With such fierce competition on the Dubai brunch scene, it takes something very special to overthrow the old heavyweights but Bubbalicious at The Westin has made a strong debut.
As the drinks started flowing, the hotel's three restaurants – Hunters, Blue Orange and Spice Emporium – were buzzing as chefs kept pace with the appetites of hungry punters.
At Dh450 a head with premier beverages, it is at the top end of the market but the selection of food and drink on offer justifies the price. There's so much choice, I was unable to sample everything I wanted. It really is a feast of world cuisine.
In the same vein as the Al Qasr/Mina A'Salam brunch, guests can move between restaurants for different dishes but the hotel has been careful to stick to the themes of each one.
Hunters produces the meat and a variety of hot desserts, Spice Emporium has a selection of Asian cuisine with Blue Orange offering up stations of international fare, including Indian and Arabic on top of a salad bar and a huge array of desserts.
The chefs prepare a number of dishes in open kitchens, while other dishes such as the mini burgers and minute-steak sandwiches come ready wrapped in individual portions, á la the complex's Barasti Brunch. I found the seafood bar a particular favourite, full of fresh chilled lobster, prawns and crab with grilled fish on the side, which luckily was ready prepared.
Some of the drinks stations also had the wow factor with one beverage poured over candy floss before hot ice was dropped in, creating a smoking concoction that tasted divine. This new-age theme permeates a number of offerings, including the macaroons that are "cooked" in liquid nitrogen.
At Blue Orange, which is recommended for families, an array of activities awaits younger diners. On top of the video games and children's play area, plate and table spinning Chinese acrobats perform throughout the afternoon.
The staff is also very attentive and more than happy to deliver drinks from the individual bars. Their uniforms, however, were more suited to fast food outlets than to the smart shirt and trousers combo you expect from a five-star property.
But otherwise, it is hard to criticise the Bubbalicious Brunch. With such a huge variety of food and beverages, the choice of three restaurants and indoor and outdoor dining, this might just be the place for Friday brunch. Expect word to spread, so get those bookings in.
- The Bubbalicious Brunch at The Westin runs from 1pm until 4pm every Friday. Prices start from Dh299 per person. Call: 04 511 7136
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