If you love Italian food, you’ve undoubtedly been to BiCE at the Hilton Jumeirah. You haven’t? Shame on you. But more to the point, it’s high time you found out exactly what you’ve been missing out on (and subsequently be devastated that you didn’t go there before) and book a table at the Quintessential Brunch @ BiCE. Based on the classic Italian concept of sharing dishes with those you love, rather than the usual Dubai brunch tactic of hopping from one giant buffet to another, the brand new Friday brunch features a classic four-course Italian menu of shared platters, cooked to order and served à la carte, so all you have to trouble yourself with is deciding exactly which yummy Italian tipple you’re going to wash it all down with.
Serenaded by the resident pianist in elegant surroundings, we began our Italian feast with a Campari cocktail before tucking into the first of many, many sublime dishes. Starters included Insalata caprese, Calamari fritti con zucchini (it’s divine; fresh squid, giant prawns and slivers of courgette in lighter than air batter served with spicy tomato sauce) and Carpaccio alla veneziana, and, when you’re done with these, it’s worth reminding yourself that a true Italian culinary experience is a marathon, and not a sprint; in fact it’s far too easy to fill up on the first course and forget you still have three more legs to go. Next, it’s pasta for everyone – three classic dishes that are all delish, but the standout has to be the spinach and ricotta ravioli with truffle sauce (it will break your heart) – followed by the shared main course; either Whole herb and rock salted sea bass, Mixed seafood platter or a Mixed meat platter. Another tough choice, but fish lovers should not miss the sea bass, which arrives whole at the table before being served up before you, and is truly magnificent. Finally, four stunning desserts arrive; and if you think you won’t have room for them, get real. I was hard pushed to decide between the gloriously rich and gooey Chocolate soufflé, the amazing Tiramisu and the dreamy Pannacotta with raspberry sauce (my all-time fave), so I had to try everything, natch, and at least three times. Exceptional food, superb service and ridiculously good value – truly a bellissimo brunch.Location Hilton, JBR The Walk
Tel 04 318 2520
Timing 1pm-4pm, Fridays
Tasty trio: Hot JBR hangouts
Beach bars along JBR are few and far between, but Bliss Bar at the Sheraton at the end of The Walk is one of our fave places to kick back and hang out after a long day on the sun lounger. Bag a white cabana and watch the sun go down with a cocktail and a few plates of great bar snacks as you soak up the laid back atmosphere and enjoy the DJ’s mellow chill out tunes. Bliss.
Location Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, JBR, The Walk.
Timing 12.30pm-3am daily
Tel 04 399 5533
Aside from the stunning retro-inspired décor, BoHouse is a true morning, noon and night place to enjoy the hustle and bustle of JBR. It’s a fave with the arty crowd, who hang out drinking coffeeand enjoying the amazing gelato over a game of Scrabble and a good book, or just chilling with some shisha on the giant terrace. Plus, the food is well priced and the service smiley. But get there early on the weekend to guarantee a table for breakfast.
Location JBR, The Walk
Tel 04 429 8655
Infini Pool Bar
Lazy day by the pool top of the agenda? Swim up for a cocktail at Infini Pool
Bar (with the most amazing infinity pool, hence the name, fact fans) and enjoy the soaring views over the always beautiful Jumeirah beach to the sea. With iced teas and smoothies by day, and Arabian shisha pipes, mezze and grill platters by night, this poolside bar is a totally Zen place to catch sunset.
Location Sofitel, JBR, The Walk
Tel 04 448 48 48