Virtuoso Life - July/August 2017 - 51
Tea House Café in the Al Fahidi historic district near the Dubai Museum. Find a chair in
the shady courtyard, order a glass of milky
karak tea, and choose from an assortment of
breakfast trays comprising small bowls filled
with olives, cheeses, and dips, plus eggs scrambled with Middle Eastern spices, and raqaq, an
unleavened bread drizzled with honey.
The morning meal flows into the afternoon on Friday, the start of the weekend in
Dubai, where businesses observe the traditional Sunday-through-Thursday Arab workweek. Muslims go the mosque, and expats
head to versions of American-style weekend
brunch. "Every hotel in Dubai has a Friday
brunch," explains Park Hyatt Dubai's senior sales manager, Marc-Antoine Lesage.
"It's like a competition to see who can do
the biggest, the best. We pride ourselves on
quality over quantity, with a focus on fine
dining." Foreigners tend to favor Westernstyle spreads, heavy on the roasted meats
and free-flowing Champagne. Park Hyatt's
French restaurant, Traiteur, draws crowds
from all over the city, as does the brunch at
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which serves Italian,
Japanese, and Indian specialties with a view
of Jumeirah Beach and the Palm Islands.
Arab-cuisine brunches are harder to
find. Overlooking Dubai Creek in Al Boom
Tourist Village, Zaman Awal has outdoor
seating and a menu filled with traditional
Emirati treats, such as chebab, a cardamom- and saffron-scented pancake served
with honey and cream cheese. For a more
low-key meal, try Park Hyatt's Middle
Eastern-themed "Levantine Weekends"
buffet (Fridays and Saturdays in the Café
Arabesque). Syrian chef Maher Al Hayek
showcases grilled meats, okra stew with
lamb couscous, and 24 mezes (appetizers),
including beet hummus with pomegranate molasses and miniature lamb sausages.
Four types of baklava and Egyptian umm
ali, a bread pudding topped with pistachios,
raisins, and cashews, fill the dessert table.
In case anyone feels the need for an
even sweeter ending, sofas, cushions, and
candles invite post-brunch relaxing with a
water pipe in the outdoor shisha lounge.
Tobacco flavors come in rose, cherry, mint,
and watermelon. With Dubai high on my list
as a go-to gateway for future travels, I'm already plotting my next meal.
J U LY | AU G U ST 2 0 17
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