Brunch review: Rosewood Garden Brunch at Aqua

A buffet brunch set against a backdrop of the city skyline

Brunch review: Rosewood Garden Brunch at Aqua
Brunch review: Rosewood Garden Brunch at Aqua Image #2
1/2

As one of the fanciest hotels in the capital, it’s always a joy to visit the Rosewood Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island.

When we arrive to try out the Garden Brunch (it’s indoors during the summer), the dining room is buzzing with happy diners and from the moment we are handed our refreshing welcome drink, we know we’re in for a very relaxing Friday afternoon. 

The house beverages package includes grape and a selection of infused juniper beverages, and during the cooler months you’ll find many live stations outside.

The dining room offers panoramic views of the city skyline and glittering waters around the island, so we hardly feel like we are missing out on much by being inside.

There are loads of fresh ingredients to choose from, including chunks of beef and chicken, quinoa, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and a huge selection of dressings.

We make up a plate of healthy treats, and pair it with some marinated cold salmon, hummus and soft Arabic bread. It’s basically a collection of all our favourite things, and we’re feeling very happy about life as we tuck into our first plateful.

But there are loads of starters that are more suitable for ‘cheat day’ too. They includes nachos with cheese, salsa, guacamole and sour cream, and fresh pasta in various shapes and sizes.

After a while, it feels like we’ve had our five a day, so we change tack and approach the carving stations. From here we sample some wonderfully tender beef brisket (it tastes like it has been cooking for hours and hours) and a piece of amazing fresh seabass, still wrapped in a banana leaf.

But the sweet roasted beetroot and carrots that we pile on the side are almost as good as the meat and fish, and we can’t resist trying a few roasties as well.

It all gets a big thumbs up from us. Only the roasted chicken is a bit dry and not as remarkable as the other proteins.

As we walk around, the chefs at the live stations are pleased to answer any questions and offer suggestions, and we can’t resist trying a few more tasty morsels from the barbecue station. It turns out to be a good decision, as the steak is utterly superb.

The lobster, however, is over-cooked and chewy. We’re already full so it’s not a huge disappointment to us, but we wouldn’t recommend you pinning all your hopes on it.

We accept that we can’t possibly find room for any of the Indian delicacies such as butter chicken or vegetable curry (although they both look great), and instead move on to the cheese counter. Here we’re pleased to recognise several varieties from the nightly grape and cheese event at La Cava (yes okay, we might have been there quite a few times – and you should, too).

We take a few generous chunks of our favourites, along with a some fresh bread rolls, crackers and honey.

We go back for a bowl of creamy umm ali (because we can never ever turn it down) and an inspired mix of apple crumble with cold custard.

There’s also a variety of ice cream flavours to choose from, and a display of very pretty minature cakes, which we suspect won’t ever taste as good as the umm ali, even if they do have more style.

Not everything hits the heights of the sea bass or cheese selection, but we leave totally stuffed and very content.
Dhs205 (soft drinks), Dhs285 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-5pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550).

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