DETAILS: Dhs230 (mixed drinks). Thu-Sat 7pm-10pm. Caramel Restaurant & Lounge, The Collection, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saaydiyat Island (02 678 3344).
We’re all human: we understand that having the chance to go for three hours of eating and drinking at some of the best restaurants and bars in the world is a no brainer.
But there are rare occasions that the thought of getting up early on the weekend for a spot of midday brunching can feel like a bit of a chore.
Enter Caramel’s Sundown Brunch. Kicking off at a positively lazy 7pm, the three-hour event is buzzing with night owls and late risers when we arrive. Okay, the word “brunch” is now in territory never witnessed by the Oxford English Dictionary, but at least we don’t have to sacrifice our precious morning slumber.
The bar is busy, food is charging out of the kitchen and the crowd is a mix of young couples, birthday groups and just plain ol’ weekend revellers. And it’s brilliant.
The restaurant is low-lit and, thanks to some dark décor and furnishings, has a touch of class about it. Thankfully, the high standards continue onto the set menu. It’s a rolling bar snack affair, but think more Kobe beef tacos rather than packets of KP nuts (other peanut brands are available). Almost immediately upon sitting down and giving our first mixed drinks orders to the waiter, the food arrives.
Plates of said tacos are served alongside Kobe beef sliders, too. They’re both mouthfuls of joy after joy.
And then there’s the divine truffled fish and chips alongside light and flavour-packed chicken lettuce wraps. Next up are ooey gooey mac ’n’ cheese bites alongside garlic and parmesan fries. Uninspired chicken “lollipops” (chicken wings in fact) aside, everything is delicious. You can choose what you want and have as much as you want. And, with food this good, why not? Save room for a boogie, though.
In between plates, we work our way through the list of signature mixed drinks, willingly whipped up by the bar staff. If you are so inclined, the team will be sure to keep you well watered throughout.
There’s just enough room in there somewhere for a trio of dainty desserts.
However, we’re not falling into yet another post-brunch slump thanks to all the rare, undisturbed Friday sleep we enjoyed earlier in the day. So, it’s time to hit the dance floor and join the growing crowd. DJ Keith Dobbs plays a mix of hip-hop classics and current chart toppers and keeps the hits spinning well into the night.
And, for the first time in many brunches, there’s not a single dance floor yawn in sight. That can only be a good thing.
The bottom line
Savour the lie-in, enjoy a top evening.