The Palace'S ARABIC OPULENCE MAKES IT the jewel in Dubai's brunch crown
There are many reasons why people brunch in Dubai. Book a table at the sublime The Palace Downtown and you'll discover each and every one of them.
Nestled a pebble's skim from the Burj Khalifa, on the opposite side of Burj Lake, the sprawling 242 room Old Town hotel is serving up perhaps the most sumptuous Friday feast found anywhere in the city.
Set in its stunning Ewaan restaurant, the 1001 Flavours Brunch is as great a treasure as the collection of ancient tales from which it takes its name.
Like the Arabian Nights, the afternoon rendezvous plays-out in flamboyant, luxurious Arabian opulence. The restaurant's interior is palatial in every regard: high ceilings, tall curved archways, lush wooden patterns and golden linings. Gem encrusted lanterns hang like jewelry from above the main serving area, the food below laid across handcrafted wooden tables, themselves sat on intricately detailed handwoven rugs. Huge lake facing windows open out to the poolside decking and outdoor seating, allowing the natural light to flood inside, batted only by the floating drapery. It's a truly enchanting dining room.
The centre-piece of everything is the fresh fish station anchored to the middle of the restaurant. A whole tuna lies marooned in the middle, surrounded by an ice-chilled platter of prawns, oysters, lobster, clams and langoustine. To the left is the vibrant Pan-Asian corner, where a skilled chef is on hand to stack up your sushi rolls or tear off the finest roast duck to fill your Peking pancakes.
Across the floor - part wooden, part tiled with dusty-red hues - you'll find almost every cuisine imaginable. The salad and cold appetizer section is intoxicating in appearance and invigorating in taste. There are live cooking points offering masterclasses in perfecting the likes of scallops, foie gras and homemade pasta, all of which are delectable.
Step outside and the sizzle of prawns, steak and lamb draws you straight to the barbecue. Go for the tuna - cooked to pink perfection - and take a table nearby and watch as the sun tingles off the Burj, the music from the three-piece live band, which features a harpist, washing off the lake.
The waiting staff cater to your every need and won't keep you waiting for a top up. The wine selection is exquisite, as is the vast cabinet of spirits. Detoxing? Then try one of the kitchen's signature mocktails - the Passion Melon gets a particular nod from here.
In a packed market The Palace brunch stands alone, serving up authentic, Arabic immersion in the most sought after spot in the city. It is absolute luxury, but besides that offers guests - who range in age from one to 81 - a relaxed, warm and friendly ambiance.
If treating or hosting, then it is simply the brunch for you. If you are detoxing, then head here too. Feel like you're losing touch with Dubai? Book a table. There's no place like it.
Here's what you're in for...