Al Dhiyafa Grand Kitchen is the all-day dining restaurant at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa in JBR. Its interior is a hodgepodge of buffet islands, live cooking stations and closely spaced seating. The sometimes-claustrophobic front entrance acts as a bottleneck for droopy eyed in-house breakfast goers who are made to wait as tables are cleared. Irrespective of the pleasantries I was offered by the smiling staff, once in and seated I was always conscious of a crowd, every station had a line, reminding me more of budget holiday package hotels in Deira than a five-star resort in Jumeirah.
Al Dhiyafa is the first restaurant I have seen which has no less than three (3) live egg stations. How cool is that? I conveniently found the only one with a queue of six and stood waiting, huffing and puffing, for my masala omelette for nearly fifteen minutes. I am on a low-carb, low sugar diet (someone just shoot me and put me out of my misery) so I could just look but not touch much of the plentiful buffets. Thankfully there’s a well-stocked section for pathetic souls like me ranging from grilled veggies to low-fat yoghurts, and fruits and nuts. There’s also a small (no, no) pork section with a beautiful selection of fatty bacon and sausages.
Service was good (this is a Habtoor establishment after all) if a little impersonal. However, whilst I didn’t feel their staff were flustered at any point, I did feel they were rushed (there is a big difference); there was nothing to make you feel special (Dubai spoils you that way). Service was almost Germanic, like a well-oiled machine – it gets the job done. And I guess that about sums up Al Dhiyafa Grand Kitchen for you.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.