Brunch time: twenty Abu Dhabi summer feasts

It's time to loosen those belts as our favourite weekend feasts return to fill your summer with food Discuss this article

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Now that we’re half way through summer, Abu Dhabians can get back to doing what we enjoy the most... Spending hours every weekend brunching (and talking about the weather, of course). With Friday, Saturday and evening brunches back on the calendar, we’ve put together a list of 20 that will you see through the next few weeks at least. Happy feasting...

ALL IN THE FAMILY


Aqua

It’s a family affair at this old favourite of ours. The restaurant is bright and airy and offers pleasing waterfront views. Its brunch set-up rolls out all the way onto its sprawling outdoor terrace, so make sure you survey what’s on offer before you get stuck in. Brunch purists can rest safe in the knowledge they can find more traditional brunch eats such as tarts, bagels, sandwiches and the hero of them all, eggs Benedict. We also recommend sampling a few items from Sambusek’s section, and the tapas and Indian counters, before ending with a slice or two of the brunch’s famous messy cake. There’s a separate, supervised kids’ area with activities such as cookie decorating.
Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs350 (house beverages), Dhs450 (bubbly), Dhs125 (kids aged six-12). Every Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5552).

CuiScene

Four of Fairmont Bab Al Bahr’s dining venues – Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, Frankie’s, CuiScene and Cedar Lounge – join forces to put on an impressive spread for its Friday brunch. And as you’d imagine, the selection is diverse and plentiful – from juicy cuts from Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, to Italian staples from Frankie’s and an array of brunch-time classics. There’s also a designated space for the children to stay put and with a TV, plenty of games and a magician, there won’t be a dull moment. For grown-ups, the live entertainment comes in the form of a live guitarist.
Dhs279 (soft drinks), Dhs369 (house beverages), Dhs519 (French bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3238).

Crust
This brunch has been around for less than a year but has already cemented itself as a bit of a fan favourite in that time. It’s casual, laid-back and great for families and groups of friends. The impressive buffet includes a section of breakfast items, which is always a good thing in our book, and covers most popular international cuisines. Chefs weave in and out pushing trolleys of specials for the day which is a nice, interactive touch. On top of that, there is a special room for the kids filled with food, games and activities to keep them busy for a few hours as the adults indulge in the cracking spread.
Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs385 (house beverages), Dhs545 (bubbly), Dhs125 (kids aged six-12). Every Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2444).

Essence
Seven restaurants are better than one, I'm sure you'll agree. And at The Best of The Beach Brunch, that's just what you'll get. The all-day dining spot is filled with offerings from Rodeo Grill, Brauhaus, Prego’s, Benihana, Trader Vic’s, Finz and Indigo – all coming together for the satisfaction of the city’s brunch-goers. While they tuck into the excellent variety of cuisines, guests can enjoy the sonic stylings of the hotel’s resident DJ.
Dhs270 (soft drinks), Dhs380 (house beverages), Dhs480 (sparkling bubbly), Dhs135 (kids aged six-12). Every Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 697 9011).

Khayal
One of the more recent shindigs to be added to the city’s calendar, Brunch Live is a family-friendly event bursting with plenty of food, live entertainment and even a bouncy castle for the kids. There are 15 stations and a fresh juice bar, just in case you want to keep your drinks healthy. The kids have a special buffet station to feed from and activities such as face painting (and that bouncy castle) is sure to keep them busy as well.
Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages), Dhs399 (sparkling), Dhs499 (bubbly), Dhs75 (kids aged six-13), free (kids under six). Every Fri 12.30pm-3.45pm. Marriott Al Forsan, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A (02 201 4000).

Sofra bld

The spread at Sofra includes a satisfying mix of international favourites and Arabian eats. Sushi counters and a DIY salad corner sit across from live cooking stations serving up tasty grills, fresh seafood dishes and Asian classics. Those with a sweet tooth should load up on the creamy home-made ice creams that cannot be missed. Oh, and the deal includes complimentary beach and pool access, so don’t forget to take your cossie with you, and some sunscreen.
Dhs285 (soft drinks), Dhs365 (house beverages), Dhs495 (bubbly). Every Fri 1pm-4pm. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri
(02 509 8555).

FOOD WITH FRIENDS


Asia De Cuba

We love the outdoor deck at this stylish venue, but seeing as the weather doesn’t always allow us to enjoy such comforts, the airy, bright indoor dining room works just as well. The set menu boasts Asian and Latino flavours and features dishes such as ceviches and grills of tenderloin, flank steak and salmon. And with the likes of chocolate tres leche, passion fruit pannacotta and churros on the menu, you will want to make sure you leave room for dessert.
Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs333 (house beverages). Every Fri noon-3pm. Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche Road (02 699 3333).

Chamas Churrascaria & Bar
Meat, meat and more meat. That’s what the Friday brunch at InterContinental’s Chamas is all about. So, if you’re a leaf-lover you should probably stay away. Carnivores get to pick from 13 succulent cuts of meat that are sliced off giant skewers and onto their plates. Those hoping to add some fibre to their plates can take a spin around the salad buffet. There’s also a cheese room, if you fancy some dairy. If you get there early, the restaurant also runs a pre-brunch deal, offering a platter of oysters with bubbly for no extra charge.
Dhs274 (soft drinks), Dhs348 (house beverages), Dhs448 (bubbly). Every Fri noon-4pm, pre-brunch deal 11.30am-12.30pm. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).

