Brunch Nation at The Croft: A Foodie Journey across the Commonwealth | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Sep 26, 2017

Brunch Nation at The Croft: A Foodie Journey across the Commonwealth

Ed and I have adapted the infamous Dubai Friday Brunch habit. Living in Dubai for almost a decade, yet started the weekend brunch tradition only two years ago, we are quite late-bloomers on this aspect. So, whenever we hear a new brunch, an interesting concept, or an excellent promotion, we are always too excited to check it out. 

Another brunch experience went down to our books last Friday. It was perfect! Well, Perfect was basically the word I used the most while trying out the all-new Brunch Nation at The Croft in Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites. 

Brunch Nation at The Croft

The Croft is a British restaurant offering British grub with a modern twist using locally grown, organic produce. Located in the 5th level of Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites in Dubai Marina, the dining venue has a homey and casual atmosphere. It is has a terrace with a pleasing view of the marina for outdoor seating during the colder months.

Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites
Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites

The croft at Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites
The Croft - a British restaurant with a modern twist

At brunch time, Ed and I were welcomed to a fun and relaxed vibe at The Croft. We were ushered to a table near a faux fireplace which, I must say, added a homey touch to the restaurant. Shortly, one of the staff came to introduce the concept of the brunch. We were, then, served with a refreshing welcome drink called Pimm's Lemonade. 

What makes Brunch Nation unique is that it is inspired by the cultures and flavors across the Commonwealth. It is focused on sharing platters served right from the kitchen to the table. And that means more time to relax and chitchat with your brunch date!

Pimms lemonade at The Croft
Pimm's Lemonade and Breadsticks 

starters at The Croft Brunch Nation
a variety of bread, salads and dips

The brunch starts with a journey to Australia. 

Our table was quickly filled with Australian-inspired cold appetizers; Sydney Harbor Seafood Salad, Melbourne Creamy Cucumber Salad, Perth Chicken Salad and New South Wales Rocket Salad. 

The salads gave our brunch a wholesome start. I personally loved the seafood salad as it is loaded with shrimps, organic radish and plump heirloom tomatoes. Ed, on the other hand, liked the simplicity of the creamy cucumber salad with sour cream and mint dressing.  

salads at The Croft Brunch Nation
Aussie-inspired salads

rocket salad at The Croft Brunch Nation
rocket, orange and currant salad

Next stop: Asia! 

We had hot appetizers from China (Sweet and Sour Chicken, Cantonese Dim Sum, Beijing Duck Pancakes) and Indonesia (Gado Gado! Love this!). This was such a good round up of Asian food. We enjoyed the variety of flavors and textures; from the subtle taste of the siew mai to the sweet and sourness of the tender chicken!

As recommended, we had Fight for Berries cocktail along with Asian cuisine. The fruity sweetness perfectly jibed with the rich flavors of the dishes.  

duck pancakes at The Croft Brunch Nation
Beijing Duck Pancakes

dim sum at The Croft Brunch Nation
a stack of Dim Sum

Asian dishes at The Croft Brunch Nation
specialties from Indonesia and China

cocktail at The Croft Brunch Nation
Fight for Berries cocktail

And then, we were whisked to India!

Our table brimmed with aromatic dishes in copper bowls. They served us Chicken Tikka Masala, Rogan Josh Lamb, Spicy Grilled Prawns, and Veggie Curry. All four dishes are distinctively good. With every bite, I got a burst of flavors in my mouth which I gradually washed down with Caribbean Beach cocktail.

It's hard to choose a favorite for this round, but if I really have to, I have to say it's the Rogan Josh Lamb. The lamb chunks are so tender, it almost melted in my mouth.    

Indian food at The Croft Brunch Nation
Indian dishes

prawns at The Croft Brunch Nation
prawns grilled to perfection

Caribbean cocktail at The Croft Brunch Nation
Caribbean Beach: a blend of rum, coconut cream, blue curacao syrup, pineapple

After three exciting courses, we arrived in our final destination - BRITAIN! I was already full to bursting, but didn't have the heart to say no to hearty British grub. I prepped up my digestive system with Gin and Tonic (very Brit, huh?!), and dived into the savory classics.

For this round, Beef Wellington, Fish and Chips, and Leek and Cheddar croquettes were served alongside tasty English sauces. The Beef Wellington was exceptional; the meat was cooked medium-well (just how I like it) and wrapped in a crusty golden brown pastry!   

British grub at The Croft Brunch Nation
British Grub

gin and tonic at The Croft Brunch Nation
Gin and Tonic

British dishes at The Croft Brunch Nation
the climax of our brunch journey

Ooops! We're not done yet!

For desserts, The Croft has a Dessert Station and an Espresso Martini stall arranged in the middle of the restaurant. There, I found Britain's traditional sweet treats such as Victoria's sponge cake and rice pudding. 

What better way to cap off the journey than with a plate of yummy sweets paired with a perfect glass of Espresso Martini.

espresso martini at The Croft Brunch Nation
Espresso Martini stall

espresso martini cocktail at The Croft Brunch Nation
a concoction of creme de cacao, kahlua, vodka and espresso

dessert station at The Croft Brunch Nation
the dessert station

Victoria sponge cake at The Croft Brunch Nation
Victoria Sponge Cake

lollipop tree at The Croft Brunch Nation
Lollipop Tree

Overall, the Brunch Nation is well-orchestrated! Each journey (course) is amazingly good. The dishes and drinks are varied, and I love how the different flavors perfectly harmonized with each other. The service was excellent as well. Dejan (not sure if I spelled his name right) was efficient, cordial and patient. He explained the dishes course after course, and generally took care of us from start to finish.

The only thing I don't like about this brunch is not having enough time to finish all the dishes served on our table. Well, this is clearly our fault as we arrived unfashionably late; giving us less than 2 hours for the whole experience. For this brunch concept, where several dishes are served and cleared away per course, it is best to arrive on the dot. This unsolicited advice goes out especially to the slow-eaters who want to savor the gastronomic journey.    

Check out this brunch experience on our YouTube video:

Brunch Nation
Every Friday, 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Brunch with free flowing soft drinks: 299 AED/adult
Brunch with free flowing house beverage: 399 AED/adult

The Croft
Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites
Contact # 043194000
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We were invited to experience the Brunch Nation at The Croft.
Opinions in this blog post are my own.

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