With a name that exudes sophistication, I expected nothing less from Palazzo Versace. The 5-star hotel is Dubai's newest luxury gem tucked on the bank of the creek. I was in awe as soon as I saw the striking Neoclassical facade, and even more when I was welcomed at the foyer with an intricate Pietra di Fiume design of Medusa.
My eyes widened at the sight of the exclusive designs and fabrics from the House of Versace. You don't need to be a high-end fashionista to appreciate such splendid details! I was amused, but at the same time scared to be near the breakable pieces as I'm pretty sure it would cost me an arm and a leg! Hahah!
A staff warmly asked how can she assist us. I wish I could tell her that my husband and I are there for a one night luxury retreat, but that's just me day dreaming! I cleared my throat and inform her that we're there for the International Friday Brunch at Giardino.
Giardino is casual restaurant located at the ground floor of Palazzo Versace. Exotic mosaic patterns run from the pillars to the walls and tropical-themed furnishing filled the bright spaces. These, along with the live music, make Giardino a venue for a relaxed Friday Brunch.
|Palazzo Versace - a 5-star hotel on the bank of Dubai Creek|
|Welcome to the jungle... to Giardino I mean. :)|
|live music - from classics to current hits!|
Giardino offers an elaborate brunch buffet. The choices are properly segregated according to the type of cuisine. Live-cooking stations occupied one part of the restaurant, all kinds of bread in one corner, a variety of seafood in the middle counter, and a massive array of desserts adjacent to it!
|Care to start with a fancy cheese plate and foie gras?|
|a posh selection of Hors d'oeuvre|
The appetizers are exquisite! I got myself a Foie Gras Cream Brulee and Goat Cheese with Berries. Then I excitedly made my way to the seafood bar to grab some oysters and scallops! Then, to the live cooking station for a freshly grilled lobster. I was totally blown away with the seafood choices.
|live grill station for lobster, fish and chicken|
|grilled lobster and fine Japanese rolls|
|I shrieked for these shrimps...|
|...and the fresh oysters, of course!|
Ed and I opted to go for Italian cuisine after the starters. After all, we're in an Italian hotel! The chef invited us to try the prepared pizzas and pastas, but a few minutes later, he came to our table with a cart of piping hot risotto!
I adored Giardino's "kitchen to table" concept. It has the element of surprise and seeing the food carts around the dining hall excites me! I waited for more dishes to be brought to our table, but sadly it was an ice cream cart that came next. As I wasn't ready for dessert, I declined and went back to check what's in store at the live cooking stations.
|This melanzana pasta is P-E-R-F!|
Back to the buffet, I spotted Indian, Japanese and Arabic dishes. There's also a succulent roast beef served with Yorkshire pudding in a carving station, and a mouthwatering Lamb Ouzi in a large chafing dish! I was spoilt for choice. Not to mention, every dish I had has a story to tell!
|Indian dishes in traditional pots|
|Traditional English Roast: Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding|
|Flavor of Arabia: Lamb Ouzi, meticulously prepared and presented|
|delicately handcrafted Japanese rolls|
Giardino has an impressive dessert selection for Friday brunch. All are picture perfect; fancy and classy or should I say... very Versace! But the best part is that those "too pretty to eat" desserts actually tastes good. I would still be impressed even if they came without gold leaf trimming or lavish shaving!
|one of the many gaudy desserts at Giardino|
|a fountain of rich chocolate|
|chocolate rocher with a speck of edible gold leaf|
|Bedazzled from start to finish!|
Dubai has tons of options for Friday Brunch, but what makes Giardino a top pick is its unique ambiance. It is a restaurant where you can dine without worrying about anything as the chefs are within reach and the wait staff are attentive! It is festive yet fashionably on point. Because, after all it's Versace!
Brunch Offers as of September 2016:
International Brunch - every Friday, 1 to 4 PM, starting from 350 AED per person
Arabesque Brunch - every Saturday, 1 to 4 pm, starting from 285 AED per person
We were invited to dine at Giardino. Opinions in this blog post are my own.