You may remember we checked out Zaytinya Lebanese Restaurant a while back (see previous post here), and they’ve now launched a Friday family friendly brunch, so we were only too pleased to go along and see what they have to offer…

The restaurant has all the same hot, fresh, homemade food as usual, but it’s set up in a brunch style with meat skewers ready to be cooked on demand and plenty of mezze plates including manakeesh, kibbeh, rokakat and smaller bites all ready to go. Main dishes are set up around the restaurant in the usual brunch style heated tureens so you can just help yourself as you please. There’s also a pasta station and of course a dessert station with candy floss and popcorn machines for the kids. So far, so good, but what makes this brunch any different to any other?

Well, as well as excellent quality food (they won the What’s On 2015 Best Middle Eastern under Dhs400 for good reason), they’ve also thought about what it takes to keep the kids amused and as well as a kids play area there’s also a face painter who will happily adorn your kids as they choose.

And not just for the little ones, a clown circles the restaurant too entertaining everyone and offering a variety of bendy balloon shapes (this one’s a dragonfly in case you were wondering!).

The atmosphere in the place is relaxed but fun, and just as we found previously, the food is really delicious. Zaytinya pride themselves on good quality, using great produce and freshly cooked food. You really can taste the difference.

No brunch is complete without a selection of drinks and being a non-alcoholic brunch we were presented with virgin mojitos. I’ve never been a fan of mojitos it has to be said, but it would seem that I’ve been missing a trick since virgin mojitos are where it’s at – these were delicious, and I had to stop myself from drinking it too fast to make sure I left plenty of room for food!

All the usual trimmings of any self-respecting Lebanese restaurant are provided, hummus, puffy bread (as I like to call it), moutabel, fattoush and babaghanouj are all brought to your table to start, and from there, let the feast begin!

There’s loads of choice so there’s something for everyone, and even a whole lamb ouzi which we found was just ridiculously tender and tasty, fall apart in your mouth, juicy goodness type of thing.

Baby Arabian Notes was only eight months old at the time but we were pleased to find there was quite a lot he was able to eat. He happily scoffed down pasta and sauce, potatoes, bread with hummus and a selection of the grilled meats, cut into finger sized pieces. Though it was the lamb that was the real hero – a first for baby – and he couldn’t get enough of it!

With barely enough room left for dessert, we decided it’d be rude not to try some of the house specialties 😉

Overall, it was heaps of fun, heaps of great food and a lovely way to spend a Friday lunch time (and no hangover to worry about either!). But best of all – it’s a bloomin’ bargain at Dhs95 per adult and Dhs35 per child (kids aged five and under eat free). Held every Friday from 12.30pm, check out their website for more info and go find out for yourself the reason they won the What’s On 2015 Best Middle Eastern food under Dhs400 category!