I’ve always loved a good picnic. The joys of packing a basket of goodies, laying on grass-mats and staring at the world go by… Vida Downtown, however, is taking it to another level altogether. Think a swanky poolside setting in glitzy downtown Dubai instead of the countryside, and a delectable selection of globally sourced gourmet cheese, instead of humble jam sandwiches- and you get a unique remixed, revamped version– An Urban poolside picnic!
This was my first visit to the much acclaimed Vida Downtown, a concept 4 star boutique hotel in the heart of Dubai, minutes away from The Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. I loved the minimalistic décor and styling of the outdoor poolside restaurant, 3 In 1. The spacious restaurant exuded a sophisticated charm and I found the vibe to be casual and relaxed, but very classy – a refreshing change from Dubai’s usual, raucous brunch scene.
The Friday brunch buffet setting was very unique- Retro style, red-and-white checked picnic blankets and wicker baskets filled with freshly baked bread greeted us, along with a rich collection of cheese from different parts of the world. The wine list is extensive as well, even though I couldn’t find my favorite Aussie wine, the attendants were able to help me with a neat substitute. The service was impeccable and the staff was very efficient and knowledgeable- a sure sign of a good restaurant.
A live cooking station for made-to-order pasta and pizza was my favorite corner – A steady stream of smoked mushroom pizza slices and bespoke veggie pasta kept us busy until the main course. I opted for the seafood platter, which included lobster, mussels, shrimp and crab with a selection of sauces.
The best was saved for the last, ofcourse. The dessert selection was a revelation – everything from apple crumple pie to chocolate fudge brownies to carrot cake and various fruit pies were on display, making it a treat from the eyes as well as the palate. I must’ve had one of each item from the dessert menu and didn’t regret it for a second!
I would say, the starters and the desserts are clinchers for Urban Picnic at Vida Downtown but the main course is above average too, especially for meat eaters and steak fans. The brunch scores high on ambience too, with the lovely poolside venue and chic setting. Overall, a must-do in Dubai for the quintessential Friday brunch experience, with a creative twist.
Details: Urban Picnic at 3 in 1
Price: AED 265 inclusive of unlimited soft beverages and juices; AED 295 inclusive of unlimited selected beverages; AED 495 inclusive of unlimited bubbly; AED 100 on each package will be charged per guest when booking a cabana by the pool
Time: 1pm to 5pm