Wow what a brunch it has been at Shangri-La Hotel. One of the best I’ve had. I always loved their building standing high, tall, massive and built with premium exteriors. I see it everyday on my way to office towards Dubai Internet City. This hotel structure has been a iconic one from the time it was built on sheikh Zayed road(just before the First interchange). They probably never have to paint their exterior walls, just wipe it with a cloth. Anyway, forget about the architecture it’s about their Friday brunch which is available from 12:30pm to 4:00pm at a starting price of Dhs 299 per adult inclusive of Mocktails. Kids under the age of 6 goes in for free and between 6 and 11 pays 50%. The friday brunch is a treat from three restaurants
Dunes Cafe – International cuisine – Ground Floor
Hoi An – Vietnamese cuisine – First Floor
Shang Palace – Chinese cuisine – First Floor
So by paying Dhs 299 you have access to all three restaurants and can eat as much as you want between these three restaurants.
As soon as you enter Shangri La hotel on your right you see this vibrant lady busy singing and dancing on stage. She played her part very well by bringing in a jolly mood to Shangri La that afternoon. Then I see Dune’s cafe on the right whereas the other 2 restaurants being on the top. There is a tag they put on your wrist that identifies you as a Friday brunch customer and gives you unrestricted access to all three restaurants(Notice the tag on my wrist in the above picture).
Though you can pick and eat from all three restaurants you need to decide which restaurant you want to sit in. So we decided to reserve our seat at Shang Palace restaurant. The restaurant seats with a tall back and comfortable. We had the perfect spot that had more breathing space in the area and had a view of the Hotel below. The Mocktails were free on the house and some we tried were:
Saigon: Ginger Ale, simple syrup, mint and coriander leaves, fresh lime juice
Out Right Fradulence: Raspberry juice, apple juice, lemon juice and sugar syrup
Mango Coco: Mango, pineapple, coconut cream, simple syrup
The Saigon was refreshing but i enjoyed the mango coco but if you don’t like coconut cream then it might not be the one for you! It’s a luxury hotel so you know even the basic water is premium. Evian bottles were just all over like masafi bottles :p
I like the way how they educate you about chocolates and it’s making from A to Z. They have sample pieces at all stages, from the tree to the end product. They did have a variety of chocolate to try with different percentage of dark chocolates. If you really like them you can buy bars of it to take home. In front of you they make the kind of chocolate pastry you want.
On our table we had a menu of both Asian restaurants. One page dedicated to Hoi An and the other for Shang Palace. Both Hoi An and Shang Palace are award winning restaurants. You can see many of their Timeout and What’s ON awards at the entrance of both restaurants. The menu would includes their in-house appetizers, side dish and maincourse from each of the restaurant(Hoi An and Shang Palace). You could order from the menu and they would bring it your table. Below is some of the items that came from their menu. Pictures on top shows you some of the LIVE stations available on the top floor.
Whatever came from the main menu was better specially their vegetable rolls/organic chicken spring rolls, dimsums and beef tenderloin. Infact I was pretty happy with tenderloin I got from the menu on my table rather than the grill I picked up at the LIVE station below. I was damn excited when I chose my fresh raw meat and gave the chef to grill it but instead of it coming as well done and it came to my plate as well burnt. I could taste charcoal as I tried them hence I had to quit half the way. I think it’s important you don’t rush with your cooking else it will be definitely make an impact on taste. Something that has to be cooked slowly has to be cooked slowly. I guess the chef get’s overwhelmed with many people waiting at the counter.
At Dune’s cafe is where all the beauty lives, where you get to see an area packed with desserts. A lady, dancing and singing for you. You can see and select you meat(mutton, beef, fish) before its cooked. A stretch of salad bar. A huge collection Dim Sum. So if you are seated upstairs like me then you very often shuttle up and down. I wish all three restaurants where on the same floor. Some waiting is required for the lift and if you have a plate full you could bump into a hungry visitor in the hotel starring at your plate whose not part of the buffet. So all that makes it a little difficult as you shuttle between the two floors.
All that hunger for dimsums and sushis should get over when you are here. All this is visible on the ground floor at Dune’s cafe for you to see and pick. Infact that had many more items which I didn’t cover. They had this LIVE stations where they make you fine pasta dishes. I remember my wife raving about it and so did the kids. One thing I noticed even though they call it an international cuisine at Dune’s cafe there wasn’t any indian collection as such like the tandoori, paneer items or rotis.
There is a reason why I’ve put up the desserts as the first pic here for this post. Their dessert quality and collection were fantastic. I’ve seen plenty of desserts in other buffets but only some of them would taste great but here almost all of them can impress you with quality and taste. For example the arabic baklava I’ve seen it many buffets but they just don’t taste as fresh(either too cold, hard, dead) as you get from an Arabic sweet shop but here the baklava were fresh, crispy and of excellent quality. Their chocolate baklava were interesting too. Anything to do with chocolates that get an A+. One reason could be the chocolate they use is of good quality.
At the end I had their jasmine tea which came served in a surprising kungfu style. This is a tradition in china. You can see how the tea is served in the cup. Needless to say that was the only time when my kids were glued to their seats 😀
You can know more about Shangri-La hotel at http://www.shangri-la.com/dubai/shangrila/