Concept brunching in Dubai is not a new, erm, concept.
Saturdaze at 3in1, a lazy Saturday brunch at the Vida Downtown (AED 139 per person, including soft drinks), is the fruit of one such effort in diversity. But is it any good?
The setting is certainly appropriate for its lazy days billing, taking place in a restaurant which opens out to a pool area bordered with luxurious cabana space (cabanas you can take advantage of for an additional AED 100 per person), surrounded by a peripheral sense of calm that’s difficult to find in the thronging hub of Dubai.
The cover price generously entitles us to as many buffet visits as we wish, soft drinks, a principle meal from the menu, a detox fruity treat from the resident mixologist, as well as one beverage from the naughty list.
The buffet is conservative in size and in harmony with its early start time (11am) focuses much more on the breakfast part of the brunch equation. It does this well: the quality of the buffet food on offer is definitely a tick in the win column – fresh, delicious, healthy and catering for common intolerances.
Like the buffet, the options for the main meal are few and decidedly breakfast-centric; we chose a merguez scramble and some cheese burger sliders (pictured) as a defiant act of breakfast rebellion. Again the standard of what is delivered is not in any question, and actually, the flavour of the merguez (a North African lamb sausage) in the scrambled eggs is impressively one of the closest approximations of the regional dish that I have encountered anywhere in the UAE.
The detox fruit juice concoctions were also a nice touch and blended expertly with the theme.
In addition to our selections, the a la carte items promise several egg-based masterpieces, Croque Monsieur for the cheese sandwich connoisseur, a healthy take on a breakfast burrito and a pair of fresh-leafed salads for those who ‘can’t even deal’ with carbs right now.
There is space for Saturdaze – it works well as a long late lazy breakfast. It feels like the concept creators were deliberate in this distinction too, an identity that for some reason is slightly lost in its marketing.
Maybe as a society we don’t feel like we’re ready, or that we deserve this type of breakfast, but we do my friends, we do. If conventional Friday brunches are your poison, this may just be your remedy.
Dubai Week reviews anonymously unless otherwise stated.