Al Maeda Saturday Brunch with Sip n Swim, Doubletree by Hilton JBR

Brunch Reviews | In Unspecified on February 9th, 2016
300-400 AED

Saturday Brunches are rapidly becoming as bountiful in their numbers as their counterparts are on a Friday, with hoteliers keen to seize upon the opportunity that evidently exists to satiate our appetites for elongating the weekend and engorging ourselves upon more of the city's culinary treats. For us, they also provide an opportunity to explore otherwise unchartered areas and restaurants that might be a little off the beaten track, under the radar, or simply just allow us to fit in a Brunch that we would otherwise need to wait until a free Friday opens up in mid-2016 to be able to try…

Al Maeda means "the table spread with food" or "the banquet' according to the Qur'aan, and this summed up perfectly what we wanted from our lazy Saturday as we approached the restaurant nonchalantly, looking forward to a chilled out afternoon of upscale Arabic cuisine with a breathtaking sea view.

The Food The theme of "The Spread" was evident from the outset, with an impressive long wooden island set out in the center of the restaurant which was reminiscent of an intimate, yet large and still very modern family kitchen. Today, this was home to various bowls and boats of Salads and Desserts. Adjacent to the table and set back against the wall was the open kitchen which played host to the various mains, hot dishes and tagines as well as a couple of busy chefs preparing the hot plates and live dishes.

As with any buffet, our plan of attack was simple. To divide our meal into your standard "Starter, Main and Dessert" sections, and conquer…repeating any and as many steps as necessary.

The selection of Salads and starters consisted of numerous Cold Mezze items that you would find on any respectable Lebanese or Arabic menu, although displayed with an added bit of theatre on large wooden blocks, decorative plates and intricate levels of detail such as waves, garnishes and inflictions across the spread. Examples of dishes on offer include Fattoush, Cabbage with Thaina, Moutable, Potato Salad, a Green Lentil Salad, Muhmara Eggplant Salad, Beetroot Salad, a Burghill salad & Beetroot Humuous to list but a few. There were also a number of Hot Mezze Items including Cheese Rokkakat, Spinach Fatayer, Meat Sambousek and Traditional Kibbeh which were also traditional favourites, presented in a contemporary fashion..

Before we moved onto the main courses, we were lured into trying the lentil soup, the smell of which had drifted under our nostrils so fragrantly on our first walk around the restaurant. The soup had a robust and intense flavor, which was hard to imagine from an ingredient as neutral as a lentil, and without the need for a single grain of Salt or Pepper!

The mains themselves included a Chicken Tagine, a Lamb Tagine with with Apricoats and Figs, a Mixed Grill, Shish Taouk, Seafood Stew and a Slow Roasted Lamb Ouzi which fell off the bone just as it should do. If the proteins were the main stars, then they were very ably accompanied by a willing group of supporting side dishes including Spicy Potato Harra, Vegetable Cous Cous, Kabsa Rice, Okra and ofcourse enough Arabic Bread to soak up your perfect little Arabic feast.

As we all know, our eyes are definitely bigger than our bellies and with buffets we have learnt to impose a "dessert time " on ourselves and also to try everything (for the good of the review of course!) The desserts were beautifully presented, in keeping with the impeccably high standards of the starters and featured Cream Caramels, a divinely devellish Date and Chocolate cake, Rice Pudding, a Moroccan Rose Brulee and ofcourse a selection of Baklawa and Kunafaw with crushed almonds and milk.

Although not a vast spread of food. Everything we tasted was clearly made with "love" and the approach is clearly one of quality over quantity.






The Drink

We started off with our traditional glass of Sauvignon Blanc which was a perfect accompaniment to the spices of our meal and we were content to sip on these all afternoon. Our F&B Captain Anil was over to top us up every 15 minutes and the floating members of staff found it easy to traverse the tables as it was not overly busy…although at one point we could not keep up with his attentions which sped up our pace of consumption…not that this is an area of complaint but we do feel the need to highlight it as others may be looking for a more relaxed Saturday then we ended up having! The Brunch includes an alcoholic (beer, wine, and spirits) and non-alcoholic option which also includes Moroccan Tea.

The Other Stuff

Al Maeda has a clean, contemporary design with traditional Arabic lamps, Blue and White shimmering tiles and an airy open plan design set against the backdrop of some breathtaking Sea Views. The Brunch takes on a very laid back feel with families and couples wearing anything from full national dress to swim wear as it caters for people of all lifestyles and any occasion. Access to the Beach and Pool is included in the Brunch price and as Saturdays go, along with a post-brunch dip in the pool and maybe a shisha, is a perfect way to finally finish off the weekend.

1 PM to 5 PM

AED 299 With Soft drinks and Moroccan Tea

AED 379 With Alcoholic Beverages

Packages include complimentary pool and beach access.

Call 055 166 8092 or email


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