The Collective Brunch
Location: Grand Hyatt
AED219 inclusive of soft beverages
AED319 for the alcoholic brunch package
Timings: 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
“Wine is bottled poetry” – Robert Luis Stevenson
Previously known as the Market Café, this venue has renovated, re-branded and re-launched as ‘The Collective”. The concept revolves around modern interpretations of Levant, and Indian cuisine, in addition to a grill bar, and bakery. Although the interior design is a much improved upgrade of the previous setting, they are still unable to hide the hotel lobby vibe surrounded by giant artificial plants.
The food is roughly divided into four stations:
- Levant station: The lamb shank with burgul was the star of the brunch for me, I went for seconds and then thirds. The majority of the cold mezza (hummus, moutabal, taboula, labneh) were well executed. A DIY salad bar with an endless list of dressings was a crowd favorite. The tajine of the day (prawns) was tasty. The lobster quinoa salad was a letdown, due to the absence of lobster.
- Grill station: grilled to order to ensure freshness. Choose from kafta, lamb chops, lamb skewers, chicken skewers, sausage skewer, chicken wings.
- Indian station: mainly Parsi (combines Persian and Guajarati cuisines) dishes, and tandoori dishes.
- Bakery Station: freshly made breads, pastries, cakes and pizza. I have a sacred rule of avoiding bread at all brunches as they cheaply fill your stomach.
Although there is not a great deal of variety, the flavors and execution are on point, and I was definitely pleased with the overall quality.
The Beverage options includes:
- Three varieties of red wine, and three varieties of whine wine. I sampled them all and was happy with the overall quality
- Canned beer (shame on you @ The Collective!)
- 4 cocktails (gin based, tequila based, rum based, and vodka based). My favorite was the tequila cocktail which has grapefruit and red pepper. A word of advice; avoid having too many of these as they turned my face red
The major drawback to this brunch is the complete and utter lack of ambiance. A live band playing “Hotel California” would have definitely picked up the atmosphere a little. However; the ratio of quality: price is very good, thus representing a good option if you are a large group of people looking to have an intelligent conversation over good food and wine.
Value for Money: 17/20.