Brunch review: Thursday brunch at Market Kitchen

A classy set-menu offering to round off the working week

Brunch review: Thursday brunch at Market Kitchen
Brunch review: Thursday brunch at Market Kitchen Image #2

Thursday night just seems like a great time for a brunch (in the Abu Dhabi sense of the word), doesn’t it? Excitement for the end of the working week and nothing to get up for in the morning, it’s the ideal opportunity to gorge yourself on unlimited food and drinks.

With that in mind we head to Abu Dhabi’s original Thursday evening offering at Market Kitchen. The stylish US-themed restaurant was ahead of the curve when it introduced its deal way back when, and is perhaps unfairly overlooked when people get round to recommending their favourite places to eat in the city. Having opened six years ago, the restaurant has had its fair share of chefs in charge of the kitchen but standards have more of less stayed the same, as has the menu from Jean-Georges Vongerichten (with the exception of a few regular tweaks here and there).

We’re here towards the end of the summer, so the dining room is perhaps understandably a little quieter than during peak months. The late start means we’ve already had a few post-work refreshments and are ready to tuck in.

Service is on the ball from the off, with the two simple packages explained and our first drinks orders taken in double-quick time.

The soft drinks package includes mocktails and the house beverage option has a range of mixed drinks, grape and German hops. It’s a short but sharp offering.

When it comes to food, the only decisions we have to make are what to eat first. The menu is split into three courses, which each include dishes to share that can be ordered more than once. It doesn’t look like a big list, but we applaud anyone that can finish it all, never mind order seconds.

Of the starters, the tuna tartare and crispy calamari really hit the spot. The batter on the tender squid crunching nicely with every bite. A chilli citrus dip is a good addition. Call us boorish, but salads and soups will never be on our brunching highlights reel, so while we (bravely) tackle the Caesar salad and tomato soup, we wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t on the menu next time we come, though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them.

A mixed mushroom pizza gets wolfed down, but we’re already feeling full by the time all the slices are gone.

Nevertheless, on to main courses we go with a delcious piece of Australian Black Angus striploin, marinated in soy miso sauce. The meat is sliced, so we can see some bits are a bit more pink than others. Liking our meat rare, we polish those off, leaving the ends that are a bit more well done. A beautifully cooked corn-fed chicken breast is also a highlight, but the heaving bowl of tomato penne pasta goes untouched. Just like the soup, we’re not sure anyone would miss this one if it was replaced by something a bit more exciting. There are also sides of fries and broccoli.

Of the two of us, one doesn’t have a sweet tooth, meaning the two desserts are only appreciated by half of the table. They really are outstanding so we urge anyone who might think of skipping them to have a go. The salted caramel ice cream sundae is particularly decadent.

We leave full and satisfied, having had a thoroughly pleasant Thursday night. PJ O’Reilly’s is getting into full swing as last orders at Market Kitchen is called. Much like this brunch, it seems like too good an opportunity to turn down.
Dhs250 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages). Thu 8.30pm-11pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101 101).

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