Al Fresco Brunch at The Terrace - Media Rotana, Dubai

The occasional breeze. The BBQ-filled air moving back and forth. The sound of splashing water as someone takes a dive into the temperature controlled outdoor swimming pool. These I experience in my first few minutes at the seasonal Al Fresco Brunch at Media Rotana's outdoor Terrace restaurant.

Four Talking Points

1. Food displays
There are 4 principle food areas: the live BBQ station, cold mezze and salad station which includes seafood, a hot dish section and of course the dessert station. It was hard not to notice the care taken to ensure that food on display remained fresh and clean throughout our brunch. All the food is displayed in guest- and indeed child-friendly transparent casing that is also temperature controlled by the presence of tastefully placed ice. Certain high risk food items are even changed-mid way through the afternoon. Very impressive.

User friendly casing ensures freshness and cleanliness of food. 

This was true of my experience of the rest of the hotel - warm and personable. From the chefs who moved around ensuring that guests were happy with their dishes to the waiting staff who effortlessly took care of guests' needs, the service was top notch. In the course of the afternoon, I  interacted with up to 10 staff, and they all exhibited that type of service that I think people appreciate about the hotel and in particular, the Terrace brunch.

While the sushi disappointed, the sashimi did not. 
Omani crab
Food and Drink

The cold mezze, seafood and  salad area were ample enough to keep my attention for most of the afternoon. Omani crab, sashimi, sushi and of course typical Middle Eastern mezze kept me going back. The sushi, I felt though, was the only dish that needs work, with the rice not quite hitting the target - a bit too hard. One of my favourites on the day was the Spicy calamari salad. Other highlights included the chicken with rosemary and garlic, chicken and seafood quessadila and the mixed grill. Finally, what I liked about the live BBQ station was that the beef steak and other grills were made to order. My daughter especially liked the beef steak which was made medium well to medium rare as per her request.
The mixed grill
Very well priced by-the-glass options can complement your drinks package. 
As part of the drinks package, The Terrace offered a white and red Argentinean wine. However, I was intrigued to see what they offered on their by-the-glass drinks list and ordered a  Prosecco to get my afternoon started. Very reasonably priced if you want to complement your package with something else.
This Sauvignon Blanc was part of the drinks package
Atmosphere and ambience
A definite strength. Music was provided by resident Swedish DJ, Eden, and what I liked about it was that the music was in the background. She got the balance just right between entertaining with her music but also allowing for conversation. It is the kind of brunch where you will be equally at home in your casually fashionable attire or tasteful swimwear. The bottom line - relaxed. Nothing pretentious.

Our table gave easy access to the pool
The verdict

This is how Friday brunch should be. The outdoor venue was so relaxed and my daughter, like a few other guests, had a swim while enjoying the brunch. In the end it was  a super laid back brunch. The Terrace offers an overall brunch experience that will leave you with a lot of change in the pocket while ensuring that you have a memorable afternoon.

The lowdown

The Terrace Brunch
Media Rotana,
04 435 0000

Brunch Options
Soft drinks 169 AED++
Standard selected beverages 249 AED++
Standard selected beverages  plus shisha 289 AED++

Brandon Stoltenkamp