Channels - Media Rotana, Dubai

I am warmly welcomed by the hostess, and this sets the tone for the morning - the first thing that makes an impression on me is the lively, engaging staff. I notice how they interact with every guest. One of their strengths is that they are so well spoken and polite. I am offered coffee. My choice of newspaper is not there, but the hostess manages to get me a copy from the concierge. Nice.
Sushi for breakfast - Nice!
Breakfast has all the dishes you would expect of a high end breakfast buffet, but I particularly enjoy some very unusual but welcome Asian options like miso soup with tofu, sushi, pad thai and Chinese buns known as pao. There is a definitely a  strong Asian selection which gives Channels one of its x factors. However, there is also a strong selection of Arabic dishes including grilled halloumi and of course ful medames.
Curry and paratha
 My excitement, though is aroused by the two choices of Indian curries, fish curry and vegetable curry. They are served with paratha. To complete my hankering for an Indian experience, I request some Lipton tea! Brilliant. I take a walk around the restaurant and see someone requesting pancakes, one of the treats available. I see another having waffles. It really is a buffet with definite strengths. I think it is easy for all day dining restaurants to put out dishes in the name of 'international', but here there seems to be a logic to it - breakfast is a reflection in many ways of some of the theme nights offered at Channels. I like this connection.

 There is a wonderfully rich fruit selection, and the watermelon and melon especially ooze sweetness. The blueberries, too, reflect the emphasis that is placed on freshness.
 Channels is a wonderful way to spend your morning at Media Rotana - a restaurant with a wide variety of dishes and great and friendly service in which you will get to know the staff by name make it a must to wake up earlier to enjoy a long, relaxed breakfast.
 Saturday Brunch
 Friday brunch at Media Rotana is offered at Prego's and Nelson's, so logically, Channels serves Saturday brunch. Traditionally, Saturday brunches are a muted affair as hotels tend to focus on Friday brunch. However, I was quite surprised by my experience at Saturday brunch.
 My afternoon starts with sashimi. The tuna and salmon have a rich colour reflecting freshness. As I bite into them, the texture confirms that. I also have some local hammour which actually goes well with the soy sauce and wasabi.

Chef prepares the sushi
Super fresh sashimi
 Next, I try the oysters and these will turn out to be the only disappointing offering. While well shucked, they are tasteless and uninspiring, and I wonder to myself if they had been dipped in water to ensure no loose sediment, but at the same time robbing them of their sea-taste.
Seafood station

 There is definitely an emphasis on seafood and I see a number of offerings: A stunning cold seafood selection of crab, shrimp, clams and mussels, crab curry, stuffed squid, steamed halibut with shrimp butter sauce and quite a few others. However, my dish of the day turned out to be the Baked Norwegian salmon in puff pastry. The pastry was nice and crispy while the salmon had retained its moisture rather well. Delicious.
Baked Salmon
Next I try the salad and mezze station. The hummus, tabouleh, moutabel and muhammara are as one would expect, and I end up having two servings. A very interesting dish that I absolutely enjoy is the Raw beef and rocket. The contrast of the colours alone make it look so inviting. Finally, the beef is cut at just the right size to ensure it was not too chewy. 
Meanwhile, the service continues from my morning experience. Drinks are topped up without prompting, while plates and cutlery are removed with timely precision. Cutlery is also replaced without asking. In summary, the service is very enthusiastic, attentive without suffocating me.
 I notice a few children at the brunch and they seem quite happy. While there is no dedicated kids' area, I think the buffet offers more than enough to keep them interested. The live pasta station, for one, is perfect for kids. Furthermore, there is a clown to keep kids entertained as well!
Cheese selection
Dessert station
The rich and creamy carrot cake
Finally, I visit the dessert station which is quite expansive. Kids will be pleased because there is a  chocolate fountain and some sweets on the side. For me though, apart from the variety of cheese and jams on display, the lure of Dates and butterscotch pudding was just too great. A delicious warm pudding. I follow this up with an equally delightful carrot cake.
 Channels offers  a great Saturday brunch. While many hotels scale down on theirs, Channels offers quite a substantial one. Coupled with the service, it made for a perfect end to the weekend.
The low down

Media Rotana, Dubai
+971 4 435 0000
                                                                                  Pictures thanks to Nokia Creative Studio on my Nokia 1520
Brandon Stoltenkamp