Friday brunches are somewhat a phenomenon here in Dubai. And the best thing about them is the sheer volume of variety on offer. From 5* culinary magic like Spectrum on One at the Fairmont, to down right dirty carvery-style beer gardens like Double Deckers (no judging here – I have been many a time), there really is something for everyone.
If you’ve read my #iftarfail post, you will be well aware of my buffet technique – or lack there of. So you’ll understand my reservations when it comes to brunching. I generally don’t go to brunch for the food. If I want to marvel in the outstanding cuisine of an establishment, I’d prefer to go for a three-course meal. Brunches are usually for an occasion, and so I will admit that I go for celebratory purposes, the atmosphere, and (let’s be real here guys) the exceptional value for money on the bevvies! If the food is delicious – it’s a bonus.
And a taste-bud-tickling bonus was exactly what the Armani Deli Brunch at the Armani Hotel Downtown provided me with. Yes. Armani. Laa-dee-daa. I have actually been to the Armani Hotel a few times previously to ferry various guests up to At.mosphere – a cocktail lounge on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. The hotel is incredible, although I find myself snapping into Made-In-Chelsea-mode the moment I walk in. Last time, my brother’s Scottish GF found herself telling the security guard that we had reservations at “ET-MOOSE-PHERE”. She sounded like Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances.
Moving on. The Armani Deli. I have two words for you. Pork. Room. Down a sneaky corridor (sneaky things are always more fun) is a room dedicated to cured meat – complete with a cured meat slicing man. The aromas were mouth-watering. The monochrome checkered-floored restaurant has glass deli counters running along two walls – one filled with savoury appetisers (olives, seafood, houmous, salads, cheeses etc.) and the other packed with gold-leafed bite-size desserts. Now – you can either get up to choose what you want, or you can be a little on the lazy-side, and ask the waiters to bring you a selection. With a platter of cured meats in front of me, a mountain of fresh seafood to my right, a crystal-clear view of the fountains (my favourite), and a full glass of effervescing prosecco in my hand – all I could possibly have needed to be in absolute heaven was a side-serving of Christian Bale. Preferably from his Dark Night days. But let’s not be picky. One day, Harry. One day.
The main dishes, which were brought out to share once we were well warmed up with the appetizers, were probably my least favourite part. I’m not sure they were entirely necessary given the volume of appetiser I had previously consumed. Plus the meat was a little over-cooked. That being said – it in no way would stop me from going to this brunch again. The deli appetisers and gourmet desserts were exquisite, and the service throughout the brunch was fantastic. I don’t think I remember my glass ever being empty! And the icing on the cake? It was only AED 360! Bargain central. I highly recommend it. Happy brunching y’all.