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Brunch Of The Month: The Nice Guy Dubai

How does the restaurant’s exclusive no-photos, no reservations policy apply to brunch?

When The Nice Guy opened its doors last winter, there was so much furore surrounding the no photos policy. Had influencer marketing imploded? Did Dubai have enough celebrities to maintain such exclusivity? And let’s not get started on the no reservations, no entry policy.

While Dubai’s glitterati flocked to the venue’s onsite photo both to secure precious photos for the gram, we found ourselves enamoured by the forced digital detox that allowed us to socialise over a memorable meal of casual Italian fare and alluring live music.

From the streets of West Hollywood to The Boulevard at Emirates Towers, The Nice Guy in Dubai has proven popular, but as temperatures rise and Dubai residents depart in search of cooler climes, The Nice Guy is combatting decreased footfall (and possibly revenue) with the launch of a laid back weekend brunch.

The Nice Guy Brunch

The venue boasts an inviting and intimate atmosphere, with dimly lit spaces, plush seating, and a classic vintage aesthetic. Despite the name, The Nice Guy draws inspiration from an unlikely source: bars and restaurants frequented by the mafia. The result is homely enough for an Italian gathering, whether with your mob family or real family, where you’ll feel as if you’re on the set of Goodfellas or The Godfather.

The Nice Guy brunch delivers casual fare across a menu that focuses on Italian-American cuisine. From pasta dishes to steaks, this brunch presents a generous selection of dishes that can be ordered in unlimited quantities. True to its name, Dubai’s newest brunch combines the best of breakfast and lunch across a menu of classic breakfast staples such as Avocado Toast and Scrambled Eggs to heartier options such as Mushroom Risotto and beef tenderloin.

The Nice Guy Brunch

Standout dishes include the Raw Oysters with a simple yet effective Calabrian Chilli vinaigrette; thick slices of Hamachi Crudo doused in Fresno chilli, lime vinaigrette and grilled haricot vert; and a paper-thin Beef Carpaccio topped with Parmesan Cheese and truffle paste. However, the Ricotta Pancakes was the tipping point for our table, who requested stacks of the fluffy pancakes soaked in orange custard and sprinkled with crisp honeycomb.

We gravitated more towards the starters than the selection of pizza, pasta and proteins. Although the restaurant’s popular Lobster Pizza is (sensibly) not included in the brunch, the lacquered Beef Short Rib more than sufficed. Sticky, sweet and slipping apart at the mere poke of a fork, our table ordered more than we’d care to admit. Before we succumb to culinary defeat, we’re able to squeeze in a portion of the gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies and a mammoth slab of coffee-drenched Tiramisu. 

The Nice Guy Brunch

Diners will sink into the inviting booths or linger at the bar while live performances fuel the weekend soiree with seductive renditions of classic R&B hits from Lauryn Hill and Bruno Mars. Like a perfect tag team, the music moves from live lounge to dynamic DJ as the afternoon progresses, fuelling the latter half of the brunch with old school Hip-Hop that will get you up and dancing.

Without a pre-mixed cocktail in site, revellers are treated to a selection of lively libations that range from espresso martinis to free-flowing Prosecco amidst the stylish setting.

The Nice Guy brunch

The Nice Guy Dubai follows its Los Angeles predecessor as a highly sought-after, reservations-only destination for brunch. But during a time when Instagram reigns supreme, how does Dubai’s only mafia-inspired venue fare when guests are not allowed to take photos? While the policy remains enforced, we saw plenty of sneaky snaps being taken during brunch hours. Failing that, the onsite photo booth will save the day. 

They say that nice guys finish last, but that’s certainly not the case at this Dubai brunch. 

Brunch at The Nice Guy takes place on Saturday from 12:30pm to 4pm. AED 399 (soft beverages), AED 499 (house beverages) and AED 699 (premium beverages).

GO: Email for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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