Mezzerie is one of the six food and beverage outlets in the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah hotel, and is the usual location for the New York-inspired Mezzerie Friday Brunch buffet.
About two weeks after my Restaurant week dinner at Social by Heinz Beck at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, I received an email about the Mother’s Day brunch on March 18th, 2016. In celebration, they were offering all mothers 50% off at the Mezzerie Mother’s Day Brunch buffet, and invited me to experience it.
For a few days I let the email sit unanswered and eventually decided to reply, respectfully declining the invitation. As my mouse hovered over the send button, I could practically hear my late mother’s voice reproachfully saying: ‘You know how much I love the Waldorf Astoria, how can you refuse their Mother’s Day brunch when they invited you?’
And I remembered the exceptionally warm and wonderful experiences we had at the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah when she was alive… More on that after my next visit at Eid in shaa ALLAH.
With all those memories flooding over me, I graciously accepted the invitation to the Mezzerie Mother’s Day Friday brunch buffet at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. I know, I know… It’s already May, but now this post is perfectly timed for Mother’s Day in other parts of the world today 🙂
My friend and I (she’s a mother), arrived at the hotel shortly before 1pm. For once the traffic was not a complete disaster as a result of the road works, so we reached there earlier than anticipated. We were momentarily distracted by the beautiful and delicate chandelier that hung above the staircases going down to the restaurant.
Although we both forgot to take photos of the restaurant entrance we did manage a few photos of the gardens and alfresco dining area. The Mother’s day brunch did not start until 1pm and we enjoyed the quiet of the lounge area while we waited for the restaurant to open for service.
At the restaurant we were greeted by one of the managers who showed us to our seats, and offered to show us around the extensive buffet before more guests arrived. It was already rather warm outside so we elected to sit in the airy and spacious dining room.
The buffet was breathtaking and both my friend and I forgot to take any photos of the dining room interior… The cover photo is courtesy and copyright of Waldorf Astoria.
I don’t often attend Friday brunches in Dubai because they have a reputation as boozy outings where people stay for hours only to drink unlimited amounts of alcohol. This was in contrast to the relaxed and family friendly atmosphere at Mezzerie on the day of our visit.
The first stop on the buffet, and such an impressive one at that, is the Seafood Bar. It looked and smelled fresh from the sea! The last time I saw that much fresh seafood was in Elandsbaai on the Cape West Coast, during the Red tide many years ago.
The raw oysters were plump and briny with a sweet buttery flavor uplifted by a squeeze of lemon and a drop of tabasco. The lobster tails were also sweet and firm with a delicate flavor. My friend declared that she could eat chicken and meat every day, so would be sticking to the seafood.
The array of salads was extensive and there was also a live cooking station with chefs from LAO, the Vietnamese restaurant in the hotel. I loved the fresh rice paper spring rolls. The crispy crunch of the julienned vegetables with the herbs was such a refreshing change that I went back for a second helping.
I love Waldorf salad, the iconic dish created at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City, between 1893 and 1896. At Mezzerie, the ingredients for the salad were displayed and could be assembled to one’s own liking, a little more of this or that as you preferred.
A highlight was undoubtedly the Roast beef and Leg of lamb with sweet roasted vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. The lamb was fork tender and melt in the mouth and the roasted vegetables were perfectly caramelized.
I had a peek at the hot foods and grills and could not resist the vegetables that included sauerkraut, spinach, mac & cheese and creamy potatoes. The live grilling station had a selection of spiced chicken and king prawns. The flame grilled prawns were firm but sweet and succulent and relatively easy to remove from the shells.
Further along there were slow cooked foods like lamb shank and a few Arabic dishes. The lamb shank was fall off the bone tender and very flavorsome, and I thoroughly enjoyed it with the hot vegetables and a baby baked potato with sour cream.
There were also a few child friendly dishes, but those did not look particularly inspiring and I did not try any of them.
The dessert buffet was everything a dessert lover’s dreams are made of. I could almost hear my absent aunts gasping in delight! From tortes, tarts and small cakes to individual desserts; there was something for everyone.
The tiramisu was simultaneously rich and decadent but also very light and airy and served in a perfectly proportioned shot glass. Not too much; not too little; just right.
Oh, and not forgetting the ubiquitous chocolate fountain with fresh fruit skewers and dainty madeleines. The madeleines were the best I have ever tasted; buttery and light with a light covering of white chocolate.
Last but not least, my personal favorite, the cheese and bread display. I was ogling all the cheeses for such a long time and kept going back to it as it had such a wonderful variety.
It did occur to me that the dining room seemed rather empty for a Mother’s Day, when I would have expected to see a larger crowd. Perhaps diners were put off by the traffic jams on the Eastern Crescent, resulting from the road works. Or perhaps it is just too long a drive for some.
The location with a view of the gardens and the option to dine indoors or alfresco, is perfect for the cooler months when families may want to enjoy the outdoors. Inside, the layout and design makes the dining room feel very spacious, airy and uncluttered. Although we sat close to a family with small children, we barely heard them, except when they were giggling with my friend.
We both paid special attention to the service and found that the staff were similarly conscientious and observant in attending to all the guests in the dining room. The service was welcoming and courteous and the staff were very prompt in filling beverage orders. When the plates were empty, they would come to clear and refresh the table setting. When the water and mocktail glasses were empty, they would soon ask if a refill was required. Standard one would imagine; but sadly often overlooked, even in five-star establishments.
Every now and then they would drop by with a dish from Social by Heinz Beck as an additional indulgence for brunch guests. I still think the pasta and risotto are way too salty for my personal taste. You can read my review on Social by Heinz Beck Dubai here.
I loved the bountiful array of quality seafood, meat, cheese and dessert on the Mezzerie Friday Brunch buffet. I was unable to decide on a favorite part of the meal because every morsel that I tried was prepared to a standard that I enjoyed, and beautifully and tastefully presented.
The Vietnamese street food served up by the chefs of Lao restaurant have definitely opened my eyes and my palate to the beauty and simplicity of Vietnamese cuisine, and I look forward to trying it again.
We had an incomparable experience and I would recommend this to anyone seeking a tranquil and leisurely brunch with all the bells and whistles.
At the time of writing the normal price of the Mezzerie Friday Brunch Buffet is AED 345 per person for adults, inclusive of soft drinks, although other beverage options are available. Children under 6 yrs of age dine for free, and for children 6-12 yrs you get a 50% discount. I believe that this is great value for money if you want something special.
You can find further details of their brunch offers here.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Mezzerie at the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah, however all opinions are unequivocally my own.