High jinks, epic props, entertainment and great food and drink at The Waldorf Astoria’s Bull and Bear Saturday brunch.
The Waldorf Astoria is one of DIFC’s most iconic luxury hotels, and Bull and Bear is a local favourite haunt for business lunches, superb dinners, and now their newly launched Broadway themed brunch. Boasting some of the best live entertainment, skyscraper views, and delicious food, this is a classy and carefully cultivated brunch option that promises to be both fun and civilised.
Guests are welcomed through a custom-made archway, and as soon as you enter the venue and pass the signature giant bull installation there’s an area on your right with a photo wall, and an array of feather boas, jewels, hats, and other props. This was extremely (pleasantly) distracting for our group of girls before we had even availed our welcome drink. We managed to leave the sparkly things (until later) and were seated at a lush banquette with beautiful high views; the venue is perfectly situated on the 18th floor. Service was prompt and friendly and accompanied by a live DJ and singer belting out classics from Broadway musicals and a few Motown hits.
The brunch wasn’t absolutely packed, so you if you visit you can enjoy the ambiance and stunning views and visit with family if you don’t want to get too wild. It’s civilized without being dull and the live entertainment amply created a fun atmosphere. There were two singers parading around the brunch encouraging guests to sing and dance, and they later held a raffle awarding guests a free brunch at a later stage, and a bonus prize for one duo of a brunch plus overnight stay in the hotel. Sadly, there were no prizes for our table, but don’t feel bad for us because we took full advantage of the press benefits including complimentary food and drink.
Speaking of the food, we were met with little themed menus on our table, featuring a mix of sharing options including Dibba Bay Oysters (served on a dry ice platter), Tuna Niçoise with caviar and egg yolk, and a delicious Coconut and Avocado Mousse with Tapioca Crackers to start. There were also hot appetisers with Black Angus sliders, Truffle Arancini and Spicy Prawn Buns. For mains we enjoyed Beef Rossini with foie gras, Prawn Cocktail with Asian Slaw and Striploin with a red wine jus accompanied Roasted Potatoes and Corn on the Cob with Parmesan.
The most impressive of the food selection was the customized dessert platter, entirely edible, called ‘Broadway’, filled with show iconography as mini desserts, including a giant musical note, tickets, movie reel, and chocolate slab with the Bull and Bear logo. Points to the pastry chef for the hard work on this one! There was also a marshmallow and chocolate chip cookie dish called Top Hat, a Banoffee Pie, and an ice cream and sorbet platter which was slightly healthier than the other choices, called ‘The Show Must Go On’. It’s not a buffet brunch as the dishes are brought to the table, and the concept is sharing platters, however sometimes we found the portions not quite allocated correctly according to the number of guests – but we later found out we could order as much as we wanted if it wasn’t enough.
Drinks were plentiful – we do so hate a stingy brunch – and featured an array of house spirits, mocktails, beers, wines, sparkling and custom created cocktails. We particularly enjoyed the New York, New York Sour, with red wine, whiskey and lemon, and the Mamma Mia with gin, prosecco, rosemary syrup and jasmine phoenix. There were also generous with the shots which were delivered to our table at regular intervals. It didn’t take more than a few drinks for the other tables to start dancing with the roaming singers, who were largely responsible for the atmosphere, and the props area was then fully raided so guests were suitably decked out in top hats, feathers, gloves and jewelry. The singers also approached each table with a mic and encouraged guests to sing along, though the mic was switched off when it was passed to guests – this was a solid move by Bull and Bear in retrospect, as the screeching of inebriated patrons may have been ever so slightly detrimental to the enjoyment of the other guests.
A fun day out with points for originality and attention to detail ensuring every part of the guest experience is consistent with the Broadway theme – we will be back.
For reservations contact: +971 4 515 9888, Bull and Bear is situated at the Waldorf Astoria DIFC, and the ‘Best of Broadway’ brunch is every Saturday from 1pm-5pm, AED 300 for soft drinks, AED 495 for house drinks and AED 750 for sparkling.