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Review: Brunch at the Burj

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The menu travels across the length and breadth of California

Restaurant Review: Scape

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  • Avg. Cost per Person:

    495 Dhs
  • Location:  

    Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim , Dubai
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Opening hours:
Sat 12:30pm-4pm

Phone number:
04 301 7600

Instant staff recognition and on-trend food in environs that offer endless Instagram photo ops — what’s not to love about the Burj Al Arab’s casual new Saturday brunch? Scape, the hotel’s Californian terrace restaurant, channels the Dubai expat experience beautifully.

The venue’s laidback appeal means it’s one of the few places where you can wear shorts and sandals at the original seven-star hotel (yes, we have drunk the Kool-Aid), all the food and drink is brought to your table (unless you actively want to head to a drinks station), and if it gets too windy (we refuse to admit that Dubai ever has a winter), staff are on hand with pashminas.

Scape affords a stunning view of the Burj Al Arab, but your smartphone may struggle to fully get it in

Best of all, the food does a great job distracting from the view — and is as much a feast for the eyes as for the stomach.

Over a dozen courses are presented as the menu travels through the Golden State, not counting an endless array of drinks beginning with welcome cocktails in cute little plastic bags.

You're welcomed at brunch with these cool drink baggies

We wait half an hour for our food, but when it arrives, the miso soup is worth every hungry minute. The colour of dark amber, with bright pops of carrot and daikon and rich umami and lemongrass notes that are enough to energise even the most jaded palates.

Other highlights include a pair of excellent, meaty oysters topped with gentle horseradish foam, some clever sushi donuts, a flaky, lightly glazed salmon from the Baltics, and an elegant Angus beef tataki lightly adorned with a truffle dressing.

Decadent oysters with a horseradish foam

Sushi donuts truly channel the California spirit

Not every dish meets the restaurant’s own high standards, though. A grilled asparagus starter, although nicely teamed with grapefruit and parmesan, jars to a slightly bitter end, and a burrata and heirloom tomato salad topped with toasted quinoa ticks the hipster box but fails to inspire.

However, by the time we’re offered a choice of dessert, we’re so full we can barely pick at some of the luscious, artistically presented fruit — though we do manage a final coconut mocktail straight from the shell before stumbling over the happy hour sundowners deck opposite.

Afterwards, there's plenty of time for sundowners in the shadow of the world's most luxurious hotel

We hated The long wait for the food at the start.

We loved The fantastic service and attention to detail. Our server Ronald responded to every request with a broad smile and a warm, ‘Why not?’ – just one reason why the hotel stands head and shoulders above the crowd.

The verdict Scape stands apart from the flotsam and jetsam of hipsters and yuccies, delivering the classics in timeless style.

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