Zheng He’s Duck Brunch
Location: Mina a Salam
395 AED –Non-Alcoholic Package
495AED – Alcoholic Package
‘Drinking rum before 10 am makes you a pirate, not an alcoholic’ ~ Earl Dibbles JR
The outdoors seating offers majestic views of the Arabian Gulf and the resort’s three kilometers of waterways and landscaped gardens. It is a hot April afternoon and despite our sweaty efforts we are forced to move indoors around 2pm. The interior of the restaurant is a lavish Chinese design, but the lack of music dampens the mood.
An all you can eat dimsum station is placed outside but only offers two varieties of dim sum (chicken, seafood). The rest of the menu is served to the table sharing style. Interestingly the food is limited to a single serving per table; however; the staff assured us that there would be more than enough food to go around.
For appetizers we are served: smoked duck & asparagus rolls (yummy), duck spring rolls, fried seafood pot sticker, steamed duck bao, and a Beijing duck- carved table side. The Beijing duck steals the show- cooked to a moist perfection, with golden crispy skin.
Eight main course dishes are presented upon our green light to the staff as follows: wagyu beef brisket, wok fried lobster, black pepper duck breast, flat rice noodles with duck, steamed sea bass, red label chicken, seafood fried rice, Hong Kong kale. With the exception of the sea bass everything is delicious. The table favorites prove difficult to agree upon, but my votes go to the lobster, chicken, and beef. True to their word the portions are plentiful and we are all full to the rim.
For desserts we are served a platter of: pain perdu, duck egg crème brule, chocolate green tea nest, mango coconut pudding, and a fruit platter. I am a huge fun of Asian cuisine, except when it comes to desserts. This platter does nothing to change my mind.
Drinks includes wine, bottled beer, premium house spirits (including shots), and 5 Asian themed cocktails: Bangkok Mule, Pink Chinese Martini, Flying Duck, Dragon’s Fire, and Sangria (a theme outlier). I try the mule but replace the vodka with gin, with the result being a success. I then try the tequila based flying duck which is nice but too sweet for my taste buds. The only gripe I have with the drinks is the major lag in service. Despite the waiters best efforts they simply could not keep up with the demand from our three tables. The bar is behind closed doors so I cannot confirm, but I suspect it is understaffed and the bottle neck in the entire service chain. We are lucky that the brunch is only a quarter full, otherwise our drinks may have never arrived.
Value for Money: 10/20.