DETAILS: Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages), Dhs399 (bubbly). Thu 7pm-10pm. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen (02 208 0000).
We could quite easily sit here and reel off a long list of the many, many things we love about brunch. It would be the most straightforward task in the world.
However, we can’t ignore the fact our weekly gorging habit also means we need to squeeze in a few more extra spin classes and early morning runs. Otherwise we might just find ourselves faced with a whole wardrobe full of clothes that don’t fit us anymore. And nobody wants to deal with that.
So it’s a relief to find the food at the Social Thursday brunch at Market at EDITION is tasty, interesting and also largely very healthy.
We’re also happy to have any excuse to visit this trendy hotel, which just oozes understated glamour and style. Market at EDITION is also probably the prettiest all-day-dining-style restaurant we’ve ever seen. The high ceiling and tall windows make it feel light and airy, and the rows of cute plant pots give it a quirky, garden feel.
The friendly staff greet us with a welcome drink and give us a tour of the live stations.
It isn’t an overwhelmingly huge spread like you’d find at some international buffet brunches. We like this, though, as it means the vibes are very relaxed and there’s none of the usual confusion about where to begin.
Our starters are brought to the table, and the tiny plates are delicately presented and filled with fresh flavours. Our favourites are the grated carrot with orange, and the beetroot and goats’ cheese. They’re both simple but refreshing and an excellent start to proceedings.
There’s also a brilliant selection of seafood including California rolls, spicy tuna and salmon and yellowtail sashimi. The only hold-up is that we have to ask for chopsticks and soy sauce bowls, as these aren’t provided alongside the rest of the cutlery.
We’re increasingly grateful for the small portions; it means we can try a little bit of everything without getting too full too soon.
Next we decide to venture over to the poke bowl station, which features a magnificent spread of fish, tofu, grains, vegetables and nuts. We come away with a bowl full of wild rice, aubergine, kale, edamame, roasted chickpeas, tofu and mushroom; it’s a fantastic mix of different textures and flavours, and we’re totally in love with the soy ginger dressing.
At the make-your-own ramen station we select some rice noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, mangetout, bok choy and soy stock (there’s also miso or plain). The chefs prepare our lovely bowl of warming goodness very quickly and it’s packed with pieces of chilli (we ask for it spicy, obvs).
We also order some brilliant beef kebabs served with an excellent hot sauce, some equally great chunks of chicken with a minty yoghurt-based dressing and grilled prawns.
Sides of crunchy asparagus, corn and broccoli finish things off perfectly.
Admittedly, we don’t quite manage to finish on a totally healthy note. We give into the scrumptious pavlova, complete with thick cream and fresh strawberries, but have no regrets whatsoever. The mango tapioca is also sweet and refreshing, but not quite on the same exceptional level as the pavlova.
We could happily spend every Thursday night making up different combinations of poke and ramen bowls, and the best bit is our waistline wouldn’t even suffer for it (well, not too much anyway).
WHAT IS IT...
A relaxed Thursday-night brunch offering street food-style bites
For a weekend blowout that’s actually very healthy (if you don’t count the amazing pavlova and mixed drinks selection)