Now, those of you that know me know that I am *anything* but upper- crust. I’m a pretty down-to-earth kinda gal. But I’d wanted to go to one of these Friday Brunches forever. They’re pretty pricey, though, so when my friend Koral came through with a great discount with a Cobone voucher deal (kinda like Groupon) – we jumped on it. Plus, it was at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, literally *right* across the street from where we live!
Brunch is from 1 – 3 pm, and after brunch, there’s a polo match to which we were given complimentary admission, and could view from the terrace of the polo club. I’m thinking “cool – brunch and a polo match, this will be fun!” And it was!
First off, though, let me fuss a bit. On the vouchers, there’s a dress code requirement listed “smart casual”… no shorts, Tshirts, flip flops, sneakers, trainers etc. I’m thinking “OK, but TBG will wanna wear his sneakers…..” When the club called me to confirm our reservation and to remind us to make sure we brought our vouchers, they also mentioned that there was a dress code requirement. I’m thinking overkill, but it’s all good – we’ll dress smartly casual.
Uh yeah…. Apparently , clothing does not matter a bit. We saw everything from the shortest of jean shorts with racer-back T-shirts and flip flops to men’s khaki shorts and sneakers. TBG thought for sure I’d tried to put something over on him just to make him “dress up”….. *sigh*. Word to the wise – just dress comfortably, I suppose, because it certainly did not seem to matter at all what one wore to this brunch.
OK, on to the foods- and oh my goodness was there food! Each room had a different course, and thankfully we were conveniently seated in the ice cream and dessert room <smile>.
Don’t you just love those tiny little one-bite servings of dessert? In six or seven bites, you can sample chocolate mousse, cheesecake, custards, carrot cake, an arabian sweet called halwa (and there’s an excellent youtube video here on exactly how to make this morsel!), just an awesome assortment of yummies.
Then there was a salad room, with both cold and room temp salads, a bread and sushi room, a side dishes and cheese room, and the entrees were outdoors.
I’ve taken a photo of a couple platefuls so I could remember what all was offered.
Salads were plentiful and tasty – mozzarella and tomato was my favorite, followed by a krab and cucumber….. sad, I know, but I love that whitefish krab stuff with the red dye. <smile>
Now, the entrees were outdoors, there was a shawarma and fajita station, cooked to order.
And the gent that was offering up various curries, and some awesome butter chicken – so very kind, offering descriptions of what all was in each dish, level of spiciness, etc. of each. I asked if I might photograph him, and he proudly smiled and nodded “yes”.
Now, there was also a man at a huge grill that I photographed from the back, but I stood in front of him – literally *right* in front of him facing me for over two minutes, and he never acknowledged me. I started to walk off as TBG walked up and the grilling man said “madame, madame, may I help you??” Uh yeah, sure…. When TBG comes you wanna pay attention to me, right? Sheesh. Anyhow, TBG got some awesome rib roast, roasted corn and potatoes there. Me? Nada. Twerp.
Oh, and in the Sushi/Dim Sum/Seafood room, there was a bread cupboard! Now, I’d never seen bread displayed and served from a cupboard, and I thought it was pretty dang cool and innovative.
Closeby, there were the cold soups in a cupboard as well, gazpacho and something green that I forget, perhaps we’ll be able to see the tag when I add the photo. But they were served in stemmed glasses, and looked very appetizing! The cheese plate was kinda small, but a good-tasting collection. The cold cuts and shrimp got my attention…. I’m a big boiled shrimp fan!
Desserts were pretty amazing – tiny bites of carrot cake, brownies, chocolate mousse, mango or strawberry parfaits, an apple crumble with warm vanilla sauce (this was GOOD!), some tiny little fried bits of something that were totally addictive. I only put two on my plate, and could honestly have eaten the ENTIRE platter of them. Honest. They were sweet, slightly crunchy, tasted buttery somehow, and perhaps a bit of cardamom?? Shaped like tiny little peanuts, they were awesome. There was an icecream case with a big variety of commercial frozen goodies, as well as a gent making crepes and filling them with any of an assortment of goodies for you. Oh, and a chocolate fountain with fruits and marshmallows to plunge.
We tried valiantly to get our server to bring us beverages. She was cute as can be. But bless her heart, she would bring one cup of coffee at a time, when we’d ordered three. Twice. When I said “But, honey, we need two more, a rose wine, and a diet coke with ice.” She said “oh, I bring one, tray is so small.” I said “you’re bringing one drink at a time because your TRAY is too small?” She said “yes madame”. Wellallrightythen. We’re gonna be thirsty. But we’ll be someone else’s thirsty customers, cause it’s time for POLO!
Ah – Polo, the Sport of Kings. Now, I’ve never been to a polo match before. The closest I’ve ever come to seeing a match was watching the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere movie “Pretty Woman” And I’m betting that TBG thought I would likely act just like this…..
I thought of it as some rich playboy kinda sport, requiring a ton of money and time. I think I’m right. But we were seated on the terrace, in the shade, on cushy sofas with a guy to bring you whatever your heart desires. We felt like some kinda celebs or something. <smile> My friend Koral sure looks like she’s engrossed in the play, doesn’t she?
But, it was fun to watch, even if I didn’t understand the subtle nuances of the game…. I did remember (from that movie) that at the end of the second “chukker”….. all the audience got up and went down on the field to stomp the horse-divots back down, perhaps to keep the horses from tripping?? I honestly don’t know why, but it was surely fun! Someone *could* have mentioned to me that it’s bad form to take your drink out onto the field with you…. sheesh!
Notice the cars on the other side of the field? They’re kind of like the equivalent of US tailgaters – they pay some money for the privilege of having a front-row seat, picnic and visit….. and they’re up close and personal with the riders, too. But when those horses are thundering past and you can hear them and feel them and there’s dirt flying up and you can smell them it’s a pretty intense feeling!
I did learn that the horses get changed out and walked around to cool off or warm up, and that the teams have “people” to do that. While the players were riding their ponies, there was always a couple of people riding their other ponies…. One cooling the previous horse down, the other warming up the next horse to play. It really was an interesting process to watch. It was an interesting day, and on the way out, we stopped to see where some of the “companion” critters were hanging out while their friends were out playing polo.
So, brunch and a polo match….. would I go to another one? Perhaps. But honestly? I’m more a “watch NASCAR on TV while inside on the sofa in the air conditioning” kinda gal…… <grin>