The Chill & Grill Brunch at the Ritz Carlton JBR is the place to be on a Saturday afternoon.
Lounging on comfy wicker chairs and sipping on scrummy cocktails we couldn’t have been happier. Laidback summer tunes were being played by resident singer, Francoise …., and the dappled sunlight filtering through the palm trees was warm and lovely. The smokey smells of the barbeques drifting our way, all while enjoying 180 degree views of the Arabian Gulf. Score.
So, if you looking a low-key brunch that is perfect for Dubai’s autumn days, where you can feel the sea breeze tickle your shoulders and dig your feet into the sand, then the Chill and Grill brunch at Ritz Carlton JBR is perfect. There is nothing super fancy or overcomplicated about this brunch. It is what it says on the tin.
Upmarket casual. Great food. Typical BBQ fare.
It doesn’t diverge.
And, after a weekend of hectic partying, one is looking forward to something a little more low-key but good quality – done well. Largely based on a classic American style barbeque, it is not overly extensive range on offer but I quite liked that. What was available was tasty. The seafood grill was where I headed first. Juicy calamari tubes, chunky salmon steaks with a lovely charred crust and mouth-watering tiger prawns were on offer. On the meat grill there were massive juicy looking legs of lamb with fat dripping off of them, Wagyu beef hotdogs, barbequed corn on the cob, roast potatoes with cream cheese and chives and all the condiments one could wish for. I went back for third helpings of the calamari tubes. They were done well. Perfectly cooked. Charred a little on the outside to add a bit of smokiness. Everything we had off the grills was exactly as one would expect. All the trimmings – condiments and sauce – were well executed. I particularly enjoyed the herb butter done with parsley and basil. It was went great with my salmon and calamari.
The salads on offer were alright. To be perfectly honest, they were a little on the bland side. But not many people go to a barbeque brunch for the salads, so I was happy to largely do without. The Chill & Grill brunch offers 3 different packages and we opted for the First Mate package at 300 AED – this comes with 5 cocktails from which to choose. Working our way through the different cocktails while savouring the sea breeze, we were in a very happy place. There is something for everyone. Walk the Plank was a resounding favourite and was ordered a few times over. Done with Absolute Citron vodka, fresh mandarin, mango, fresh chilli, honey and lemon, this one had zest. If you looking for a bit of a kick then go with the Palm Grill’s take on a Dark and Stormy: molasses rum, ginger beer and lime.
Simplicity done well is one of best things on the planet. I discovered a new personal favourite dessert/drink. The Bananarama concoction consisting of rum, coconut milk and need I say it…banana, was sublime. Not too rich, you could easily have a couple of these to while away the afternoon, watching the sky turn from blue to lilacs and blush pinks. If you after the more sweeter side of life, the desserts station is styled to fit in with the barbeque theme which was a nice little touch. Little mini “burgers” made with profiterole, fresh strawberries and cream. Also, there were perfect bite-sized morsels of lemon meringue and pecan tarts. All pop-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
So, if you are looking for a casual and rustic vibe on a Saturday to while away the hours, I recommend this brunch. The atmosphere at this place is so super chill. We never felt hurried by the staff or rushed, so much so that we decided to stay on after 4pm to soak up more of the ambience over a couple of glasses of chilled rose wine. There was no need to go to on a second post-brunch venue. The Palm Grill can be brunch and sundowners rolled into one.