What’s the story?
A 1920s Hollywood inspired brunch, they really do embrace the theme here. From the staff in flapper dresses and black shirts with white ties, through to the adornment of ostrich feathers, pearls and gold and black detailing on the tables and food displays. And then there’s the entertainment – a very impressive swing singer who really adds to the overall setting of this brunch. Although its not a party brunch, you still might get one or two having a dance towards the end and there’s generally a great atmosphere throughout the afternoon.
In terms of brunch style, this is (what I’m terming) a hybrid brunch with starters and desserts in a buffet format, and a selection of mains ordered at your table.
Based in the H Hotel on the Sheikh Zayed Road and near the World Trade Centre metro station. Delphine (a relative of the Hollywood based restaurant of the same name) is situated just off the impressive lobby area of this hotel which is also home to the Black Lion, Okku and the very trendy 40 Kong rooftop bar. Although based in the lobby, Delphine still feels quite intimate and away from the main reception. It’s not a big place with two rooms housing a small number of tables and a separate bar next door. I’d try and be located in the main room as it’s closer to the singer (who is very good), as well as the all important desserts!
As mentioned above, this is part buffet, part table orders so the best of both worlds in my eyes. The starters on the buffet aren’t extensive, but there’s a high quality selection with a range of salads, a small selection of seafood, as well as a pork station.
If this was a normal buffet then I might be disappointed by the smaller selection, but in actual fact it’s quite a relief not to be too overwhelmed and spend the whole time wandering around between the different stations, which can be the case at a larger brunch. And also this is without even taken the mains into account. Mains always seem the weak link at a brunch for me and can be a bit average. This isn’t the case at Delphine. Mains are certainly the order of the day and order away you should by choosing as many dishes as you like from the various options on the menu.
This was our second time at the brunch and whilst a few items remain the same, many have been updated. As we’d learnt last time (I’d learnt the hard way in particular then) it’s best to share dishes. Although portions are not giant, some are not small either (we didn’t have the burger but it looked a very generous portion indeed). Highlights from the mains were the braised beef ribs and the poached eggs. I think the menu last time was slightly better for me with incredible mac & cheese balls (my favourite), but it was still excellent quality. It is relatively fancy so bear that in mind if you prefer plainer dishes.
And then there’s the desserts. The attention to detail here is excellent, with the display being so beautiful you don’t want to take a bite (but it’s obviously too tasty to resist). Again there were some changes to our previous visit, but they were still impressive to say the least (who thought of chocolate salami?!) I should also provide a warning that candy floss often gets served to tables just in case you were missing a further sweet treat. That was the end of me on our first visit, so I restrained myself this time.
Sparkling wine is available (always a plus), as well the usual wine selection. If you like Rose then note that this one is very red! This would be my only complaint but again that’s just my preference. There’s a good selection of cocktails on offer too, which is another plus for a brunch. We can vouch for the Bloody Mary and Caipirinha. There’s also beers available – Hollandia, Heineken and Sol.
We’ve been twice now and have really enjoyed this brunch both times. The order to the table mains and the attention to detail of the desserts make this brunch standout, although the starters are also excellent in terms of quality. I must admit I probably enjoyed the mains more last time, but that’s purely personal taste – it was still brilliant on our second visit. This brunch’s strengths are definitely more than the food alone though, the efforts of the staff both in terms of outfits but also service, as well as the entertainment (which is some of the best we’ve seen), makes this brunch stand out from the crowd. I’m sure I’ll make it back for a third visit.