Eating Across the Colonies

One of the things that I really actually quite like about living in a COVID-19 world is that places are a bit quieter. I love to go out and catch up with girls, but there was little to no point sometimes because places are too loud either with music or chatter. Covid and the new spacing rules has made this much easier for old folks like me.

One such restaurant is The Croft at the Marriott Harbour Dubai. They have a fabulous brunch on but a bit of a reputation for being rowdy. I’ve always wanted to go but I’m just not rushing to go somewhere with that kind of an atmosphere. Now I can. I feel bad for them but I’m happy!

Brunch Nation is a lovely little set menu offering. There are dishes from different countries served in different courses so it really feels like you are travelling around the world. Its a great feeling when you physically cannot get on a plane and go.

The first course is served up in Australian style. It’s a bunch of salads. Not something that I would normally look at in a brunch, but since you no longer go and help yourself, you may as well try it when it’s in front of you. I think that is a very English thing. We don’t do salads very well. It’s too cold most of the time and so when we do have that odd burst of sunshine, we grill meats badly instead.

Duck salad is the one that I liked the most, but that’s because generally I just love duck. There was also shrimp and avocado. A winner every time. I would pick at those no problem. Then there was a quinoa thing, but I’m not a huge fan of that ever. The one that really surprised me was a roasted pumpkin type one. I don’t know what the grain in the salad was bit it was delicious. I couldn’t get enough of it!

Flavours of Asia was served up next. This was a bit of a difficult course for me because I’ve got a nut allergy. They did really well though and kept things separate, and explained what was in every dish. I didn’t have much but I did have the sweet and sour chicken, and it was exceptional. So good that if this wasn’t the 2nd of 5 courses, I would have asked for more. I did make mental note for later though.

When we had munched our way through that little food mountain, and had a pause, we were given the Idian selection. Again, not an easy one for me with the allergy. Harder than the Asian bit. There was less that I could eat, but with some delicious naan and daal, I didn’t mind so much. I did see if I could have a little bit of the sweet and sour chicken again but they had run out sadly. More bread was ordered to soak up the thick and fragrant daal and no one really was that bothered.

The final of the savoury courses was “The Main Destination”, otherwise known as British food! I wasn’t holding out much hope by this point. Although everything we had eaten so far was very nice, British food here is a bit up and downy. You should never hold your breath for it being anything more than average.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good it actually was! We ordered seconds of the fish and chips as the batter was perfectly seasoned and fried. I am not a fan of chunky chips, but they were delicious too. Sausage and mash was beef sausage wrapped in beef bacon, on a creamy kind of sweet potato mash with gravy. Ridiculously good! I do like beef sausages but I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to sausage and mash. The fact that I liked it surprised me hugely. The final dish aside from some vegetables, was bubble and squeak croquettes with a whole grain mustard sauce. Once again, fantastic. Couldn’t fault anything aside from the lack luster veggies. Given they are generally my favourite part of roast dinners so I felt let down by them!

By the time the desert round came, I was done. I’m not the biggest fan of desserts, as you know, but this time my lack of interest was due to the fact I had eaten far too much already. Apparently it was very nice though. One area of confusion was whether the dish that looked like a crème brûlée was, or if it was a disguised crème caramel. Three taste tests, poking and prodding, and a good jiggle later and we aren’t sure still.

Our findings may have been hindered by alcohol though. The brunch offer is for food AND drinks, and the had quite the nice little rosé. The prosecco was Hardeys, so too sweet for me but appeared to go down very well for others!

This whole yummy little offering was made even better by the fact it was on The Entertainer. Normally AED 400 a head makes it an incredibly affordable AED 200. I don’t know how they are doing it but I’m glad they did and I got to try it. If you get a chance, you should too. Please do tell them about your food allergies or if you’re a vegetarian upon booking so that they can prepare for that.

Written in October 2019.

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