Brunch review: Late brunch at Li Jiang in Abu Dhabi

A relaxed late Saturday brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal with some stellar pan-Asian cusine

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Brunch review: Late brunch at Li Jiang in Abu Dhabi
Brunch review: Late brunch at Li Jiang in Abu Dhabi Image #2
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With more night brunches appearing, it’s quickly becoming our favourite way to end the weekend in Abu Dhabi. At Li Jiang, you can enjoy a laidback atmosphere in a stunning setting while tucking into an all-you-can-eat Saturday night buffet.

As we step into the pan-Asian restaurant, it’s clear from the artistic sushi stands and sizzling live barbecue stations that we’re in for a treat. Everything looks and smells great.

While there’s plenty of seating indoors (you can take your pick of large tables for big groups or intimate two-seaters), we opt for a table on the outside terrace (where there are also some comfy sofas) to make the most of the picturesque views, including a beautifully lit-up Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

There’s a live band playing old school R&B and soul classics with the occasional interval for a skillful saxophone solo. At first, the music is a welcome addition but we quickly find it too loud to have a conversation over (staff  did warn us, but it was also pretty loud inside). Luckily, the band take regular breaks so it doesn’t turn out to be too much of an issue.

Li Jiang’s brunch runs from 5pm until 11pm and allows guest to arrive anytime for a three-hour slot. We arrive at around 7pm and though it isn’t super busy, it doesn’t feel empty. Instead, the vibe is nice and relaxed. There’s a cosy ambience thanks to the dimmed lights and wooden interiors inside and an inviting  warm colour scheme of reds and browns on the terrace.

The service is great from the moment we walk in, with the waiters on hand to take drinks orders and top us up as soon as it’s needed - they’re far from stingy with the drinks package which offers a choice of hops or grape on the house package. It’s great to see the service on point, as often this has been a bone of contention for us in the past.

Another real highlight is, of course, the food. With a mix of Asian dishes, there’s plenty to choose from. We start off with the selection of appetisers, including crispy dragon rolls and fresh sashimi, and small tapas-style plates of grilled vegetables and zesty salads.

Then we’re enticed by the array of succulent meats and wok-fried fish dishes on offer – we highly recommend sampling the salmon, which despite being light is rich in flavour,  as well as the juicy satay sticks that come complete with a variety of sauces from peanut to sweet chilli. You can also fill your plates with dim sum, curries, spring rolls and a range of other Asian classics.

The wok station focuses on the simple stuff, which is good but not very exciting, especially compared to the rest.

We dive into the dessert section, which includes various cakes, creamy mousses and a selection of fresh fruits and marshmallows to accompany the matcha fondue tower that naturally caught our attention immediately.

This has great food, a generous flow of drinks and a scenic set up. We’re impressed.
Dhs215 (soft drinks), Dhs340 (house beverages), Dhs465 (bubbly), Dhs110 (kids ages six-11), free (kids under six). Sat 5pm-11pm (packages are three hours). The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal (02 818 8888).

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