Dubai's banquet brunches: New York Times picks four of the best

Posted: 21-Jan-16 10:18

The New York Times has recommended four hot spots for a decadent Friday Brunch in Dubai, where the in-between meal time has become something of a cultural and social phenomena.

Dubai's banquet brunches: New York Times picks four of the best

The Big Apple has stiff competition from Dubai when it comes to long decadent brunches, according to the New York Times. The newspaper has shared its four top spots for enormous and delicious brunches in Dubai, with one so elaborate that you even need a map to navigate.

Indulging in a sprawling all-inclusive Friday Brunch buffet has become part of the culture in the enormously wealthy emirate where the weekend really does start on a Friday, as Sunday is the first day of the working week. The "City of Gold" is known for its over-the-top decadence and emphasis on luxury, and residents and tourists alike have been feasting on the new phenomena at top hotels throughout the city.

Brunches in the emirate typically start in the very late morning between 11.30am and midday, and continue late into the afternoon, with some even extending into the evening. Though alcohol – cocktails, champagne and wine – is often available in abundance, be careful how much you consume as it is illegal to be drunk in Dubai.

First on the list is Friday brunch at Jumeirah Al Qasr, a boutique hotel that's part of the larger Madinat Jumeirah complex. Al Qasr means ‘the palace' and the brunch banquet offered by the hotel is surely fit for a king. Served across the two ground floor restaurants – Arboretum and Al Hamra –top-quality food includes everything from Thai street snacks and Mexican cuisine to classic surf and turf and luxury chocolate desserts.

You can find traditional Spanish food at Al Hamra, and drinks stations dotted about the venue offer tempting rum-filled coconuts and all manner of cocktails. Live music, free-flowing champagne, ice sculptures and live cooking stations all add to the chic and festive feel of the occasion.

Also highly recommended by the New York Times is the sumptuous High Brunch served at Dubai's branch of the world-renowned restaurant Nobu. The fine diner situated within Atlantis The Palm offers a gourmet brunch that includes small sushi plates and stylish drinks amid atmospheric Japanese-Arabian fusion decor. The restaurant forgoes the elaborate spread displayed at other brunches in favour of live cooking stations producing fresh sashimi, foie gras, rock shrimp tempura and much more.

To sample Friday Brunch the Arabian way, you can head to Zaman Awal Restaurant in Dubai's Al Boom Tourist Village for local Emirati and fusion cuisine. In a setting that embraces the region's heritage, you can sample all manner of Arabian delights including luqaimat (sweet fried dumplings) babaleet (sweet and savoury noodles) and dishes rich with chickpeas and dates. There's no alcohol available but you can try a range of local herbal drinks that are much better for your health.

Finally, the New York Times pick for a day-long party is Friday Brunch at Saffron, part of Atlantis The Palm. Don't be fooled by the focus on food and the early 12.30 start, this is every inch a hedonistic clubland affair with loud disco tunes and copious shots and cocktails available. Food-wise, you can fill your belly with a range of delicious Asian dishes such as peking duck and dim sum, as well as international classics like pizza, burgers, steak and seafood. The Brunch package includes entry to the after-brunch Daydream party at the on-site N'Dulge Nightclub.

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