It’s no secret that the UAE loves its brunches. From budget meals to over-the-top affairs that last more than five hours, brunch is one of the best ways to experience a smorgasbord of flavours and a vivacious ambience at a set price.
So, when you hear the words “brunch” and “Expo 2020” in the same sentence, most residents and visitors will likely make a beeline to sample this uniquely “Dubai” experience.
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Emaar Hospitality Group has launched a brunch experience at the Expo, to be held every Friday from noon to 3pm, at 2020 Club by Emaar. They promise “a spread as extravagant as it is sustainable”.
Exploring the brunch at Expo 2020 Dubai
It’s hard not to be impressed, and that’s even before I got to the spread. The venue is located right in the centre, next to Al Wasl Dome and the UAE pavilion, and its third-floor vantage point offers some of the best views of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
With expansive windows lining the walls, there’s plenty of natural light for photos, plus outdoor seating for the cooler months.
The interior is clean, modern and minimalistic, with neutral shades of grey and an exposed pipe ceiling, with geometric themed chair cushions adding a pop of colour, and a DJ spinning lively beats to add to the ambience.
The buffet-style brunch features a rotating menu and includes separate stations for cold starters, hot mains and dessert, while beverages and some appetisers are brought directly to the table.
A glass of fresh watermelon juice and a refreshing blueberry and rosemary concoction provides just the right burst of energy and sugar needed after walking through the Expo site to the venue.
My dining partner and I start off with a Middle Eastern spread of hummus, kibbeh, baba ghanoush, sambosa and bread.
This is followed by a dim sum basket (complete with an Instagrammable green version, and lashings of sweet and spicy sauce). There's also proof that you don’t even need to hit the buffet to get full here as we're also given a mixed grilled seafood platter.
With succulent pieces of lobster and jumbo shrimp, perfectly grilled, and presented with a delicate garlic sauce on the side, this may very well be the highlight of the meal.
If that’s not enough to satiate the appetite, the cold appetiser station has more options: gazpacho, cold cuts, salads, mezze, oysters, calamari, crab, bread and a cheese station.
The main courses, too, are an embodiment of the international nature of the Expo. Paneer makhni, jeera rice, roasted potatoes with Cajun spice, butternut squash, eggplant moussaka, roasted duck, braised beef, tempura and empanadas all vie for attention.
Dessert is another extravagant affair if you’ve managed to save enough room: bite-sized portions of chocolate brownie, strawberry panna cotta, mango mousse and tiramisu are some of the sweet treats to end the meal with.
At most buffet-brunches, there is the general risk of the problem of plenty, and that does hold true here, too. But be sure to eat up – you'll need all the sustenance you can get if you're planning to spend the day exploring Expo 2020.
The brunch at 2020 Club at Expo 2020 takes place every Friday until Thursday, March 31, 2022; noon to 3pm; Dh280 for soft drinks and Dh395 for select beverages; 2020 Club by Emaar, Expo 2020 Dubai; 04 248 8653; Expo2020@emaar.ae