Though we have been to Phileas numerous times since they’ve opened their doors, Friday was our first time stepping into The Arena. I felt like a little kid who has just entered a massive play area – it was properly decked out for Halloween with cloaked skulls, ghouls, jack o’lanterns and balloons. The whole place was full and buzzing. You know you’ve entered a good family brunch when you can’t find your kids but you know that they are somewhere, and they are okay. Alright that was a bit far-fetched, we are very responsible parents and we did keep an eye out for them…. 😉
Now, onto the details….
Did you say The Arena? Is that a different place to Phileas Fogg’s?
It is part of Phileas. It’s where Google first takes you to park your car, and you won’t miss the sign. Glad they have kept it covered, and will remain so at all times. The Arena is basically a giant tent, where everything happens – their family brunches, comedy shows, wine tasting, quiz and open mic nights.
Don’t worry, it is. They have portable AC units throughout.
For end of October, I think they kept the place pretty well-chilled all afternoon. To mention I was all over the place following the toddlers, so did get a little warm and ended up in front of a unit for some extra air…. hehe
Let’s talk about the entertainment.
Gosh – the entertainment for the kids was non-stop. First off, there is a bouncy castle set up to the side, and a Halloween photo ops as well.
Luis aka Dubai Juggler was the main host for the afternoon – we love this guy. Such a charismatic, talented fellow. You would have seen him around town – performing at Mercato Mall, Town Centre Jumeirah and around. First show was Veronika with bubbles – and c’mon, which kid doesn’t love bubbles? Make sure you don’t miss the chance of getting your little one on stage as she pulls a giant bubble cylinder over them.
Moving onto Luis himself – with juggling balls, clubs, and more. He always gets the kids involved, so if you are lucky, you might get the chance to go on stage for one of his silly shows 🙂
Click to view the photos in full-screen
Then we had a surprise visit from Maleficent from Princess Parties. She was actually really funny, and had a good voice as well, singing to a few of the kid’s favourites like Let it Go.
And the final show – a big surprise for us all – our local Michael Jackson tribute artist – Mudassar Jackson himself. That got everyone close to the stage for videos and photos and a little bit of a boogie.
And to think that this all happened sometime within 1 – 4pm!
Note : Not all the entertainers mentioned above performs every Friday. They do introduce different characters depending on the occasion.
What about the food?
Okay – let’s remember what this brunch is called – a Family BBQ Brunch. So think about when you have a BBQ in the garden – what will you get?
The ‘sides’ are on your table when you get there – potato salad, cole slaw, spiced corn relish and rice n’ peas. It doesn’t ‘look’ pretty as it is served in closed plastic containers so don’t be put off because it’s not nice for the gram 😉 Not to worry – they all tasted good.
Later on, the meat platter is served to table – I wish I took home some of the smoked pork ribs. There’s also barbeque chicken, smoked brisket, spicy pork sausages, and mediterranean veggie skewers. The meat is all very properly cooked and I felt that it was perfect for the sort of brunch it is. I was eating off my hands most of the time, bouncing from one table to the other as we were there with a few friends and bumped into many more (what a popular venue).
Here’s the menu for the usual Friday brunch at Phileas – which is similar to what we got on Friday.
How was service?
Considering how busy they were (i.e full house), and yes, to mention that we were there on a review though I highly doubt the many many many staff present even knew that because they had to deal with hundreds of other guests that afternoon. I thought Phileas pulled off the brunch really well.
The food concept works well in this scenario – ie sides placed at table first, then platters served to table. Guests don’t have to move, as there is already enough going on with the entertainment and the kids everywhere. I loved that beer and cider buckets were placed on the tables as well so everyone can help themselves for seconds and thirds whenever they wanted – as you would do at a family BBQ.
Their cocktails for this specific brunch was so cool – ‘Goblin Blood’ and ‘Dracula Blood’ – served in hospital bags. Again, forgot to smuggle some home. These you request from the staff, but we didn’t have to wait too long. Good job, guys.
Take the kids to brunch at Phileas for a proper fun-filled afternoon.
This is one brunch where mum and dad is very happy, and the kids are constantly entertained. You can always see them – otherwise you know they are safe within the Arena. It is loud in there with all the shows on, so if you are looking for a quiet brunch – this is definitely not for you 😉
As for the food – the menu is there for all to check so don’t come complaining that – it was “just a BBQ platter”. Of course it is. That’s why it’s called a Family BBQ Brunch – and a very well-executed one as well. A brunch I will actually be keen to return, as I know they will mix things up for the different festivals and occasions 😉
- The Addams Family BBQ Brunch
- The Arena, Phileas Fogg’s, Address Montgomerie.
- Note : The one that occurs every Friday is called “The Big Family BBQ Brunch” – pricing is similar – 199AED sober package, 299AED house, 399AED premium, 99 AED kids 6-12
Have a browse through this list for other family-friendly brunches in Dubai.
Disclaimer : We were guests of Phileas Fogg’s to review the Family Brunch.