Friday - - Leisure -

For­get the bouncy cas­tles. Hold fire with the high-oc­tane ac­tiv­i­ties. And as for the nuggets-and-chips kids’ menu – well puh-lease.

Be­lieve it or not, some­times what fam­i­lies with even very young chil­dren want is a so­phis­ti­cated brunch where the menu is ev­ery bit as de­li­cious as the decor. And when it comes to fine din­ing and fun for all the fam­ily there’s nowhere bet­ter than Lat­i­tude’s Fri­day Brunch at the Jumeirah Beach Ho­tel.

Tucked away on the ground floor, the restau­rant has an enor­mous ter­race, which is just per­fect for din­ing al­fresco in the cooler months, and in­side is just as el­e­gant. Airy and light, the eaterie is a chic mix of glass, wood and leather. There’s a small su­per­vised kids’ club in the cor­ner, and a great band, Aria Trio, to keep ev­ery­one en­ter­tained. But the star at­trac­tion is def­i­nitely the food.

Among the vast ar­ray of live cook­ing sta­tions fea­tur­ing dishes from far-flung cor­ners of the globe are ab­so­lute gems that will have your ba­bies, tod­dlers and even grannies ask­ing for more.

My five-year-old daugh­ter and 10-year-old son have to­tally dif­fer­ent tastes. She will eat any­thing that stands still long enough and he is so fussy, his fa­ther and I have been known to cook five dif­fer­ent meals be­fore and still not been able to get him to eat more than a few spoon­fuls.

So it can be a culi­nary chal­lenge to keep them both happy – but here they had the choice of Ja­panese, Malaysian, In­dian, Bri­tish (Sun­day roast any­one?), Ital­ian and Thai.

“I’ll have seafood pasta,” my son de­cided, watch­ing the chef create the dish to or­der to his ex­act taste (lin­guine with juicy prawns) while my lit­tle girl went for roast beef, well done, with fresh veg­eta­bles and roast pota­toes that were crispy on the out­side and fluffy on the in­side. “I want that spe­cial sauce that you make,” she in­sisted and I frowned un­til I re­alised she meant gravy. My hus­band went for his usual surf-and­turf combo – all se­lected by him and cooked while he waited.

I couldn’t de­cide what to have – there was so much on of­fer – so I had a bit of ev­ery­thing! I went for an Ital­ian starter of pasta po­modoro – sim­ple but de­li­cious – and a vegetable curry with a few roast pota­toes snuck on to the side (well who could re­sist when they’re just like my mother makes back in the UK?).

Un­usu­ally, not much was said for the next 10 min­utes as we tucked

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