Friday - - Leisure -

“Uh-oh, this is go­ing to be a slip­pery ride down a gas­tro­nomic rab­bit hole.” That was the first thought that came to my mind the mo­ment I stepped into Nine7One to try out its brunch. The rea­son why I felt like Alice in Won­der­land at the swanky new Oberoi all–day-din­ing restau­rant, was the fact that what lay in front of me were platters and platters of ir­re­sistible minia­ture foods from var­i­ous parts of the world pret­tily ar­ranged across the room, look­ing like one of those pop-up il­lus­tra­tions that you come across in a chil­dren’s story book.

But I am no kid and I am old enough to know what hap­pens when one gives in to temp­ta­tion… Or so I thought. For very soon, just like a small child in a cho­co­late shop, I was walk­ing around look­ing at all that was on dis­play, oohing and aahing over not just what was on of­fer, but the way it was pre­sented.

The chefs at Oberoi are masters in the art of al­lure­ment, I re­alised. As cheesy metaphors go, I not only took the bait but chomped at it.

Next thing I knew my hus­band and I had plates filled with spongy dhok­las, skew­ers of per­fectly grilled chicken, dumplings stuffed with seafood and a roasted lamb slider, all ac­com­pa­nied by de­li­cious por­tions of tomato and cu­cum­ber gazpacho laced with cream.

As if that wasn’t enough, I was al­ready eye­ing the can­dyfloss-maker spin­ning away sin­fully sug­ary good­ness much to the fas­ci­na­tion of his young and not-so-young au­di­ence.

Then there was the dual cho­co­late foun­tain, which had both milk and white cho­co­late. Age, I re­alised, has got noth­ing to do with how old you feel. For sud­denly I was re­liv­ing my child­hood and was lick­ing and slurp­ing away to my heart’s con­tent, much to my bet­ter half’s cha­grin. Never mind that he was slurp­ing over his plate of oys­ters and stuff­ing his face with sliv­ers of per­fectly roasted meat.

Sev­eral plates later, we re­alised that the two of us were suf­fer­ing from food fa­tigue and fi­nally leant away from the din­ing ta­ble to sip some jas­mine tea, tak­ing in the view through the French win­dows and smil­ing at the happy kids ei­ther run­ning around or earnestly try­ing to learn how to bake per­fect cook­ies.

En­sconced in the warmth em­a­nat­ing from the ever-so­hos­pitable staff, we de­cided to call it a day as lin­ger­ing could have a last­ing im­pact on one’s waist­line.

Now, I’m old and wise enough to re­alise that I am no Lewis Car­roll, but as I walked away from Nine7One, I told my­self that af­ter an ex­pe­ri­ence like this I could eas­ily au­thor a ‘and they lived hap­pily ever af­ter’ kind of fairy tale. Cheesy end­ing but true.

De­tails: Fri­days, served from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. From Dh270 to Dh550 for adults, half price for un­der-12s and free for chil­dren un­der six. For reser­va­tions, call 04 444 1444 or email restau­rants. dubai@oberoi­ho­

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