Make the most of your weekend at these Friday and Saturday brunches that take your palate around the world
Debonair’s resident epicurean tries Noépe, Brasserie du Park and SeventySeventy at the Park Hyatt Dubai
Eduan R. Maggo
Progressive dining is becoming progressively more popular. Whether this is a by-product of our diminishing attention spans or how we’ve come to expect more is irrelevant; having multiple options is becoming the norm, even when dining out.
I must admit to a sense of glee when news broke of the new concept at the Park Hyatt Dubai, after a lengthy redevelopment of what was a favourite spot. Now called The Promenade, three new outlets have been added to the stalwarts Traiteur and The Thai Kitchen to take the property’s food offering to the next level. More importantly, moving between restaurants is encouraged.
Set at the heart of the marina overlooking the Dubai Creek, Noépe takes its inspiration from Cape Cod, and depending on your taste of schmaltz, this is as close to the Martha’s Vineyard of the movies as you’ll find on these shores. The vibe is laid-back; light interiors and the fresh breeze add to the serenity of the scene overlooking the bobbing yachts, making it the perfect spot for languid sundowners.
Befitting the nautical theme, the venue prides itself on its oyster offering. Freshly shucked, they’re sourced from Dibba Bay in Fujairah, Galway Bay in Ireland and the oyster beds of Marennes-Oléron, France.
Mere metres away, the atmosphere — while still relaxed — couldn’t be more different at Brasserie du Park. Here you’re transported to a French brasserie on the banks of the Parisian Riviera, admittedly with more space than is standard in the French capital. The playlist even includes French-Italian-Egyptian diva Dalida belting out hits such as Paroles Paroles.
The food is Normandy inspired, with a focus on rustic authenticity with a traditional slant. The foie gras is creamy and smooth as butter, juxtaposed with a tart mango reduction. The snails come piping hot, no-frills with subtle garlic and herb flavours.
With mains, I’d recommend the sea bass baked in salt. Beautifully presented, the flesh is perfectly flaky and juicy — achieved by the clever addition of onion, tomato, olives and lemon, with the odd clove of garlic that surprisingly doesn’t overpower the dish. These strong flavours are managed masterfully, and the fish is still the star. We keep the sides as simple, opting for the creamy potato and celeriac purée that’s light as air. Across the table, my companion makes the kind of appreciative noises local laws don’t permit me to mention — quite a feat.
We end the evening upstairs with a nightcap at SeventySeventy, dedicated to — spoiler alert — all things ’70s. The music falls on the right side of cheesy, with nostalgia-inducing hits you can’t but tap your foot to. Even the drinks are inspired by throwback classics.
The property has cultivated its reputation in culinary circles over years even as Dubai’s landscape has changed, and the new Promenade adds to that legacy of the Park Hyatt Dubai as an unmatched
Debonair’s resident epicurean indulges in fancy rustic fare at David Myers’ Bleu Blanc
The brunch at Armani/Deli puts the antipasti front and centre