Secret Garden Brunch at Mezzerie, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

Dessert is exhaustive, with more sweet-tooth-sating decisions than the average bakery. Courtesy Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Dessert is exhaustive, with more sweet-tooth-sating decisions than the average bakery. Courtesy Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah

The location

All-day-dining restaurants don’t always conjure the classiest of images, but true to the Waldorf Astoria’s elevated reputation, its contribution to the culinary genre, Mezzerie, is really rather inviting. At the bottom of a cascading staircase from the lobby, it’s light-filled and airy, with views out onto the hotel’s grounds via floor-to-ceiling windows. And its expansive interior is mirrored by the breadth of the brunch.

The atmosphere

While the secret and garden angles aren’t especially overt during our visit, owing to the full decor still being constructed for future brunches, we’re assured that the indoor garden concept will soon be a bit more impressive than a strip of Astroturf and some potted plants in the entrance and strings of ivy on the tables. The brunch is billed as family friendly, and while we only spy a smattering of children, that and the premium prices seem to keep away those brunchers whose only aim is, let’s say, to make the most of the liquid side of their afternoon. A guitar-wielding singer peddling pop classics provides relatively low-key musical accompaniment, while a balloon-manipulating entertainer circulates the room.

The food

About as good as it gets when it comes to buffet spreads in the UAE. While the vast array of foods are arguably directed at the western palate, and all the usual stodgy staples are covered (including a roast station with an impressive formation of Yorkshire puddings), there’s plenty of imagination at work. This might be the first UAE brunch, for example, to offer Cornish pasties. Other highlights include smoked turkey leg, imposing coils of sausage, seafood bouillabaisse and chicken cooked in a variety of ways, from fricassee to spatchcock. Dessert is similarly exhaustive, with more sweet-tooth-sating decisions than the average bakery (try the pistachio cupcakes and variety of freshly baked pies). While the buffet is the focus, a selection of à la carte options are brought direct to the table, beginning with a board of bread, cheese and meats. Each week, the brunch also includes dishes from a revolving cast of the hotel’s other outlets. When we visit, Social by Heinz Beck takes on that role, which means mini helpings of the likes of linguine adding some Michelin-level quality to proceedings. There’s also salad prepared at the table using organic produce from the hotel’s garden.

Who’s it best for?

Couples and groups of friends who are happy to splash the cash if that means their brunch experience will be a touch more sophisticated than the average guzzle-fest. Green-fingered types also take note: guests receive a complimentary basil plant to take home with them and nurture.

The verdict

It’s by no means cheap, but when it comes to quality, the Secret Garden Brunch is right up there in terms of all-encompassing five-star Friday destinations.

• Fridays 1pm to 4pm. From Dh345 to Dh725 per person. Mezzerie, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Reservations 04 818 2222.

The National was a guest of the restaurant.

aworkman@thenational.ae

Published: September 6, 2016 04:00 AM

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