Dubai: Friday Brunch During Lent

Healthy options at Al Bustan Rotana's brunch, including: beetroot-tahini puree with onions, hot-smoked salmon, sauteed spinach with onions and garlic, hummus, and a colorful mixed salad.

Healthy options at Al Bustan Rotana’s brunch, including: beetroot-tahini puree with onions, hot-smoked salmon, sauteed spinach with onions and garlic, hummus, and a colorful mixed salad.

There’s no need to pass the Dubai tradition of Friday brunch if you’re fasting during Lent (or if you’ve decided to go vegan). Actually, we usually find it quite easy to brunch on vegan food, and as a matter of fact, we never get to sample all the options in one brunch!

Of course, it’s easy to gorge into pasta and all the fried stuff: the potatoes, tempuras, spring rolls, etc.–but there is also a wide array of healthy veggie (and seafood) options to choose from, and we’ll be listing and posting pictures of some of these options every time we hit the brunch buffet.

Our favorite brunch (whether during lent or on any regular weekend) is the one at Al Bustan Rotana. The buffet there is especially packed with lots of Mediterranean, Asian, healthy vegetarian treasures that are not only good for you–after all, the restaurant is known for its good food!

Options include eating a rainbow of vegetables for a mix-your-own salad, as well as other salad options such as watercress-onion-sumac, corn-capsicum-cilantro, potato salad with lemon-oil dressing, beetroot-walnut, roasted root veggies salad, tabbouli, fattoush with pomegranate dressing, and pasta-pesto salad with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes (among many other options, of course).

There is also an impressive display of some seafood dressed on ice, which includes fresh oysters, prawns, crabs, an mussels, along with some smoked and fresh fish options (some people eat fish during lent, so this would be a great addition to their brunch experience).

Of course, there is always the live pasta station (but unless we’re really craving pasta, we tend to skip those empty calories and use our gastric space for something of more nutrient density!), the lentil soup, falafel, and some grilled and sauteed vegetables (including zucchini, of course). The Asian food section includes some vegan sushi options, stir-fried vegetable yaki soba noodles, and vegetarian dim-sums. There is also vegetable and shrimp tempura, but again, we keep those for intense cravings.

bustan 2

Vegan Brunch items from Al Bustan Rotana: Tabbouli, falafel, vegetarian dimsum, veggie yaki soba, and some roasted root vegetable salad.

Vegan Brunch items from Al Bustan Rotana: Tabbouli, falafel, vegetarian dimsum, veggie yaki soba, and some roasted root vegetable salad.

Another veggie-friendly brunch is the one at Anise, at the Intercontinental in Dubai Festival City. Although it is not as vast as the one in Al Bustan Rotana, it can still be pleasant and healhy. There is a nice live station for noodle stir-fries, along with some vegan arabic mezza and some vegan curries and dahls. There is also the saj station, where they make great zaatar manaeesh. Dessert also contains some vegan-friendly options such as a nice selection of sorbets (apple, strawberry, mango, raspberry, and lemon) and some fruits.Β 

Some vegan selections at Anise: Baba ghannouj (mashed baked eggplants with some capsicums), hummus, baked root veggies, and vegetable curry.

Some vegan selections at Anise: Baba ghannouj (mashed baked eggplants with some capsicums), hummus, baked root veggies, and vegetable curry.

Vegetarian stir-fried noodles at Anise

Vegetarian stir-fried noodles at Anise

Vegan sorbet selection at Anise

Vegan sorbet selection at Anise

Stay-tuned for some more healthy brunch experiences, and don’t hesitate to share yours! πŸ™‚

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Categories: Dubai, Restaurants

4 Comments on “Dubai: Friday Brunch During Lent”

  1. September 12, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    Do you girls have a recipe for the perfect fattoush dressing? I have been experimenting for weeks trying to get it to taste like in the restaurants, but I never seem to quite get it right. I’ve been using vinegar, fresh lemon juice, sumac, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, olive oil. Grateful for any tips πŸ™‚

    Like

    • September 12, 2014 at 4:27 am #

      Hi Stephi, the best fattoush dressing is olive oil, pomegranate molasses, a splash of white vinegar, and sumac. Add in some fresh parsley and mint leaves to blend into the taste. Skip out the ground pepper and lemon juice πŸ™‚

      Like

      • September 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

        Thanks so much for the quick answer πŸ™‚ could you give me the exact meassurements ? Thank youu

        Liked by 1 person

      • September 12, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

        Hi Stephi, it actually depends on the size of the fattoush bowl. For example, a large bowl that makes about 4-5 servings takes around 1/3 cup for each of the olive oil and the pomegranate molasses, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sumac. Perhaps I’ll include fattoush in one of my upcoming posts next week. Thanks for the suggestion! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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