Brunch review: The Filini Supper Club at Filini Garden

A very cool and lively Thursday night brunch

Brunch review: The Filini Supper Club at Filini Garden

Filni Garden is one of those places in Abu Dhabi that no matter what day of the week it is or time of the year, is always super busy.

We’re therefore relieved that we were smart enough to book a table in advance for the Thursday Filini Supper Club (even we can be sensible sometimes), and as predicted, ours is one of the only empty tables when we walk in just after 8pm.

DJ Cliff Townley is already on the decks and entertaining the young and smartly dressed guests around us, and everyone is dolled up and ready to blow off some steam.

It’s loud and lively, and straight away it’s clear that this is a brunch designed to be a party with some tasty nibbles thrown in, rather than a sit down feast of several courses.

We start off with some orange Italian mixed drinks, and everything from the cool air conditioned terrace, to the trailing vines and burnt Filini logo on the orange peel in our drinks, is slick, stylish and expertly done.

The first course arrives soon after, and it’s an impressive sight that you’d have to try hard not to photograph (yes we’re some of those awful people who like to take photos of their food before eating).

It’s split into two parts; a sort of wooden tool box-shaped container filled with long bread sticks wrapped in beef bacon (these grab our attention straight away), green olives, tomato and mozzarrella skewers, and some mushroom risotto arancini balls.

There’s also a wooden board displaying delicate mini salmon, olive and tomato bruschetta arranged on a bed of rocket.

Our server starts to explain what each dish is, but given the volume of the music, it’s a bit of a futile attempt. It doesn’t really matter anyway, and we’re quite happy having a nibble of each and working it out ourselves.

Although both are simple creations, we love the soft garlic bread and salty bacon-wrapped bread sticks. The risotto balls are a bit plain and flavourless for our liking, but the fresh tomatoes and italian cheese are lovely.

There’s loads to go around between the two of us, and we have to leave quite a bit in an attempt to save room for the main course.

There’s only a short gap before the next platters arrive, and we like that there’s no fussing or choosing different options.

We’re very content relaxing in our seats and indulging in a spot of people watching as we take in the cool atmosphere.

We dive straight into the calamari as soon as it arrives on the table, and presented with a neat swirl of aioli, the lightly battered rings are one of the best things we taste all night. The pizza is predictably brilliant, too, with an authentic Italian-style bread base that’s soft, thin and a bit crispy all at the same time. There’s a few different toppings to choose from, and decorated with rocket and sliced vegetables it doesn’t seem like the most unhealthy pizza in the world (but it’s still totally delicious).

Meanwhile, the beef and vegetable skewers are also a big hit, adding a nice boost of protein to quite a carb-heavy spread.

The extra portion of arancini balls and potato crisps seem unnecessary, it’s like they are just there to fill up the table. They go largely untouched, but the breaded lamb chops are tender and not too greasy or heavy, while the profiteroles and lemon tarts mean that things end on a not-too-sickly sweet note.

It might be more about the vibes than the dishes tonight, but the food is still undeniably awesome. We’d happily start our weekend like this over and over again.
Dhs225 (house beverages). Thu 8pm-11pm. Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2000).

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