The Bench @ The Pavilion

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 bench

This is the bench, laden with so much goodness, a lot of it from farm to table and organic. The lemonade and apple cooler were amazing. You can keep going back for more as much as you want.
the bench1

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.
my altar

They did mini-sandwiches like a boss. Nice, soft bread with cheese, tomatoes, chopped chicken, turkey ham…they were all amazing.
mini sandwiches

This was my starter. A healthy balance, wouldn’t you agree? The cheese was so good!

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.
fruits and juices

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.

We had time for a quick selfie before hitting the bench. The guy next to us thought we were taking photos of what was behind him!

Mmmm, coffee! It was not bad, not quite Raw Coffee good, as nothing will ever match their roasting and brewing skills, but it wasn’t a Starbucks so that’s always a good thing.

My main meal was amazing – Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. Highly recommended esp if you like your yolks runny. And yes, I also had a pot of yoghurt with mango puree and a yellow watermelon.
eggs benedict

Dessert! Yes, I did have dessert. Those little spongy cookie thingies with centre-filling were amazing! The apple tart was great too.

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!
the damage