I’m going to let you into a couple of (not-so-secret) secrets about myself:
- I like food, a lot. If it’s unlimited even better.
- One of my favourite pastimes is daytime drinking.
- I consider “brunching” a sport.
The sum of these secrets is that I am NEVER one to turn down a brunch and I like to think as a result I have tried and tested a lot in Dubai. I’m always excited when a new brunch or concept comes out, hence my arrival at the Qwerty Brunch in Media One Hotel.
This was my first visit to Qwerty which is situated on the ground floor of the hotel. It has a bar-cafe feel to it with some funky touches like neon slogans adorning the walls, a couple of scarily large sheep made of old telephone wire and quirky scatter cushions sporting phrases which all seemed to sum me up perfectly. It’s bright, airy and casual. The brunch takes you back to the 80’s (although I’m clearly too young to remember those days! Guffaw!) with games such as Jenga, Connect Four, Scrabble and mini ping-pong laid out in the middle of the room. The whole vibe was very laid back, with most men in shorts and t-shirts and ladies in smart casual outfits, which is a nice change to having to get dressed up to the nines and teeter around in 10-inch heels for 3 hours!
The brunch is priced at 199 AED for 2 hours, but there is a top-up hour that you can add on for an extra 99 AED making this extremely reasonable, especially considering the volume of food and free flowing alcohol. Beverages include bottled beers, house wines and spirits to keep it nice and simple.
Expect your feast to start with the “Endless Grazers” which do exactly as they say on the tin… you can order more of these until your heart (or stomach!) is content but be careful not to let your eyes get bigger than your belly! We were greeted with a selection of maki rolls followed by the “Drunken Pint of Prawns”. The prawns are served with a great Marie-Rose sauce and avocado salad which I loved, definitely a winner. Next up was the Brnch Board which included Thai chicken burgers, tempura prawns, BBQ chicken wings, beef skewers etc. I was a tad disappointed with the burgers (you know I love a good burger), the chicken was a little on the bland side and could have done with some more spice. I’m pleased to inform you however that the chicken wings and tempura prawns more than made up for this. So much so we ordered an extra portion of each, although in hindsight (such a wonderful thing!) these probably weren’t necessary. We needed a full half an hour to recover before we could even think about moving onto main courses. Heed my warning about your eyes being bigger than your belly!
There were 3 options when it came to mains, Mussels and Fries, Paneer Massala and Beef Bourguignon. I opted for the mussels while my partner in crime went for the beef. The mussels were deliciously fresh and served in a creamy white sauce which was perfect for dunking the fries. The beef was tender and well-seasoned and fell apart as it should. At first I thought the portion was a bit on the small side but even my husband struggled to finish it after all the starters we had devoured.
Last but not least…. (my favourite part of brunch) was the dessert trolley. And not just any trolley… oh no…. this was an actual shopping trolley! I applaud whoever came up with this idea; it was ingenious and got everyone up taking pictures and videos. There were actually two trolleys now I come to think of it, the first was serving apple pie and crepes which were lovely, but the presentation of this trolley was nothing compared to the main dessert trolley which was full of beautiful sweet treats including macarons, pavlova’s, cheesecake and a crème brulee which was caramelised at your table. The chef and his magical assistant will plate everyone up in front of you, adding in a bit of dry ice for good measure (great for the pics) before serving you with a gorgeous looking, tasty platter. This was definitely the highlight of the brunch for me!
One of the things I was (wrongly) dubious about prior to attending the Qwerty brunch is that I had heard via my sources that they actively encourage you to get involved in challenges during the brunch via WhatsApp. I really wasn’t too sure how this was going to work or how I felt about diverting my attention away from the eating/drinking I had set my heart on. Any concern I had was quickly laid to rest once the Irish Games master did the rounds encouraging each of the tables to send a WhatsApp to the number on a card on the table and so the games began. We were sent challenges and questions throughout the brunch where you could win a staycation, a dinner for 4 etc. and it actually went down amazingly well. You could see the tables all getting involved and getting super competitive especially when it came to the challenge involving plasticine. I won’t spoil the challenge for you though; I’ll leave you to enjoy that one!
This brunch is perfect for a casual catch up with friends and especially if you’re looking for a bit of fun. The food was tasty and there were vast amounts of it. Service was slick and our waiter was on the ball often bringing us another drink before we’d even finished the last. I’m really excited about summer arriving as Qwerty has a great outdoor space with a bar which will be awesome for al fresco drinks once it’s cool enough to sit outside.
If you fancy a change from the typical Dubai brunch this one is for you!