I’m surprised Bab Al Shams is not on the itinerary of every tourist who visits Dubai. More than those ridiculous Desert Safaris, this hotel offers a much better “Dubai experience”. Yes, the whole extravagant Arabic fort architecture is artificial (but then again, isn’t most of Dubai?), but the drive up to the the hotel in the middle of the peaceful dessert, and the wonderful courtyards on the inside make it worth a visit.
I was invited to try the Friday Brunch at Al Forsan last week, and since it’s the same brunch that was being served to tens of other people, the food on my plate was no exception from the food on others’. This made it easier for me to conclude that if something was good, it was because it really was good, and not because it was specially prepared for me with extra care.
Buffets are painfully hard to review. There’s no way to talk about every item I’ve tried without turning the review into a book, and it’s so hard to pick and choose what to elaborate on.
There was an overwhelming variety of exotic honey, exquisite olives, refreshing salads, cured meats and good sushi. There was also a massive tuna that had been flown in only 3 days ago, offering guests the most tender cuts of sashimi. Additionally, there was a special kids section, bearing delicious treats such as chicken nuggets, tater tots, cotton candy, pop corn and ice cream! Meanwhile, adults could pick from a plethora of freshly prepared hot food, from various cuisines such as Moroccan, Mongolian, Indian, Italian, or Iranian- and I’m pretty sure some others that I’m missing!
While almost everything we tried was extremely enjoyable, I went back for seconds and thirds for the best Biryani I’ve ever had at a hotel or high-end restaurant. It tasted like it was made by an Indian/Pakistani grandma, and that’s just as good as a chef can POSSIBLY get. Moreover, it’s authenticity was verified by how spicy it was, and the mint and coriander yogurt sauce was the perfect ying to the Biryani’s yang.
In the desserts, I absolutely loved the french macarons. They were absolutely perfect, with a crisp exterior, chewy interior and perfectly balanced filling. I also loved the “candy for adults”, which was basically sophisticated versions of chocolate on a stick; my favorite was the saffron white chocolate with pistachios- yum!
Our pleasant experience wasn’t just limited to the food though. The overall vibes were very lively and family oriented, with (a somewhat annoying) jester, an impressive magic trick involving the disappearing and reappearing of my ring, a “Guess-how-much-this-massive-lobster-weighs” competition, and great weather in extremely welcoming and relaxing surroundings.
I can’t wait to go back and dig deeper into what Bab Al Shams has to offer!