Barfly Brunch at Barfly by Buddha-Bar

Brunch review: A pan-Asian brunch by ABu Dhabi's Grand Canal

Barfly Brunch at Barfly by Buddha-Bar
Barfly Brunch at Barfly by Buddha-Bar Image #2

Brunch is a big deal in this city and when the weekend comes around many of us plan brunch first and let the rest of the day takes care of itself.

That’s probably a good idea if you come to the Barfly Brunch, which will leave a lasting impression (and associated ailments) well into the following day.

We’re here in a large group, and this place is a top choice if you’re looking for a brunch that will please lots of people.

There’s a lovely outdoor area with great views, it’s less than Dhs400 for the house beverage package, we know the food is always good here and the drinks are top notch. Throw in good service and funky tunes and you’re on to a winner.

At the time of writing there’s only a few weeks left to enjoy alfresco brunching, and you’re looking for somewhere to squeeze one last outdoor Friday afternoon in, we recommend heading here.

It’s not a party brunch, but there’s a great vibe and drinks keep coming (last orders is particularly generous).

Inside there are live cooking stations with a variety of Asian dishes.

The dim sum are our favourites, and we pile the plate high and drizzle liberally with sweet chilli sauce.

If you’re a sushi fan, you’re in luck, too, as there are loads of different types. We can’t resist trying them all.

Peking duck pancakes, paired with hoi sin sauce and spring onion, also go down well. There’s just something about the hands-on approach to these beauties that really gets people going.

Mains come to the table – you order which ones you want from a smallish menu. As we’re in a big group, we manage to get one of each so we can try the lot.

If you don’t have that luxury, we recommend the seafood pad Thai, in particular. It’s packed with fresh seafood, flavours of lemongrass and flat noodles.

Other highlights are the Szechuan cumin beef (which packs a punch) and the Indonesian fried chicken noodles are the first dish to result in an empty plate.

There are also seafood linguini and truffle mushroom risotto on the menu, a little odd for an otherwise Asian menu. Both are okay, but they’re out of place.

As with many brunches of this style, we find the starters knock spots off the mains. Maybe that’s down to filling up too early, or maybe the option of trying a few different small things is what brunch is all about.

After our mammoth final drinks order we take a seat on the beach around the firepit to soak up the final rays of sun.

This brunch has a top setting, some great food, a nice ambience and good music to go with it all. We’re impressed.
Dhs285 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Venetian Village, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Maqta (056 177 7557).

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