Wonderbrunch at Sofra bld

An international brunch with food and activities for kids

Wonderbrunch at Sofra bld
Wonderbrunch at Sofra bld Image #2

Hearing prince crooning his way through one of his most suggestive tracks is not what we thought we’d hear at this family-friendly brunch at the Shangri-La. However, the Purple One is just part of a collection of seemingly inappropriate artists being played at the Wonderbrunch. We can only hope the little ones are in the dedicated play area, or at least don’t catch the lyrics to the songs. The parents seem to be having a good time singing along, regardless.

We aren’t brunching with kids, so the choice of music certainly doesn’t bother us (in fact, it’s one of the our favourite things about the whole experience), but it does seem a little incongruous to the kid-friendly theme.

We arrive just after the start time of 1pm. There are already families in place and people milling around the big all-day restaurant, perusing the buffets and live stations.

After a fairly disinterested welcome we’re shown our table. It feels a little out of the way, around a corner at the edge of the dining room, but, as a couple, we don’t mind being away from the big groups. It does go on to make it hard to get the waiters’ attention for drinks later on, however.

The explanation of the packages and concept is also farily rudimentary. It’s a buffet, we help ourselves to food. Drinks package run-downs are not forthcoming, and there’s no menu saying what’s available, so for the three-hour running time we have to guess what’s available on the soft and house packages.

So, the start isn’t great, but on the first tour of the buffet things pick up.

Chefs are still setting up some of the stations, and some items never get any signs on them to explain what they are, but overall, this doesn’t make much of a difference to our afternoon.

Knowing that the hotel does super Asian food (Shang Palace and Hoi An are particuarly good restaurants) we head to the noodle soup station. Sadly the waiter points us in another direction when we inquire about the soup options. Eventually we get a prawn laksa, which is tasty but probably too heavy to start the day with.

The seafood section is where this brunch really comes into its own, though. There’s a huge tuna, which is being sliced into sashimi and cured into ceviche. There are also excellent maki rolls and nigiri on offer, as well as prawns, lobster, crab and some delicious oysters, which the chefs shuck for you so you don’t have to fiddle around with the tasty little blighters.

The Chinese dishes, from the chefs at Shang Palace, also impress. The roast duck is a rich and filling option, though we’d love some pancakes to wrap it up in (we can’t get enough of the traditional way of doing things). The noodle and rice dishes are also worth trying.

There’s a grill section where you can pick your own meat (and similar for seafood). Choose wisely and you’ll end up with a top main course, with perfectly cooked meat and moreish sides of potatoes and veggies.

Indian and Middle Eastern dishes are also well represented, adding an extra intertanional flavour to this feast.

The dessert station looks incredible, but our favourite is the rather simple strawberries dipped in milk (and white) chocolate. A KitKat sushi roll doesn’t quite live up to expectations, although the ice creams are pretty good.

We wouldn’t really cal it a ‘Wonderbrunch’, but there are certainly some high points.
Dhs279 (soft drinks), Dhs349 (house beverages), Dhs459 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Maqta (800 0600 0201).

An international brunch with food and activities for kids

For the raw tuna, if that’s your kind of thing

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