Fridays are the laziest days of the week in our household. We rise just before noon, brunch, watch some telly and fall into a deep siesta all over again. The idea of an evening brunch on a Friday therefore sounded very appealing to our rewired internal weekend clocks.
Latest Recipe at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi is open for buffet brunch from 7 pm to 10.30 pm every Friday. We were there last Friday, and are still recovering from the gastronomic overload.
The interiors are chic and stylishly modern. The warmth of wooden undertones blend in beautifully with the plush plum-colored upholstery and flatteringly mellow lighting.
We were seated on the patio outdoors. The muggy humid heat of summer is yet to come, and a pleasant breeze from the striking sea-view of The Palm made it an ideal choice.
Latest Recipe was packed last Friday, and the laid-back ambiance was given a festive boost with on-stage live entertainment.
For the buffet brunch, you can choose to go for the standard package for AED 290 (inclusive of soft drinks) or upgrade to the alcoholic package with unlimited drinks at the bar (for AED 375). I chose the former, and hubby went for the alcoholic deal. Children under 6 dine for free, so my daughter was already covered.
Latest Recipe is a French brasserie with a modern-day twist. The restaurant does a retake on a number of classic dishes, and also offers an impressive array of Japanese sushi and Asian-inspired dishes.
My first stop was the cheese counter. Living up to the French connection, Latest Recipe has a vast selection of aged cheese along with complimentary fruity chutneys. Many of the cheese cuts have been imported from Mons Fromager-affineur, a well-reputed family-owned cheese brand hailing from Auvergne, the cheese-making capital of France.
I also helped myself to a traditional serving of Pickled Herring. It was beautifully moist, tangy and stuffed with delectable slices of pickled onion.
Frois Gras fans will be delighted with the selection of pates available. I am not a big fan of liver, but quite liked their Smoked Frois Gras Pate with my cheese and bread.
The bread selection is quite vast, and I nearly missed it as it is placed right at the far end corner of the restaurant.
Being a seafood lover, Latest Recipe’s brunch buffet had many dishes to keep me going back for more. Melt-in-the-mouth scallops, sinfully fresh oysters that tasted like a sip of the sea, hearty lobster and octopus slivers, an army of sushi and sashimi; here’s a pictorial tour of my seafood affair at Latest Recipe.
Being more of a carnivore, hubby’s plate was dominated with meaty cuts. He found the steak a little too chewy for his liking, but really enjoyed the Asian-style stir-fried beef. Nothing like beef with beer he reckons!
There was a row of ethnic-style brass pots steaming with Asian dishes. A heavily embroidered velvet throw in a shade of deep aubergine hangs above; a makeshift flag to beckon Asian food lovers to lift the lids and discover what lies within the steaming pots.
This is where hubby found the stir-fried beef. Other dishes included Arabic-style okra in tomato broth, Asian pan-fried vegetable noodles, steamed white rice, chicken pilaf, and an Indian-style chicken curry.
My daughter and I sipped on strawberry juice. The drinks here are very fresh and the strawberry juice was pulpy and berry, berry satisfying.
Vegetarians need not fret. Latest Recipe’s Friday brunch buffet has a wide variety of vegetarian dishes.
One of my favorites from the night was the Mushroom Leek & Cheddar Quiche. It was a wholesome marriage of mushroom and cheddar flavors, a truly traditional treat.
Latest Recipe’s buffet also has a variety of pork dishes, and these are clearly marked for non-eaters like us.
We were well into our second round when hubby discovered the grilling counter, a few steps left from the stage outdoors. This is a live station where you get to pick fresh fish and kebab skewers of your choice, and it is grilled on the spot and served on your table.
I opted for a grilled herring, and a skewer of barbecue chicken.
From the image above, you can probably make out how beautifully moist the flesh of the fish was. I enjoyed the crisp, lightly salted outer skin even more!
As for the skewer, the chicken was unbelievable succulent, and really did melt in the mouth along with a hint of Eastern-inspired spices.
By this time, hubby finished off his beer and headed to the bar to check out the skills of the mixologist. Doesn’t the bar look festive?
He returned with an exotic Rose Martini, a robust blend of martini with a hint of Arabesque flavor.
For my second drink, I wanted something lemony to help digest all this overeating. The buffet does not include a counter for fresh juices, so the waiter had to be summoned. He suggested a virgin mojito. The lemon and mint teamed with soda bubbles was refreshingly delicious, and did wonders to get me motivated enough for the last round (my favorite round, desserts!).
At a French restaurant, I tend to put the bar up pretty high when it comes to desserts and Latest Recipe didn’t disappoint. The buffet has two separate dessert counters; one near the entrance to the outdoor seating area and the other (more like a freezer section) right next to the meat-cuts.
Bowls of green apples adorn the top shelves of the dessert freezer. With so many sweet treats on offer, surely the apples serve only as decoration!
Here is a new-age, East meets West fusion: Green Tea Mousse Cake. It was the bright froggie-green that attracted me to this cake. By texture it lived up to being a decadently rich, creamy French cake, and the subtle hint of bitter green tea against the stark creamy sweetness took it to another level altogether.
I also enjoyed the mousse-like coffee, biscuit concoction aptly called the President Cake with its shimmering gold dust.
My daughter busied herself with the chocolate fountain. She had the rich chocolate lava over marshmallows and fruit. Apart from the messy choco-face, I thought this was a great way to stuff her up with more fruit!
I regret not saving up more space for dessert. The mere variety at Latest Recipe cannot be done justice to in one seating. This is a seriously expansive buffet that is spread across the restaurant grounds both inside and out. There is something here for everyone, and the plush laid-back setting makes it an ideal choice for a lazy brunch over drinks.
Pity we cannot vouch for the service of this restaurant. We were a little lost when we got there. The waiter seated us at the table, but disappeared right after. We were seated a good 10 minutes before he came back to explain the buffet package options to us. When my husband chose to go for the alcoholic package, he asked for a beer. The waiter served him a bottle of Beck’s but never gave him a choice of brands. Hubby later discovered there were many other alternatives at the bar. We were also never given a formal tour of the food counters, which is a pity as I would have liked to try more options at the grill. Given the buffet is spread across a very large area (both indoors and out), I believe a short tour is a must before loading the plate.
If you are craving brasserie-style fine dining, Latest Recipe is a must-try. The buffet is filled to the brim with French favorites, as well as tantalizing retakes on traditional dishes. The live band and the stylish interiors made me wish they were still open beyond 10.30 pm.
Latest Recipe’s Friday Brunches run from 7 pm to 10.30 pm every Friday. Cost per person is AED 295 (with unlimited soft-drinks) and AED 375 with alcohol. Children under 6 dine for free. Latest Recipe is located on the ground floor of Le Meridien Mina Seyahi (Dubai). Free valet parking is available, or you can opt to park your ride yourself at the car-park at the right of the entrance.
Visit Latest Recipe’s website for more details. Bon Appetit!