I’m in the ‘short blog’ mood. A little sleepy, after spending possibly most of the day with the family at Palazzo Versace. Where is this hotel, you ask me. Throw it into google, and she’ll lead you there – next to the creek, near Marriott Al Jaddaf, is all I can say. Quite an odd location we thought – why did they decide to position such an opulent hotel here? Well there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with the location, just a bit far from everywhere else – plus the roads around there aren’t properly done, yet.
Onto brunch. Friday brunch at Giardino. The invite was sent quite awhile back, though we were away for the last 6 weeks or so. So we had it confirmed for today – packed our bags (swimming togs included), and made our way to the hotel. I was pretty excited. The pool in our tower is still not yet open. I just might do another rant post on it next time. Basically, no pool at home means the family was really excited to go to a brunch that included pool access 🙂
How was it? Loved it.
The music was perfect – why don’t all brunches have this sorta live music – jazz – one girl, one boy on the saxophone. The type of music that makes you sit there with your glass of wine and you kinda space out, because it’s so beautiful. From Radiohead’s Creep , to Meghan Trainor’s All about that Bass, to Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight … jazz version. It was not too loud..not too disruptive, some brunches try to do jazz but ends up doing too much (Imperium, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray), some brunches try put in live bands but it just doesn’t fit (Bubbalicious, Westin… no offense, I love you guys when you’re playing in McGettigans), I think Giardino got it spot on when it comes to the type of music that fits the setting, the food.
Food – fresh salmon sushi and sashimi – G, mum and I – sold. Just look at that photo, and tell me you’re not craving for some right now. If you do, we’re friends 🙂 Their raw oysters were so fresh. I also had a bit of their grilled lobster, and a bit of every pasta – which I don’t normally try in brunches – but Giardiano executed the pastas well. They have to, it’s an italian restaurant. The laksa was extremely spicy (beware!) – but according to G, delicious. Anything that wasn’t up to par? The dumpling wrapper was too thick and rubbery, suggest to thin it down. The indonesian stir-fry noodles – too much salt, tone it done as well. And if you’re wondering, yes they do have other cuisines – indian, arabic, and western (lamb, beef, yorkshire puddings…).
Desserts – Each plate was prepared with so much detail – salute to the kitchen staff for that. Nothing really stood out to be honest – if I was to recommend one I’ll say try their cheesecake. Suggest to keep some of the desserts above ice trays to cool it – you can see condensation on some already by 3:30 pm (brunch finishes at 4pm) – see first photo of that gorgeous lil magnum looking dessert.
Drinks – For non-alcoholic yes they do have fresh juices. Beers, wines, and standard cocktails for alcoholic package. It was a laid-back family afternoon so no, we didn’t go hardout on the drinks – so I don’t have much to say. Maybe next time when we come back with friends I’ll let you know how the drinks are 🙂
Service – Yes this was an invite, so the person who brought us to our seat knew that we were here for a review. I am not sure if the rest of the staff did – but if they didn’t – the boys (and girls) were all well-trained for the afternoon. Dirty plates taken away when we left the tables for more food, napkins neatly folded (bonus points for that!) on the tables before we returned. Sometimes they were a bit too eager with removing drinks ( I like to finish them first..). A lot of friendly chatter as well – mostly because of our little girl, he he. She gets all the attention these days 🙂
Did you say, pool access? Yeah 🙂 I spent the rest of the evening trying to burn away the calories consumed today (and for the last few months). The pool is not extraordinary (if compared to the ones on The Palm or the Madinats ) – it’s nice, it’s new – I liked it. There is a shallow area if you have toddlers, a little sand area as well for them to play on. It was a bit cold around 4:30pm so we couldn’t bring our little one in – so if you have a baby as well I suggest you use the pools earlier (you get access to it for the day, isn’t that cool!).
All in all, a day well spent. Would I pay 350 AED for it (non-alcoholic)? Honestly, if there was a 241 somewhere, I’ll grab it and organise for a large group to go. That’s just me, always on a lookout for a deal! If you’re usually spending that much for brunches anyways – say to pick out another that has pool access – Maya’s Mas Mas Brunch in Le Royal Meridien – I’ll say – definitely check out Giardino’s Friday Brunch. The alcoholic package is 550 AED, champagne puts you at 650 AED. Make a trip to that side of town, and make a day out of it with friends and family 🙂 We had a great time today – credits to the staff who took care of us, for being so adorable to our little one as well – cheers 🙂
- Giardino Friday Brunch (International)
- 350 AED (non-alcoholic)
- 550 AED (alcoholic)
- 650 AED (champagne)
- All inclusive of pool access
Disclaimer : We were guests of Palazzo Versace for the brunch ( comp for 2, paid for 1 ). All thoughts are honest as usual, though it is entirely up to you to judge.