It’s all about alfresco dining now, isn’t it? And for the next few months everyone will be busy going out and about with family and friends, making up for lost time that is most of 2020. Well not sure if it is everyone but that’s us 😉 So when I saw the description for Olival’s brunch – it was going to be outdoors in the Habtoor gardens which we’ve spent a lot of time at, it was family-friendly – I thought yep, I’m keen. Off we went on a Friday afternoon to review the newly launched family brunch at Olival.
So, how was it? Read on..
Where exactly is Olival?
If you’re familiar with the Habtoor, it’s the standalone building with floor to ceiling glass doors, that you always pass when you’re headed towards the beach. In the winter months, it’s a perfect spot for outdoor dining.
What sorta food do they serve at the Friday Brunch?
Its a Mediterranean restaurant, and on Friday’s it describes it as ‘Mediterranean and International Cuisine.’ We felt it was more inclined towards Arabic cuisine, with the typical arabic starters – hummus, tabbouleh, moutabel and salads. They had a cold seafood section – you get prawns, salmon salad served in a pineapple, tuna tatakis, mussels, clams. If you wanted something else, they do beef steaks and mixed vegetables as well. Did I mention they actually serve cheese cakes in their dessert selections which was a huge plus for me!
What about for kids?
Fettuccini bolognaise, and mini burger and fries for the little ones. Also a cute popcorn cart. And I might as well include the desserts here as that’s what they love isn’t it?
Any entertainment for kids?
Bouncy castle. And lots and lots and lots of space in front of the restaurant for the little ones to run free. Honestly I’m just glad the kids are outdoors. And I’m glad Habtoor decided to keep their lawns as it is (instead of developing it into a waterpark, for example…. sorry Westin, I’m still so sad your amphitheatre is gone!) So if you’re here for a casual lunch you can sit and the little ones can just play in front of you.
If you were spending a Friday at Habtoor, be it for the day or for a staycation – and you’re into Mediterranean/Arabic cuisine – you could drop by Olival for brunch with the family. It’s really nice to sit outdoors right now and we were literally there from 1pm till sunset.
And this one’s for the team – things that could be better
The following are things our troupe picked up on during our brunch at Olival –
- Double check all glassware used for the brunch prior to serving to make sure it’s not cracked. The cup holding my quinoa salad was cracked – bad enough to cut someone if they were holding it wrong – this was passed on to the team. The base of my wine glass was also chipped.
- Prawns served in the cold section to be deveined.
- Find some sorta solution for the notorious flies. Doesn’t look good when they were on the table or buzzing over the food in the buffet area. What else could the team do other than burning coffee powder?
- Service needs to step up.
- Empty plates on the table for a long period of time – which then attracts flies – which really doesn’t look good for passerbys who are thinking if they should dine there.
- Team is not very sure about what is included in the brunch – one staff would say fresh juice is not included, then the other says it is. When asking about coffee team is not very sure either.
- Suggest to simply update the drinks menu to mention what exactly is included to avoid miscommunication. Ie, fresh juice, coffee & tea. Details, details.
It’s early days for the brunch, we’re hoping things will get better over the next few weeks as we felt there’s things that could be improved on the service-front. If you’re looking for a spot for your kid’s birthday party – you could consider this place too. There was one held while we were there, Frozen-theme and all and I thought aww it’s really nice kids can celebrate again 🙂 All in all, a casual outdoor family-friendly brunch – good one for the winter months. Just find some sorta solution for the flies as they really love the seafood…
- A Mediterranean Family Brunch
- Olival Eatery & Bar
- Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa
- Price : 179AED soft beverages | 275AED house beverages | 90AED kids (6-11yrs)
- When: Friday’s, 12.30PM to 4PM
- We were guests of Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa to review the brunch at Olival.
- This review was done in November 2020. Please check directly with Habtoor Grand for current pricing and details.
And if you want to spend a day at their pool…..order pizzas from Luciano’s 😉