To say that Dubai has an abundance of brunch options would be THE understatement of the year. There’s something to suit any mood, budget and time of day – what is an “evening brunch” anyway?
Nams and I like to try as many new restaurants as we can, all in the name of research, of course! We hadn’t had the opportunity to go for brunch in a while because Fridays are usually reserved for lunch with the family. When an invite to the ‘Friday Feast’ popped up in our inbox, we were delighted. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect; it was right after lent and Namrata had been saving herself for 40 days! By that, I mean she hadn’t eaten any red meat, no potatoes, and had restricted herself to only one black coffee a day. I know, I know. Very odd choices but I think it’s all about sacrificing whatever means the most to you. And we’ve all established Namrata’s pretty random! (And that’s why I love her more!)
Just want to say straight up that Feast blew us away, the name couldn’t have summed it up better. A song that comes to my mind is ‘Wedding Feast’ by Prince. Have you heard it? It goes:
Now there must be a wedding
Now there must be a feast
A feast, a feast
A smorgasbord at least
A brunch, a munch
Of cake if just a piece
A real feast it was, but not the kind we know from other Dubai brunches. Attention here is on offering quality food rather than an endless spread of mediocre fare.
Feast is located in the newly opened Sheraton Grand Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. We went there twice last month, once for brunch and the following Friday, to meet my brother and his wife for drinks at the tail end of their brunch. On both occasions, the ambience was lively, the air filled with chatter, clinking of glasses and cutlery. Happy vibes all around.
Chef de cuisine Raymond Wong started us off with an Ice Kacang each. I have fond memories of this iced dessert from my trip to Kuala Lumpur in 2011, only that version had durian. Ours had a generous shot of Malibu and with cocktail glass in hand, off we went behind Chef on a tour of the stations. He chatted to us (in his gorgeous Scottish accent, might I add) about where they source some of the food from, and even showed Namrata how to eat an oyster! Yep, her first time and she loved it. Yay for firsts!
The brunch comprises of a few general themes serving standout signature dishes. There’s Malaysian street food, sushi and ceviche selection, North Indian fare, impressive seafood, roast, a beautiful cheese station and more. Everything is prepared in front of you in open kitchens rather than pre-cooked inside and restocked.
Duck congee and ceviche
Some of the highlights for us were:
An edible martini station which was manned by a lovely bartender who was happy to put on a show for the camera. Neatly lined cocktail glasses with smoked salmon and cucumber, duck and apple, and tiger prawn and mango, all waiting to be topped up with potent concoctions.
A signature dish that was mighty impressive was the Lamb 26. It is lamb prepared with three different cuts and cooking techniques (24 hours cooked, slow roasted and sous vide), served with 23 accompaniments so that each bite you take tastes different! How genius is that? Standout accompaniments were the basil yogurt bubble, feta licorice dust, truffle crumb celeriac remoulade, miso and blue cheese, a lemon mint gel, and truffle snow! Wowzers. What I would give to have this dish again…
Oysters from Galway Bay, Ireland. I can’t say I know anything about oysters but these were so tasty, served with pomegranate segments, red wine and molasses. The oysters are shucked to order so that they don’t dry out or are wasted.
Bite sized morsels of this sweet spiced tamarind pomegranate chicken, served in little cast iron pans.
Each signature dish comes with recommended drink pairings, e.g. a shot of mango lassi or Heineken fusion (beer with a massive red chilli) for the Indian station, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with the oysters.
My other favorites which you have to try are: deconstructed caprese with mozzarella foam, seafood chowder with corn salsa and dill cream, perfectly pan fried foie gras on crostini, duck rillette lollipops with a cherry glaze, and spice infused fruits (vacuum sealed in house) at the cheese station – perfect accompaniment to the Brie.
The dessert bar has plentiful of homemade doughnuts, cake pops, cakes, mason jars with colourful puddings, a chocolate fountain and more – all good enough to satisfy any sweet craving.
If you’re like us and not a frequent brunch-goer, or even if its an essential part of your weekend, highly recommend you make a booking at Feast. Do it quick as we’ve only got 6-7 weekends before Ramadan this year. And my top advice is have a game plan. You’ll want to eat everything!
LOCATION – Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road
AED 295 including soft drinks, AED 395 including house beverages, AED 495 including Moet Chandon.
DISCLOSURE: We were guests of Feast, however all opinions are our own.