I love a good buffet. I love the variety. I love being able to eat my meal in any order I choose (mains first, dessert second). I love being able to get seconds or thirds (or fourths, fifths and sixths). I love being able to help myself to the exact quantities I want (one chunk of meat, one splodge of hummous, three pieces of penne). For me, the main requirements are that the quality needs to be good and the variety needs to be high.
Recently I enjoyed the lunch buffet at Blue Orange at the Westin Mina Seyahi at Jumeirah Beach.
The main dining area is an expansive room with high ceilings and tall windows, airy and inviting in shades of yellow and orange. It’s an international buffet, so they have a decent variety spread across 5 distinct areas – there’s an Asian section, Indian section, Arabic section, Western section, healthy food section, pasta station, salad area, and a dessert station with a gelato stand.
Though their Friday brunch is apparently quite popular, the restaurant was dead on a Saturday afternoon when we arrived at 12:30pm, though I didn’t mind as that meant I got first dibs on the food.
The other diners who drifted in and out seemed to be mainly hotel guests, many of whom looked like they came straight from a morning on the beach.
Perhaps because it was so quiet, the turnover of the food was not particularly high, and after my initial serving, a lot of the food was only lukewarm. The servers were also not particularly attentive. I overheard a waiter tell another table that tea and coffee were included with the buffet. After getting over the fact that the waiter neglected to tell this to me (despite me asking this very question), we decided to order tea.
And then the first redemption…
How elated was I to realise that they weren’t serving just any tea? They were serving one of my favourite teas which I haven’t enjoyed in years – JING Tea. I enjoyed a Peppermint Leaf.
And an Earl Grey.
Though someone ought to review the height of their cups in relation to the length of their spoons…
And a Jasmine Silver Needle.
Then the second redemption – I spied an oozy, soft-ripened cheese on the cheeseboard, which now goes down as my all-time favourite soft-ripened cheese. I later found out that this was not just any cheese – it’s an award-winning, artisanal, goat’s milk cheese, handmade by a family-owned cheese producer in County Tipperary, Ireland, an area well known for its dairy. It even inspired me to do some research and consequently write a dedicated post to soft-ripened cheeses. Clearly this was a very good cheese!
Overall verdict? Ambiance: Pleasant, depending on what you’re after. Service: Average. Food: Decent. But there are a few gems, like the tea and the cheese, that make Blue Orange worthwhile – even more so if you have a Buy-One-Get-One-Free voucher, you’re happy to let the shortcomings roll off your back, and you’re not feeling overly demanding. It was a comfortable and relaxed way to while away a few hours on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Ask for a table (or booth) by the window.
Unlimited tea and coffee are included in the buffet price. Other beverages, including water, are chargeable.
Buffet lunch at Blue Orange is AED 165 per person and lasts from 12:30pm to 3pm.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi
Al Sufouh Road
Tel: +971 4 399 4141