Abu Dhabi Brunch review: ANNEX Animals

A cool party brunch with lots of glitter at ANNEX

Abu Dhabi Brunch review: ANNEX Animals
Abu Dhabi Brunch review: ANNEX Animals Image #2

Whenever we enter slick three-story venue Annex we immediately feel like part of Abu Dhabi's cool crowd.

Things are no different when we arrive to try out the recently launched Animals brunch, although this is the first time we’ve visited the trendy nightspot while the sun is still up.

Animals takes place on the rooftop terrace, and when you arrive you’re taken up to the top floor and to your table by the hostess herself.

With a spot in the shade and infront of one of the pretty statements walls that’s covered in trailing vine leaves, we’re in the perfect spot for both people watching and admiring the panoramic view of Al Bateen marina.

Although we don’t want to be spoil sports, we can’t bring ourselves to wear one of the zebra-print top hats that are left on the table. But it isn’t long before we end up at the glitter station and emerge as sparkly ‘blue leopards’.

The theme is undeniably fun, and from the moment we take a sip of our first fruity mixed drink, it feels like a proper party brunch.

An ice bucket of more mixed drinks contained in cute glass bottles is delivered to our table, and the charming servers are keen to keep us topped up throughout.

By the time our first platter arrives at the table, the place is packed and people are already up on their feet dancing, chatting and taking endless selfies of their newly glittered-up faces.

The food has a Latin American twist, and our favourites of the starters include the chicken and prawn quesadillas (full of cheese and wonderful spices), the creamy guacamole (we can’t resist asking for seconds), the fantastic tender beef slices and the modest but well-chosen maki roll selection.

However, we’re distinctly underwhelmed by the piles of cold mashed potatoes and spicy chickpea mixtures, and it seems like an odd choice for a party nibble.

Next are the hot bites and the mini chicken tacos are a real treat. We’re normally not fans of hard-shell tacos (we can’t manage to eat them without making a huge mess however hard we try), but these bite-sized nibbles are neat, tidy and full of nicely marinated meat.

The pulled-beef bao buns are also top notch, which makes up for the fact that the tuna sliders aren’t nearly as good as we thought they would be. To us the tuna tartare-like patty simply doesn’t work.

Then from the dessert platter we love the mini Magnum-like ice creams, chocolate and raspberry pots and caramel shortbreads.

But this is a brunch that’s more about dancing and mingling than it is about eating. In a city where most of the brunches are lavish buffets or sit down dinners, this raucous event is like a breath of fresh air.

Next time you want to let your hair down on a Friday afternoon, Annex Animals should be your top choice.
Dhs288 (house beverages), Dhs588 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen (056 992 2305).

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