I must admit that it took me a while before I finally grasped how Friday brunches are just a usual thing in Dubai. But although Friday brunches are mainstream, each restaurant still has its own way of making their brunch standout.
Another member of Dubai's brunch scene is the newly launched Tapas Fridays at The Huddle Sports Bar and Grill in Citymax Hotels in Bur Dubai. Conveniently located in Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai, just a few blocks away from our place, Mark and I sampled a Spanish-style Friday brunch.
It's only halfway through the afternoon when we arrived, but the place was surprisingly packed, not only with diners but with groups who are in for some afternoon booze.
A sports bar in essence, the place is brimming with huge televisions showing the latest sports, and some trophies and sports stuff adorning the walls. Perfect for an afternoon with friends while enjoying some drinks and watching a game. The place is cozy and unpretentious, with a well-stocked bar and live acoustic entertainment throughout the afternoon.
Deviating from the usual fancy and vast spreads, Tapas Fridays is loaded with tapas (a variety of hot and cold appetizers in Spanish cuisine), salads, a selection of mains, breads, and desserts, plus free flowing beverages including Sangria, beers, and other alcoholic drinks.
The Spanish-style brunch includes an assortment of olives, breads, salads, cold cuts, cheese, and open sandwiches...
...plus mains including grilled kebabs, fish, and prawns, calamari, roast beef, and seafood paella.
We started feasting on some tapas, Sangria, and beer. The shrimps and calamari were the stars of my plate. It would have been better if the squid was a little tender, but I loved the crunch in it. I'm a sucker for shrimps and I liked that the grilled shrimps didn't disappoint.
It was my first time to try a Sangria, so I really can't tell how it should taste like, but I found it too strong. Mark, on the other hand, enjoyed his ice-cold beer.
My second plate included loads of roast beef with gravy, since Mark was raving about it on his first bite. And well, I can't argue. The thinly sliced tender beef was bursting with flavors. It's good as is but the gravy made it even yummy.
Who would have thought that a pan-fried banana wrapped in turkey ham would go perfectly well together? Odd as it may seem, this banana-turkey combo is definitely a hit! The pineapple glaze (if my palates served me right) also added zing to this ingenious dish.
Being the sucker for shrimps that I am, I was eyeing this cocktail shrimp with tomato puree shot glass but was lured to the even bigger grilled prawns, but I made sure to try it on my second round. My hopes may have went high and it was sad that this cocktail shrimp was a bit of a downer. Maybe I'm just not into cold shrimps, but yeah, I found it lacking in flavor.
I didn't like the Sangria so I also got Virgin Mojito when it's time for dessert. Now this one, I liked. It's sweet, tangy, and refreshing.
There were only a few desserts left when we checked. I also noticed how there wasn't any chocolate-based desserts on the spread, which somehow made Mark feel down.
The desserts were decent, but didn't quite give that oomph. I enjoyed the smooth citrus-y souffle, though. I was just wondering why it didn't come with the dark chocolate garnish when the dessert spread got replenished.
Yet another usual sight at brunches and nothing really spectacular, you might think, but not when it costs only AED 99. Let's just not factor in the service--staff wasn't attentive and it took a lot of follow ups just for the drinks, but yes, for only AED 99 for all you can eat and drink (including Sangria and house beverages), plus a lively ambience, the Tapas Friday Brunch is such a steal!
Fridays, 12:00pm - 4:00pm
AED 99 per person
For updates about Citymax Hotels you can visit and like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/citymaxhotels, or follow them on Twitter: @Citymax_Hotels. You can also visit their website at www.citymaxhotels.com.
THE HUDDLE SPORTS BAR & GRILL, Al Mankhool
Lobby Level, Citymax Hotels Bur Dubai
Street 74, Al Mankhool
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 4078000
+971 (0)50 1007065
Nearest Metro Station: ADCB (Red Line)
We were guests at the Tapas Fridays at The Huddle and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.