Restaurant Review: The Bench at Pavilion

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Brunch, that glorious meal usually enjoyed on Sundays around the globe which combines breakfast and lunch, has taken on an entirely new meaning in Dubai. In typical Dubai fashion, we’ve taken brunch one step further. So much in fact, that Wikipedia goes as far to give Dubai a special mention stating that “’Friday Brunch’ is considered something of an institution in Dubai. Many large hotels and restaurants offer an all-inclusive drinks and food buffet during early afternoons, and large groups of expatriates and tourists make this the highlight of their weekend, with parties going on well into the night.”

That’s putting it lightly. Many regulars refer to it as drunch, I bet you can guess why! 

If you are anything like me, you keep this self-induced food and alcohol comatose to a bare minimum. Most weekends my husband, my taste buds and I venture out in search of a good brunch alternative. We often find ourselves at Pavilion on the Boulevard whose brunch, also known as ‘The Bench’, has become my favorite Dubai drunch alternative.

The country chic space is light, white and airy boasting long wooden picnic tables, wall plants, chalkboards and an open kitchen. The separated, ‘Connect’ area, is set up like a common work space and has a hip library feel to it. I’ve written many a blog post from their communal table adorned with piles of books and funky bookends. Two retro orange refrigerators are tucked away in the corner stocked with a variety of grab-and-go sandwiches and salads for convenience. Every weekend Pavilion is buzzing with colorful people, intellects and social butterflies alike.

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Photo courtesy of Pavilion

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The brunch spread is draped across a bench boasting a pastoral display of artisan cheeses, cold cuts mounted on cutting boards, rustic breads in tin buckets, salads served in miniature mason jars and noodles in oyster pails. A variety of petit sandwiches and wraps are available alongside beautiful pastries, tarts, cereals, yogurts and fruit sitting atop wooden crates adorned with straw décor. The pastel variety of juices, albeit not cold pressed, are an added bonus – I particularly liked the fresh Pineapple Juice.

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The Bench also includes one kitchen item such as Shakshuka Eggs, Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Penne Al Forno or Quinoa Salad. Most recently I enjoyed an Omelet served with veal bacon and chicken sausage. And of course no Friday afternoon is complete without a jolt of caffeine with soy milk dispensed through a cow spout. You won’t find live cooking stations or fondue fountains but if you are looking for simple food and a cozy Friday (or Saturday) afternoon with friends, family or your MacBook Pro, you’ll likely love The Bench. And for a price tag of only 99 AED, you might even become a regular!

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