Founded in 2011 by Gordon Ramsay’s protégés Nick Alvis & Scott Price and later under the reign of Darren Velvick, Table 9 at @dubaicreekhilton has a prestigious lineup of world-renounced chefs under its belt, and my expectations were therefore in the nines.

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Located on the first floor of Hilton Dubai Creek, the restaurant ambiance is all about minimalist black and white; think upholstered black leather and starched white tablecloths. The spacing is long and narrow, and with an age-old interior design trick of adding mirroring across the walls, the restaurant appears a little larger than it is.

Fridays are brunch days! I’ve been MIA from the brunching scene of late. A change of jobs, a hectic lineup of weekdays and I find myself snoozing well into the first day of the weekend.

I decided it was time to get back into the foodie groove last Friday, and found myself at The Garden Grille. Located in the lobby level of Hilton Garden Inn (just a 5 minute walk from Mall of the Emirates), this is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant catering to a wide variety of cuisines from around the world.

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The Friday brunch runs from 12 to 4 pm, costing AED 175 per person, and goes up to AED 220 with the addition of unlimited house beverages and cocktails.

We had a very memorable, chilled-out staycation at Hilton Al Ain. Our day was lined up with siestas in our suite, splashes by the pool, and a delicious lineup of gastronomy at Flavours restaurant and Makani Cafe.

Hilton Al Ain is also renowned for Paco’s, Al Ain’s most happening Tex-Mex bar featuring award-winning live entertainment by a very talented band called “Steel”.

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Our staycation at Hilton Al Ain involved a great deal of snoozing, floating about the poolside and having an idle lunch at Flavours restaurant. Our dinner reservation was made at Makani Cafe, Hilton Al Ain’s open-aired restaurant specializing in Arabic grills and shisha.

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Click of the front entrance of Makani Cafe, taken in the morning light.