They say there’s a first time for everything, so this year I got to choose where to do our traditional pre-summer brunch, though decided that actually booking it was way beneath my station and attempted to outsourced it. Of course there was a consequence to my admin avoidance, which was an email from Mrs Mamma claiming my preferred choice, Saffron, was fully booked when she tried to reserve it “three weeks earlier”. Why it took her three weeks to send this message is subject to some debate with a few folks going as far to claim that she forgotton to do it and was telling a little white lie.
From the jaws of defeat
So, it’s Tuesday, and you’re trying to book Friday brunch in Dubai. Good luck with that matey. That said, this situation could be fairly described as a ‘high quality problem’, in other words, your world has become so shrink wrapped that you actually give a shit where you go to binge-eat and get rat-arsed on a Friday afternoon. Anyway, that’s the world we’re in, so fine – accept it and begin the frantic dash to find a suitable alternative. Mrs H came to the rescue with a proposal to try out Prime 68 at the JW Marriott Marque. I wasn’t that enthusiastic, but given that a) she had a solution and b) I suspected she might have a voucher, I decided to keep my mouth shut and go with it.
Up in the great glass elevator
Prime 68 is located on the 68th floor of the hotel (there’s a clue in the name), and after a white-knuckle-glass-fronted-elevator-ride that required fingers to be peeled off the handrails when we got the top, we were rearing to go.
The interior of Prime 68 is clean and minimalist, and felt like we’d gate-crashed someone’s pad just after the painters have just walked off the job and haven’t yet moved the furniture back or put up the pictures. The views were impressive, and once we’d got our sea legs after the elevator ride, we went to squeeze our faces against the windows and try to spot our houses.
First observation was that there appeared to be no food. Where was the rows and rows of silver buffet trays and mountains of salad? Nowhere to be seen, and already I’m starting to think this is going to be bobbins.
After sitting, the waiter came scuttling over and gave us the run down. Thirty eight courses, yes I said thirty eight, i.e. thirty courses and then eight more, which will be served to us at the table. I speculated it was going to be thirty seven courses of food, followed by a waaafer thin mint so we could all spontaneously explode and complete the paint job.
Packages pricing was fairly standard, 295 for the sharia complaint version, 495 for the Regular Joe alcohol and 595 for the Champagne Charlie package, i.e. Mrs Mamma and Perfect Wife.
Captain Pugwash immediately smelt a rat and suggested they were going to fill us with 14 course of bread so we couldn’t fit in the good stuff, and for a period I thought he may be right as inconsequential starter after inconsequential starter was brought out.
We needn’t have worried, they eventually got onto the good stuff, and the variety and quality of food was top rate. After a slightly bumpy and slow start on the drinks, we soon got the team whipped into shape so the service was good and generally on the ball.
The occasion was also likely to be our last brunch as a complete posse, as Father Ted and Mrs Doyle had decided to sell us out and leave the Dubai bubble for the joys of the Emerald Isle. More of that story on another post.
Attendance was fairly compete, apart of course from Kinski, who has decided to cut down his carbon emissions by taking a job 3,250 miles away.
Where did the rabbit come from?
Highlight of the afternoon, and brilliantly timed so the reflexes were somewhat dulled, was a table magician who spirited wedding rings onto his shoelaces and ghosted photos of playing cards into our iphones. Awesome, and what a terrific way to wrap up the afternoon. Father Ted’s was staring so hard to try and work out the tricks, I thought his eyes going to pop out of his skull.
Wigs & sticks
Another interesting twist, which we sneered at on entry was a dressing up box and background for photos. Three hours later, and we couldn’t get those wigs on fast enough. Results left, which are now framed, three of which are on various mantelpieces in Dubai, one is in a forty foot container somewhere on the Arabian Gulf. Inshallah.
Prime 68 brunch – excellent change of scenery, terrific views, decent value for money. 8/10