Whether you’re looking for a romantic lunch, a party brunch or a table with a view, we’ve found the best Friday feasts in town.
Best party brunch: Wanderlust brunch at Garden, JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai
The lowdown: Party your way through all the flavours of the world in this buzzy, fast-paced Friday feast. As a soundtrack of soul, funk, hip-hop and RnB reverberates off the wall murals, grab a culinary map and navigate your way through ten live cooking stations with more than 360 dishes. This is one for a crowd celebration: if you book a table for ten or more, the 10th person eats for free. You can even continue the party in adjoining Square afterwards.
The extras: This is a traditionally Peruvian restaurant but you’ll also find buffets stations overloaded with international treats including sushi, seafood, grilled meats, roasts, barbecue and even Indian and Chinese.
The details: Every Friday from 1pm until 4pm; Dhs395 per person, including house beverages. Over-21s only.
To make a booking: (04) 414 3000.
Best for sharing: 50 Flavours of Vietnam at Hoi An, Shangri-La, Dubai
The lowdown: As soon as you enter this high-end Vietnamese dining room, decked out in rich reds and dark woods, you know you’re in for a classy brunch affair – and the food doesn’t disappoint. With a fresh twist on the usual brunch concept, the menu features a selection of 50 mouthwatering versions of Hoi An’s bestselling dishes.
The extras: The fun here is all in the joy of food-sharing, with a sharing hotpot in the middle of the table and an unlimited selection of cooked-to-order Vietnamese-style tapas. Live Vietnamese music can also be heard amid the babble of conversation.
The details: Every Friday and Saturday from 12.30pm to 4pm; Dhs195 per person including soft beverages, Dhs295 per person including house beverages.
To make a booking: (04) 405 2703.
Best seafood: Ocean to Plate Friday brunch, The Atlantic Dubai
The lowdown: Celebrity chef Donovan Cooke has put the seafood experience at Atlantic on Dubai’s culinary map and now you can sample his famed ocean-to-plate concept over Friday brunch. The seafood extravaganza starts with a platter of prawns, oysters and sea snails, plus salmon or tiger prawns, while the choice of mains includes roasted cod, grilled Black Angus striploin or Moreton Bay bug spaghettini.
The extras: As well as the finest produce, you can take in stunning views of the iconic Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain. The vibe inside the restaurant is all about celebrating great quality seafood inspired by the world’s greatest fish markets.
The details: Every Friday from 1pm to 4pm; Dhs299 with soft drinks, Dhs399 with house beverages, Dhs499 with sparkling and Dhs549 with bubbles.
To make a booking: (04) 442 5662.
Best concept brunch: The Gatsby Brunch at Bazxar Restaurant & Lounge, DIFC
The lowdown: Bazxar’s 1920s-themed brunch takes gourmet inspiration from southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas. Enjoy unlimited starters (we love the modern twist on the mac n’ cheese balls and the chicken lollipop in buffalo sauce with a blue cheese dip), then choose from a choice of mains from the wok, pasta, burger or signature menu (chicken katsu curry and the miso-glazed cod with sesame rice have our mouths watering).
The extras: The Gatsby moniker is not just evident in the prohibition-themed drinks menu but in the roaring 20s party vibe which continues with happy hour from 4pm until 8pm. This is the place to experience the glamour, pizzazz and hedonism of Gatsby’s era (don’t miss the bespoke wood-smoked old fashioned drinks trolley or the cocktails served bootleg style in brown paper bags at the bar).
The details: Friday from 12pm to 5pm. Dhs395 including selected cocktails and house beverages, Dhs295 including soft drinks, juices and mocktails and Dhs495 for the Gatsby package, including sparkling rose and special cocktails (all packages last three hours).
To make a booking: (04) 355 1111.
Best holiday vibe: Daycation brunch at Lapita Hotel and Resort, Dubai
The lowdown: Soak up the island vibe all Friday long with the Daycation brunch concept at Lapita Hotel and Resort, which transports you to the South Pacific for the day. Feast on treats from live cooking stations, including brunch staples like carvery, seafood and sushi as well as specialities from the Polynesian triangle (the poisson cru, Tahiti’s national dish made with tuna marinated in lime juice, diced vegetables and fresh coconut milk, are among chef Ansgar Werneke’s mouth-watering recommendations). With live music and heaps of entertainment for the kids to boot, this is one tropical trip you won’t want to miss.
The extras: After you’ve been tempted by more than 50 dishes spanning seven oceans, the Daycation continues after brunch with access to two outdoor pools, the lazy river and the Luna and Nova Kids’ and Teens’ Club (think dancing, mini-Olympics, face painting and more).
The details: Every Friday from 1pm to 5pm; Dhs195 with soft beverages, Dhs295 with house beverages and Dhs95 for children under 12.
To make a booking: (04) 810 9999 (the Daycation brunch restarts after summer on October 6).
Best for families: Friday Best Brunch at Crust, Four Seasons Abu Dhabi
The lowdown: It might be situated in the upmarket Four Seasons but Crusts boasts a laidback, super-chill weekend vibe that will make the whole family feel welcome. There’s a mix of Asian, Western and Middle Eastern specialities on offer as well as ocean-fresh seafood made-to-order, along with cool views of the water and Abu Dhabi skyline.
The extras: There is also a special children’s play area and a post-brunch rooftop party on the Eclipse terrace for mums and dads (Dhs100 for unlimited bubbles). Alternatively you can carry the party on at the Zsa Zsa cocktail lounge (Dhs100 for mixed drinks).
The details: Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm; Dhs275 including soft drinks, Dhs385 for bubbles and cocktails and Dhs545 for champagne celebrations. Dhs125 for kids under 12 (under 6s go free).
To make a booking: (02) 333 2222.
Best international cuisine: Friday Brunch at The Thai Kitchen, Park Hyatt Dubai
The lowdown: Foodies with a taste for the exotic will be in their culinary element at Thai Kitchen’s award-winning Asian-inspired brunch. Chef Supattra and her team recreate the flavours, colours and aromas of authentic Thai cuisine with three sizzling stations (wok, grill and noodles) to choose from.
The extras: As well as unmissable signature dishes (grilled seabass in pandan leaf, spicy pomelo salad, and roasted red duck curry), you can drink in stunning panoramic views of the Dubai creek and marina from the summer conservatory – all washed down with some homemade coconut ice cream.
The details: Every Friday from 12.30pm to 4pm; Dhs255 including soft drinks, Dhs320 including wine and Thai beer, Dhs395 including sparkling wine and Dhs595 for the champagne package.
To make a booking: (04) 602 1814.
Words: Aoife Stuart-Madge