Location: Media One Hotel
Pricing: AED 350 all inclusive, AED 250 non-alcoholic
“Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth.”~George Burns
Q43 is a 3-in-1 venue offering a: bar, lounge, and restaurant. The brunch is hosted in the restaurant section. Today we are celebrating the Dancing Colombian Machine’s 32nd birthday. Twenty two of us arrive at 2pm sharp to begin the celebration, with everybody looking well rested and energetic probably due to the extra hours of sleep thanks to the late brunch start time.
Drinks are ordered immediately from a choice of beer, wine, and house spirits. No cocktails and no shots. It is always extremely disappointing when the venue chooses to be lazy and not make actual drinks for their patrons. A brunch without a (insert your favorite cocktail here) is not really a brunch. My companions are all relieved that tequila shots will not be involved on this occasion, but I am bitterly disappointed.
I order a double gin and ginger ale (GinGin)as the starters are served to the table. The plates are served sharing style and include: maki platter, shrimp tempura, chicken wings, calamari, shrimp tacos, and vegetable quesadilla. I enjoy the calamari and tempura the most, but the sushi is mediocre. After many more GinGins I go for mains, which are served on demand at the kitchen counter. I ask for a portion of all three options (roasted chicken, leg of lamb, and braised beef teriyaki) and fill up on sides (potatoes, parsnip, carrots, Yorkshire pudding). The beef teriyaki is my personal favorite. The table unanimously agrees that there is not enough variety for the mains, and I agree. Dessert options include: apple crumble, chocolate brownies, crème brulee, cheesecake, and panna cotta. I try the crumble, brownies and crème brulee, with the apple crumble emerging as the winner for me.
For a pretty happening bar on weekends, the brunch atmosphere is bizarrely flat and lacking in entertainment (no DJ, no live band). I only count a handful of smaller tables, and the huge empty venue further contributes to the flatness. I strongly suspect that having another busier brunch (Big Brunch on 8) in the same hotel is not helping matters. Fortunately we are big group and manage to keep ourselves entertained. I sense that birthday boy is aching for better and louder music, but after 32 vodkas I suspect that salsa is playing loudly in his head.
Q43, in the words of the eternal Bob Marley: Lively up yourselves!
Value for Money: 12/20.