BEST FOR: SMALL BITES The Oberoi, Dubai
“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. firstname.lastname@example.org.