Living in the UAE for the past 20 years, some people we know assume that we know everything about this place. It has been steadily, sometimes exponentially, growing since we arrived here. It is darn hard to keep up with everything! There’s a new restaurant popping up every week and even more shopping malls at every corner. I exaggerate of course, but there is some truth in that.
And don’t even start with brunches! The entire country goes on brunches at the weekend! Some only go to boozy brunches and hardly eat so that’s a waste of food. I remember about 15 years ago when the biggest thing about brunch in Dubai was the 12-hour affair at the JW Marriott in Deira. Now that was a marathon brunch if there ever was one. We rarely do brunch now, and if we do, we try to find something which does not make it look like a waste. And that is what we did a couple of weekends ago.
The Pavilion at Downtown Dubai is a fresh take on brunch. The venue is right in the middle of Downtown, under the looming shadow of Burj Khalifa and within the Dubai Mall/Souk Al Bahar area. There is an amazingly fresh vibe to this place; it is light and spacious and has enough parking space around the back. This is perfect esp in the cooler months. On Fridays and Saturdays, the offer The Bench: a brunch for AED99 (about USD27) per person which includes one item from the kitchen and one drink from the barista plus all you can eat and drink from the bench. It’s the most reasonably-prized brunch, if you ask me.
The breads and pastries were so tempting! I admit I succumbed and had a couple but they were small,bite-sized items so I don’t feel guilty at all, apart from the croissants which look massive. No, I did not have a croissant.
If you were going to have any of the meat in this section, I highly recommend you pile your plate with the beef pastrami. It is divine! The smoked salmon was good too but since I was having some of it with my Eggs Benedict, I thought best not to overdo it.
Look at the presentation! This is amazing. I didn’t take any of these salads, instead I took a selection of crudites. By the way, the sign says Quinoa Salad, but there was not a single grain of quinoa in there.
Cheese. Stinky cheese. It said so on the menu card. I loved this, this was the altar I worshipped on. The brie was well amazing and the gouda was so good. I would have been happy just having cheese all day.
Everything was on the bench, including fresh cut fruits in individual servings plus freshly squeezed organic juices in these awesome vintage bottles. My son loved the watermelon. I tried the green apple and loved it.
They also had these smaller bottles with what I can only assume were “detox” juices as they were not labelled. The purple one tasted of blueberries and yoghurt and the green has hints of kiwi, cucumber, green apple and mint. They were very tasty.
I love their sense of humour! The Damage. Ha! It wasn’t damaging to the wallet at all, well mostly because it wasn’t my wallet’s but Bernie’s, but seriously it was money well-spent. Go take your family to The Bench, they will love you for it!