Location: The Westin Dubai mina Seyahi
Pricing: AED 680 with bubbly, AED 550 with sparkling, AED 450 non-alcoholic (!)
“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
The winner of multiple awards from both TimeOut Dubai and What’s On, this is arguably the most popular brunch in Dubai. One fact is for certain; it is definitely priced as an award winner.
The brunch is hosted jointly in three of the hotels restaurants: Blue Orange, Hunters Room & Grill, and Spice Emporium. It offers over 10 live cooking stations (pizza, pasta, steak, noodles, mussels, sushi…) and a mind boggling selection of cuisines: Italian, French, Mexican, Lebanese, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai. Additionally it offers the largest and most comprehensive cheese selection available in Dubai- I estimate over 60 types of cheese. Moreover there is an exciting cold seafood bar (oysters, crab, lobster, prawns).
The beverages stations are equally numerous: draught beer stations, bottled beer stations, gin bar, mojito bar, vodka bar, whiskey bar, tequila bar, Bloody Mary bar, watermelon & coconut drinks bar. Basically you name it, they have it.
We arrive to the hotel lobby where a special brunch reception is set up to direct you to your table which is gorgeously located outdoors. Today we are celebrating the birthday of our lovely Belgian friend and there are over 25 of us. The venue is buzzing and we are all hungry, thirsty and roaring to go. I proceed with my customary walk through to formulate my meal strategy for the day. Walking from one end of the brunch to the other must have taken me 5-10 minutes and I admire the mere scale of this brunch which is truly impressive.
For first course I pile up a plate of cold seafood and sushi. The lobster and prawns are a hit, but the oysters and sushi are a miss. I order a put of steamed mussels; but it disappoints. For second course a pile up a plate of hot appetizers: Chinese duck pancakes- a miss, Lebanese mezze- mediocre, an assortment of Asian fried items- all well below average. For mains I go for a steak and sides; the steak is horrible. At this point I focus my efforts on trying as many of the drinks as possible. The cocktails are all mass made and lacking in quality. I stick to good draught beer (Kirin) and console myself by putting together an assortment of cheeses to share with my friends. By assortment I mean a slice of every single cheese on display.
As the clock approaches 3 the queues for drinks begin to grow. They grow long enough that you could actually have to wait 10 minutes for your drink of choice so plan accordingly. Keep in mind that 3 o’clock approaches rapidly as you will end up spending a large amount of time browsing the buffet and deciding what to eat & drink. Three hours is definitely not sufficient for this style of brunch. At 4pm an army of massive bouncers dressed in white begin to usher the crowd to Oeno Bar where the DJ plays a nostalgic mix of 70s, 80s, and 90s music.
Ultimately this is a classic example of quantity over quality. Given the hefty price tag, I think that after experiencing this brunch once, you will never feel the urge to repeat it again.
Value for Money: 5/20.