Looking out at the slow traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road can strangely be soothing. Taking the comfort factor up a notch, I decide to indulge my Indian palate first at Dusit Thani’s multi-cuisine Friday Brunch and head to its Thai restaurant, Benjarong’s Asian station.
A spoonful of the seafood tom yam and there’s a burst of flavours in my mouth, brought on by the tamarind and lemon juice and red chillies, which blend well with the mussels, prawns and fish sauce. Combined with the aroma of pandan leaves and lemongrass, the soup awakens my senses.
Feeling adventurous I eye the seafood station where oysters and mussels, lobsters and crabs, sushi and sashimi, and a host of salads are arranged beautifully. A colourful dish labelled crab stick salad, though it doesn’t look anything like crab, beckons me. As I make my way through the diced sun-dried tomatoes, black truffle, bell peppers and olives, I bite into something chewy but tender. Lo and behold, it’s baby octopuses! Flavoured with chives, sage and lemon zest, the tangy - if a little salty - Mediterranean-style salad surprises me.
With Pax Ristorante’s cooking station plating up pasta, the Indo-Arab hub offering biryani and shawarma, and the Californian’s barbecue station serving up lamb chops and rack of veal, there are options galore for mains. But I return to Benjarong for egg noodles with yellow chicken curry. With generous helping of the chilli sauce and condiments such as coriander and onions, the turmeric-flavoured chicken and al dente and deep-fried egg noodles all come together in a hot and flavourful dish.
To finish, I pick a creamy tiramisu from a vast array of desserts complete with the popular red velvet and the chocolate fountain.
We loved the seafood station with its selection of Japanese, Thai and Mediterranean dishes.
We hated that the Thai cultural performance was a blink and miss.
Verdict a family-friendly brunch with a variety of foods for all palates.
Details Dh315 per head inclusive of house beverages, soft drinks and juices; Dh119 for children from 6-12; from 12.30pm-4pm; call 04 317 4515