Family Eats: Brunch in the garden at Toko

You know a dining experience is going to be memorable when you step in, and are immediately transported to a different place. That's the feeling I had on visiting Toko restaurant at Vida Downtown, Dubai for their Garden Brunch. The canopy of trees, gurgling fountains, and the calming surroundings made it look like the city was miles away.

The ambiance

The Garden Brunch, taking place every Friday, is so called because it happens outside the restaurant amongst its greenery and shaded tables. The decor has a Zen-like appearance, with scented candles. The seating is comfortable, and spaced out enough so that you can enjoy the surroundings.

The food

There is an outdoor grill serving freshly cooked fish, angus beef, shitake mushrooms, and chicken wings. You can choose from a variety of sauces to go with your meat, and side it with corn, sweet potatoes, and grilled vegetables.

While the barbecue is the highlight of the brunch, lots of interesting dishes are served in buffet style inside the restaurant. The buffet may appear modest by Dubai brunch standards, but each item on the menu is a work of art that your taste buds will appreciate - a feat that good Japanese cuisine often achieves.

I liked the steamed Chicken Mushroom Dumplings, and especially the Short Ribs Gyoza. There is a variety of sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls to choose from. The menu also included fried favourites such as fish, and chicken tempura.

The salads were quite impressive too. I liked the Green Beans & Goma Salad, the Salmon Tartare, and the Raw Mango & Papaya Salad. They were great with the grilled meat at the carving station.

In short, my plate was quite happy!

The desserts are not overwhelming, but satisfactory. There were some interesting ones such as the Green Tea Roulade, and the Pineapple Green Chili Tartlets. Honestly, I was quite full from the hearty main dishes, and could only nibble a few. Little Dude was happy that they had a candy floss machine too.

For the kids

Since this is a family-friendly brunch, we were keen on checking out the play area and activities for kids. The set-up was quite simple when we first arrived, with a tunnel and tent to play in.

However, soon after, a team arrived and set up a bouncy castle which was so popular with the kids that I couldn't get a good picture!

They also had a clown doing balloon twisting, and a face painting station. So, there's enough to keep the kids occupied.

The kids menu

There is a nice menu for kids at the Garden Brunch with main course options such as Chick Strips with fries, Bolognese, Vegetable & Chicken Fried Rice, and Vegetable Tempura. We ordered the Cheese Burger with Fries for Little Dude.

I would advise that you order your kid's meal as soon as you arrive, because it can take quite some time to be prepared. You can understand why, however, as the cheeseburgers were a piece of art!

The Garden Brunch at Toko is a family brunch with a difference. The kids will love it, and you can savour authentic Japanese cuisine.

The Garden Brunch takes place every Friday at Toko, Vida Downtown, Dubai from 12 PM to 4 PM. It costs AED 195 per person, including soft drinks, and an additional AED 155 for selected alcoholic beverages. Kids aged 5 to 12 years are charged AED 85. 

For reservations or enquiries call +971 4442 8383, or email [email protected] 

We were invited to try the above brunch for the purpose of review, but all views and opinions are my own.

Reviews 9214717328379459618

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