All right, Abu Dhabi – you win. Time Out has fought a battle against the use of the term “night brunch” for years. But it looks like it is here to stay.
Other than it being meaningless, we have repeatedly said, there is already a perfectly good word for the all-you-can eat meal.
Can’t we just call it “a buffet”, we’ve asked? Brunch is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, so a night-time version just doesn’t work. No?
But, week after week, we receive invitations to an evening brunch. Not just from marketing bods but actual friends. People we love are night brunching all the time.
So we’re not going to tut and frown when we hear the expression anymore. Especially if that means we can get more invitations to soirées such as these...
When you walk in, be careful not to stand on the ripped-up rulebook of what a brunch should be. It is more like a glitzy ladies’ night (sorry, girls, you will have to pay) and is legitimately chic while still offering lots of food.
In true Caramel-style, however, these will most likely come in the form of petite tapas bites such as tacos, lamb sliders or intriguing salads.
From Dhs230. Thu 7pm-10pm. The Collection at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island (02 678 3344).
2 Café Sushi
The Japanese spot in Fairmont Bab Al Bahr offers up a super way to end the working week.
From 5pm you can head to the light and airy venue to try a selection of sushi from the belt, sashimi, edamame and maki brought to the table, and fresh salads made at a live station.
Add in some buffet noodles, meats and tempura options and you’re looking at a pretty good Thursday night. It’s great value, too, which is a definite bonus.
From Dhs156. Thu 5pm-10pm. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3238).
The Brazilian churrascaria is one of the forefathers of the all-you-can-eat brunch.
If you’ve never tried this style of eating before, you should know that it entails a non-stop procession of barbecued meats being brought to your table.
Turn over a card when you need a breather and the supply will slow down, but only long enough to have a quick dance to the Latin band before coming back for another carving straight from the skewer to your plate.
From Dhs249. Wed 6pm-midnight. InterContinental Hotel, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (800 423 463).
The majority of the scoops a Time Out journalist gets to uncover usually has ice cream inside it. No Pulitzer’s here.
Telling you about this Abu Dhabi stalwart’s fantastic buffets may not be breaking news, but after piling the crustaceans high at this consistently brilliant seafood night promotion, we are awarding ourselves a mouthful of grilled lobster.
Ice cream for afters, too.
From Dhs275 (adults), half price (kids six-12), Thu 7pm-11pm. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta (02 654 3238).
The Marriott is attempting to put the fun back into brunches and we salute the effort.
Like the corresponding Friday feast, the emphasis is on good times and casual vibes at this all-you-can-eat feast.
The simple name for the occasion is the BBQ and Hops Brunch and it solidly delivers on the humble promise.
From Dhs276. 6.30pm-10.30pm. Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street (02 304 7777).
6 Mai Café
OK, we’re going to call it. For the next month Abu Dhabi is operating at peak barbecue.
If you want your grill to come with a little more chill than thrill to ease you into the weekend, we reckon this could be the culinary equivalent of lighting a few scented candles and slipping into a hot bath.
And, while you’re in there, eating mounds of juicy steak and grilled prawns.
From Dhs140. 7pm-11pm. Aloft Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (02 654 5193).
7 Market Kitchen
A tapas-style sharing menu of à la carte dishes brought out to tables underneath an indoor olive tree.
Go back and read that one more time and tell us if that is not a glorious sentence that starts well and gets better.
Rest assured it is just as fine as it sounds and will transport you into the weekend in mellow mood.
From Dhs250. Thu 8.30pm-11pm. Market Kitchen, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (800 101101).
An all-day dining restaurant in a swanky hotel is the equivalent of the fourth most famous person in a boyband.
They rarely get the headlines, are unlikely to get a solo deal and are probably cheaper. But they’re also a lot more casual, unlikely to be domineering and probably more fun, too.
Olea has been on our awards radar for years thanks to buffet, family and international offerings and the Asian Market Feast brings together food from Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and even Mongolia.
Consider it a greatest hits of crowd favourites.
From Dhs240. Thu 6.30pm-11pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Resort (02 498 8443).
As huge fans of the sleek and unique Yas Viceroy, we’re always happy to visit it and the Thursday night Grape and Grill buffet is a treat.Head along and sample the grilled meats, numerous live cooking stations and a packed dessert table.
An ambient soundtrack keeps things atmospheric courtesy of resident DJ, Marc Betta.
From Dhs220. Thu 7pm-11pm. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 0600).
10 The Foundry
The table service and signature dish nature of the Thursday Steak Feast give this a more à la carte feel than a typical buffet.
Forget about the labels and enjoy servings of quality meat dishes, freshly shucked oysters and a decent line in side salads to boot.
From Dhs219. 7pm-11pm. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Mina Street, Al Zahiya (02 818 4888).