People are always demanding something different from their brunch, and we thought that we had come across them all. From brunch with pool access, to brunch with a view or a celebrity chef. We have even ticked off brunch in a revolving restaurant and track side during the formula one. However, you can always rely on Dubai to throw another dimension into the equation, with an equine themed Brunch at the Polo, a world first..
We walked out to our seats on the terrace, just meters away from the edge of the polo field, and were courted by the soundtrack of a live pianist and a violinist, themselves only feet from the perimeter of the polo field. A sign perhaps, that we were about to indulge in an afternoon of finery and fanfare.
The Mediterranean-influenced cuisine comes from their outlet “Andalucía,” and is combined with Argentinian grills from “The Grill Pit”, served buffet style under the grand staircase inside and out on the terrace under the auspices of the live cooking chefs. A particular dish of note was the braised beef brisket, presented with celeriac puree and mixed wild mushrooms. A well put together dish that needed nothing to accompany it other than a nice glass of red.
On the outdoor grill, The Argentinian chef presided over the beef short ribs, roast turkey, rib eye & striploin steaks, calamari and shrimp, which were selected and cooked to order. These were all succulent and juicy at the beginning of the brunch, however suffered from the elements towards the later stages. The chill in the air caused the temperature of them to decrease so rapidly that they were almost cold before reaching our table. Our advice is to get it straight away and eat them piping hot with a selection of the chefs homemade sauces, most notably the chimichurri! Also keep your eyes peeled for the giant Paella that is slowly cooked on the terrace. Timing for this is also critical, even more so than the grilled meats if you want to experience it at optimum gloopy-ness.
The indoor section of the brunch is where the desserts, fresh pasta, indivdual salads, and the make-your-own ceviche station are situated. This St Regis, much like the brunches at the sister properties we have visited (Saadiyat Island in particular,) carries an extensive range of cheeses such as the the Pave du Nord, Brique D’Urfe and the Abondance. Truly something for the fan of the fragrant, the milky, and the downright pungent. The cheeses harmonised well with the selection of cold seafood and charcuterie on display that included some imaginatively excavated and then re-stuffed shells of both lobster and razor clams. For the little ones, the St Regis also features an impressive kids buffet, bursting with high quality ingredients such as: caprese salad bites, crudités, waffle benedict, sausage rolls, freshly bottled juices & vitality drinks to make sure that they are also getting their fair share of finery.
Hops options include Heineken or Budweiser, whereas the wine was provided by Santa Julia Sauvignon blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendoza, Arg) or Chandon Brut (Argentina) for those on the bubbly package. Service was swift if not spectacular, and we would perhaps have liked to see a few more options in terms of cocktails and aperitifs. A nice port to go along with the extensive cheeses would be a very well-considered touch.
If you want to getaway from the skyscrapers and bustle of the centre of town, whisking yourself off to the polo might just be the perfect piece of escapism. It is truly another world. One that specializes in creating a truly unforgettable experience by combining some exquisite cuisine with the majestic sport of polo. We were lucky enough to see the UAE Polo National team on our visit and all crowd members are invited onto the field of play afterwards in a familiarly strange tradition to stomp divets…Definitely a different kind of brunch day out for the family.