Simply epic at Epicure

On our recent trip to Meliá Desert Palm Dubai, we discovered why Epicure is more than just a restaurant, it is also the ideal venue for a break from the city’s buzz. For some, it’s all about the food, and for others, nothing quite cuts it like a relaxing ambience. But if you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience that combines the best of both worlds, head to Epicure, Meliá Desert Palm Dubai’s all-day dining haunt. With a 25-minute drive from the city centre, the restaurant might not be the first spot on your radar when looking for a leisurely afternoon out. But, we beg to differ. In fact, the journey to the resort, through scenic winding lanes, sets the scene for a day to remember. It boasts the ideal oasis-in-the-desert ambience, and once you’ve made the trip, you’ll find it hard to say goodbye.

Tucked away in a 160-acre polo estate, it is so lush, peaceful and green, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve traded the emirate’s buzz for secluded luxury in the European countryside. And while Meliá Desert Palm Dubai’s dining venues offer something for everyone, from indulgent Friday brunches to tipples with tapas on weeknights, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend winding down your week with a lazy poolside lunch at Epicure. Gourmet fare… check. Serene views… check. Cosy ambience… double check! What more could you ask for? 

We visited on a Saturday afternoon and were able to grab a cosy spot at an outdoor table right by the pool, against the lush backdrop of one of the estate’s four polo fields. Most of our fellow diners, from couples and groups of friends to families with children, chose to make the most of their visit by enjoying pool dips in between chilled drinks and tasty treats, which is exactly how we would recommend you experience the resort.

Epicure recently revamped their interiors (and also introduced a refreshing new menu), but the classic brasserie-style vibe remains. Think cosy furniture, plush leather booths, shelves stacked with books and plenty of indoor plants. An extensive bar counter and dessert station complete the setting. And with Meliá Desert Palm Dubai primarily being an equestrian resort, a nod to horses is present everywhere with artistic installations of these magnificent creatures and creative touches inspired by them scattered throughout the property.

The menu at Epicure is packed with classic comfort food – just what we’re looking for while enjoying a lazy poolside lunch. Although for those who prefer keeping things light, the menu also features several healthy but equally tasty options. We opted for a mix of the two, starting off with a hearty quinoa and kale salad, packed with carrot, pomegranate and crumbled feta cheese. This one’s sure to convert even the most ardent kale detractor.

At Epicure, there’s no one cuisine that dominates the menu. It’s a mix of popular global flavours from the Mediterranean, the Far East, India, North Africa and, of course, regional favourites, which guarantees something to suit even the most selective diner. The chef’s selection of hot mezze was the next item on our table. Ideal for sharing, the platter has a host of Middle Eastern favourites including lamb sambousek, spinach fatayer, lamb kibbeh, falafel and cheese sambousek, served with garlic cream and tahini dips.

For mains, we went for the grilled corn-fed chicken breast, served with spiced lentils and arugula, as well as a cheesy beef pepperoni pizza, which we simply could not resist on such a chilled day out. And to top off our meal with a sweet treat, we choose the dessert of the day – a marble cheesecake with mixed berries. After all that indulgence, you might not feel like doing much else  but lounge by the pool, taking in the serene views. Although if you’d like to make the most of what Meliá Desert Palm Dubai has to offer, we recommend requesting an estate tour that takes you through the horse stables and provides a chance to get up close to the animals. You’ll be amazed at how extensive the resort is, with lush green landscape everywhere you look. It’s such a bold contrast to the city’s record-breaking skyscrapers and we can’t think of a better setting for an elegant hideaway.

For more information or reservations  04 3238888

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