Eat.Play.Laugh. at Grill@25

Review: A fun Friday afternoon buffet brunch that will shine in the new rooftop venue Discuss this article

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DETAILS: Dhs330 (soft drinks), Dhs456 (house beverages), Dhs540 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (02 304 7777).

Sometimes in life, we don’t realise just how good we’ve got it.

In Abu Dhabi, we’re lucky to be soaked in sunshine for much of the year and it is often taken for granted. So, when the clouds come and brings rain to our doorstep, it can put a spanner in the works.

Unfortunately for us, inclement weather turned what we hoped would be an excellent outdoor brunch at Grill@25 into an indoor one. The Marriott Downtown’s Eat.Play.Laugh. offering usually takes place in the capital’s highest rooftop bar, which boasts panoramic views of the city, and comes with pool access.

Of course, we can’t blame the brunch organisers for unusual appearance of rain, but we hoped for a cool party in the sun and were left with a buffet in the more sterile setting of Kuzbara (where it was held until the new venue opened).

Credit where it’s due, though. They put on a good spread.

There’s plenty of delicious food to go round at this buffet-style feast. And there’s a clear emphasis on fun (if the name didn’t give it away) as visitors can play the Xbox or a range of family-friendly games as they indulge in the lovely food.

We start with a few light bites, including excellent muhammara and a butternut squash salad, which goes down a treat.

There’s a huge choice of starters, but a mouth-watering beef roast caught our eye on the way in, so we don’t want to fill up too soon.

A chilled vibe fills the room, which has an older crowd than some of the party brunches we’ve been to, and a house DJ spins a decent range of chart music and older hits.

Now we’re nicely settled in, it’s time for the hot dishes.

We try little bits of the roast beef (which is every bit as tender as we imagined), some tasty ratatouille and excellent butter chicken, a brunch classic.

Friendly staff offer a range of mocktails if you’re on the soft drinks package, and we recommend trying the Morning Sunshine (orange juice, pink grapefruit juice, honey pollen and star anise syrup).

We try desserts including a slice of rich chocolate cake and New York cheesecake.

Make sure you save room for a bowlful of blueberry crumble, though, a delicious way to end.

We come on a bad day, but no-one can be blamed for that, and while Kuzbara might not have the wow-factor of Grill@25, thankfully the food and service make up for the disappointment of not being able to check out the new rooftop venue.

The bottom line

The new venue is the real pull here.

Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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