Cho Gao

Savour the flavours of the Far East each Friday and Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi’s pan-Asian eatery. The menu at the sharing-style brunch includes a maki roll platter (with a curious cheese and turkey creation), Thai salads, delicate dumplings, grilled meat, Chinese-style stews, curries, stir-fries and lots more. Don’t let the amount of food overwhelm you, the waiters do most of the work for you as they bring some of the courses to your table. Your only task is to sit back, relax and tuck in.
Dhs200 (ice tea and water), Dhs300 (mixed drinks). Every Fri & Sat noon-4pm. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street (02 616 6124).

Cooper's Bar & Restaurant
This popular post-office watering hole dishes out the tasty goods every Friday. Expect hearty pub grub, friendly staff and an infectious atmosphere. The extensive selection includes salads, cold cuts, a carvery station brimming with roast meats, sausages, fish and all the trimmings. For dessert dive into delicious tarts, pies and cakes. It’s comfort food at its most comforting. And you can extend your brunch package for a further three house with unlimited house beverages for Dhs120.
Dhs125 (soft drinks), Dhs160 (house beverages), Dhs190 (premium beverages). Every Fri noon-4pm. Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park Area (02 657 3333).

Coya Abu Dhabi
Expect to get transported to Peru the minute you set foot into COYA. The restaurant is decorated with masks, hanging plants and vibrant traditional upholstery, all there to inject a little Inca spirit into your Friday.

The feast is accompanied by live music from COYA Dubai’s resident band, who will supply Latin beats and rhythms to sway to as you sip on the signature drinks. Diners can sample a “best-of” menu that includes the venue’s most popular dishes, including delicious ceviches, tiraditos, anticucho and its famed desserts. See page 42 for our full review.
Dhs278 (soft drinks), Dhs448 (house beverages), Dhs548 (bubbly). Every Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

Kuzbara

Given its name (EAT. PLAY. LAUGH.), you know just what to expect from this weekend fiesta (which is where we shot our cover for this issue). There are seven food and seven drink counters on hand, representing the hotel’s signature outlets and other popular international cuisines. Guests are invited to “play” courtesy of the giant Jenga and hops pong table set up in the restaurant.
Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs380 (house beverages), Dhs450 (bubbly). Every Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).

Latest Recipe
A cosy brunch with international favourites and local dishes await at Le Méridien. The easy-on-the-pocket prices make it a popular choice with families and groups of friends who stop by for a relaxing afternoon of food and fun. A special mention must go to the friendly staff who are always on hand to guide you around the buffet. The deal also includes access to the hotel’s pool and private beach.
Dhs150 (soft drinks), Dhs250 (house beverages), Dhs295 (bubbly), Dhs95 (kids aged five-12). Every Fri 12.30pm-4pm.
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Tourist Club Area (02 644 6666).

Loca

Ain’t no party like a Mexican party (because a Mexican party never really stops). And that’s the vibe at this hotspot at The Galleria. The concept is simple. A set menu comprises traditional dishes from south of the border such as DIY tacos, four different breakfast dishes including huevos machaca, the house special guac, burritos, fajitas, and Loca’s mouth-watering ribs. So you better make sure you take your appetite to this one as there is a lot of food to get through. An acoustic guitarist doesn’t sound like the perfect match for the pace of this brunch, but that's what's on offer and he does a good job of getting the diners on the floor and dancing to his tunes.
Dhs155 (soft drinks), Dhs270 (house beverages). Fri noon-5pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 582 3639).

Mcgettigan's
Kick off your weekend with some good, old fashioned fun at everyone’s favourite Irish pub. The à la carte menu includes tasty numbers such as buttermilk fried chicken, wagyu stroganoff and pulled duck bruschetta. Once you’re done there, queue up at the live carving station for a few slices of the six-hour slow-roasted rib of beef that comes with all the trimmings. End your feast with desserts such as Oreo cheesecake and carrot cake.
Dhs199 (house beverages). Every Fri noon-4pm. Al Raha Beach Hotel, Channel Street (02 652 4333).

The Terrace on the Corniche

Guests are greeted with a welcome drink in The St. Regis Bar before being ushered into the main dining room. There are lots of live stations here, dishing out fresh seafood, foie gras, sushi, grilled meat and more. End with a spin around the dessert and cheese room, you won’t regret it.
Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs385 (house beverages), Dhs525 (bubbly). Every Fri 1pm-4pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road (02 694 4553).

EVENING BRUNCHES


Amerigos Mexican Bar & Restaurant
Grab your maracas and salsa your way over to this all-new evening brunch for a taste of Mexico. Chef Jorge and his amigos serve up a tantalising feast that includes shredded beef salpicon tostada, ceviche atún and succulent grills such as adobo Australian lamb chops. And just when you think you are done, the staff will bring out the chef’s special tres leche that is served with a mango and passionfruit compote and Amerigos’ famous flan, amongst other desserts. The dynamic Latin duo on duty plays upbeat music to make sure spirits are high throughout the fiesta.
Dhs144 (soft drinks), Dhs228 (house beverages). Every Thu 7pm-11pm. Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Abu Dhabi, Yas Island
(02 656 2000).

Market Kitchen
If you’re looking for an intimate and relaxed evening to ring in the weekend, head over to this lovely restaurant on a Thursday. A set menu stretches across three sharing courses that are brought to your table. The portion sizes aren’t overwhelming, but the dishes are tasty and interesting. The restaurant’s signature black truffle pizza makes the cut, as does the roasted meagre fish in a Malaysian chilli sauce.
Dhs200 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages). Every Thu 8.30pm-11pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).

By Vanessa Fitter
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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