Friday Fork & Cork at Crescendo
Location: Anantara, The Palm
AED 345 per person, including soft beverages
AED 499 per person, including house beverages
AED 599 per person, including Italian sparkling
AED 699 per person, including bubbly
“A mixologist simply knows how to mix drinks,” he said. “A bartender knows how to run a bar: interact with guests, have fun, have conversations with them.”- McClure
The Anatara on the palm is a massive Thai-themed luxury resort. Crescendo is located on the bottom floor of the hotel, also offering an outdoor terrace with sea views (great for the cooler months of the year). Crescendo offers a wide range of international cuisine, with many dishes prepared at the live cooking stations.
I was dragged to this brunch on a Friday by le brunch gang, who had heard great reviews about this particular brunch. I have become extremely skeptical and of the international cuisine theme, and do my upmost to avoid dining in such establishments (I discourage everyone who asks from trying Saffron or Bubbalicious).
Today I’m in the mood of wine, so after ordering a glass of white, I proceed for my customary scan of the food and beverage options. I am immediately impressed by the appearance of the food, with all the dishes reflecting oozing in freshness and color of high-grade quality ingredients.
The food stations can roughly be categorized as follows:
- Sushi station- the tuna and salmon sashimi were of excellent quality, the rolls were definitely above your average buffet sushi
- Cold seafood station- oysters, mussels, clams, crabs, and prawns. I enjoy the oysters and prawns the most. Excellent quality, I went back for the oysters.
- Thai station-
- Chinese station- the dim sum was one of the few disappointments
- American station- the chicken waffles was one of the crowd favorites (sweet, spicy and salty is an awesome combination)
- Levantine station- everything look up to spec, but I tend to avoid this tasty but filling cuisine
- Roast Carving station- the chefs here managed to keep the roasts tender and juicy. The crowd favorites were the slow cooked ribs.
- Indian station- another cuisine that I usually skip
- Desserts- the ladies seemed to really enjoy these. I was too full to sample any.
- Cheese station- a smaller selection than Bubbalicious/ St. Regis; however, the quality is on par
The beverage stations consisted of:
- Gin and Vodka station- they offered gin & tonic, Bloody Mary
- Rum Station- they had 5 varieties of rum and offered either a mojito, or rum filled coconut
- Espresso Martini station
- Chinese Tea Station- it is nice to see that the management offer something for the no-booze crowd
Service was absolutely impeccable. Despite the large scale of the brunch, the staff were extremely attentive to each and every single table, anticipating their needs before you had to put up your hand and call. Drinks were topped off the instant they reached close to that dangerous level of empty.
Although Crescendo may not stand out in terms of the theme of their brunch, they do an excellent job standing out in terms of flawless execution and service. If you ever find yourself in an indecisive group and cannot decide on a particular cuisine, and decide that only International Cuisine will do, then look no further than Crescendo.
Value for Money: 15/20.