m one of those people who MUST have dessert absolutely last. I cannot go back and forth from eating savory food, and then dessert, and back to savory. Gross. I want the sweet dessert to be the last taste in my mouth.
Ok, enough rambling. I was finally ready for dessert, my favorite course (it’s probably a toss up between dessert and cured meat/cheese actually). When I went back to survey the dessert table properly, I found myself having a really hard time deciding how to make the best use of my almost non-existent stomach space now.
Some of the desserts:
the most beautiful Oreo cheesecake!
There was also a crepes station (which I was hoping to have room for at the end, but didn’t) and Movenpick ice cream (which I also really wanted, but the idea of rich diary mixed with alcohol made me feel sick).
After a lot of indecision, here’s what I ended up getting (Round #5):
Chocolate mousse cake, blueberry mousse cake, chocolate raspberry pudding, coconut mango pudding, and this mystery tart that tasted a little bit like eggnog. I liked just about everything I picked, but the standouts were the mousse cakes. I also had bites of Andrea’s mango sticky rice (not so good) and tiramisu in a coffee mug (delicious!).
Actually I’m quite disappointed in myself. Looking at the photos, it didn’t seem like I ate that much. But I was stuffed to the point of barely being able to move. I wish I had eaten more of the desserts!
By this time, believe it or not, it was almost 4 pm – last call for food and drinks. Andrea knows how to do this right. She put in 3 orders for gin and tonics for her and Emma each (I got a rum and pineapple), so we’d have enough for last us for the rest of the time.
For another 2 hours, we sat there, chatted, and finished our drinks. We also grabbed the last bit of grapes, cheese, and crackers to munch on. After all the drinks were gone and we were all stuffed sick, we finally rolled out of there at 6 pm (and the staff NEVER hurried us or hinted that we needed to go).
It was the best food and the best Friday I had had in a long time. Worth every single penny.
- Where: Mövenpick Bur Dubai hotel | website (19th Street, Oud Metha Area)
- When: Fridays 12 pm – 4 pm
- Cost: We bought online vouchers for 249 AED (regular price: 309 AED) for the option with wine and cocktails. 209 AED (regular price) for the option with soft drinks.
Here’s an article of other popular brunches in Dubai. Looking at the list, I think this one is definitely a GREAT value!
Have you ever had a great brunch experience? Where? This was so worth my money that I think I should treat myself once in a while!