Brunch at the Palace at Las Brisas

A spread of the best cuisines from across Europe, served in a relaxed, market-style setting

Brunch at the Palace at Las Brisas
Brunch at the Palace at Las Brisas Image #2
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There aren’t many hotels which are so spectacular that they’re considered a tourist attraction. But Emirates Palace is undoubtedly one of the must-see spots in Abu Dhabi.

Dining at this incredibly flash hotel isn’t just about the food (although that is brilliant too). Walking through the immaculate gardens and sprawling grounds really does feel like entering a palace, and you simply can’t walk under the iconic gold-domed ceiling of the lobby without taking a photo of it.

Coming to brunch here is a real event. Make sure you allow time to admire the view of Etihad Towers from the steps and the detailed tapestries covering the walls.

There’s also a private beach to stroll along. If you’re lucky you might even catch sight of some guests going for a camel ride (yes really, there are even camels). With the palace and Etihad Towers in the background, it’s one of the most ‘Abu Dhabi’ photos you’ll ever take.

The Brunch at the Palace takes place amongst the palm trees at the edge of the pool at Las Brisas. Set up like a European market place, the lines of food stations house countless different cuisines. We find ourselves wandering up and down a few times with our empty plates before we can even begin to work out where to start. The choice is utterly overwhelming, and we can’t wait to try it all.

We start at the Arabic stall at the top end of the ‘market’. It’s packed with different hot and cold mezzes, each beautifully presented and explained by the helpful chef. We’re also given a small glass of a refreshing aryan yoghurt drink to try while we ponder the choices.

There are some dishes we haven’t seen before, including numerous different cheeses and shredded halloumi which looks almost like spaghetti.
Along with the fried falafel and fattoush salad, it’s one of our top dishes of the day and despite the numerous other options available, we still go back for seconds.

We decide it’s too warm for the soup stall and Yorkshire puddings, but we’re big fans of the Spanish tapas and rosemary breads (this station also has paella and fresh octopus), and the fresh sushi (the salmon and tuna rolls are both absolute perfection).

The lobster omelette is a bit bland and not quite as sensational as we imagined it would be. However, the roast chicken, barbecued chicken and baked potatoes (presented in cute AGA-style ovens) are all fantastically done. It’s proof that even the simple things can be amazing when done properly.

Some of the dishes, such as the scallops, sea bass and wagyu cheeks, are cooked at the stations and this means that only a limited amount is available at any time. This involves a bit of patience, but we’re happy that we waited it out for the scallops. They’re deliciously buttery and cooked for precisely the right amount of time.

The patisserie stalls are laden with huge cakes, muffins, brioche and pastries. There’s also Arabic sweets, ice cream and a help-yourself iced coffee station.

We can’t resist trying a hot waffle with chocolate sauce, and after a lot of deliberation we try the banana bread (on the chefs recommendation) and a pretty jam sponge cake. It’s all wonderful.

Our servers keep us supplied with a constant stream of fresh juices and by the end of the afternoon, the excellent band has attracted a crowd of dancing guests.

We can think of few better ways to spend a sunny winter afternoon in the capital.

WHAT IS IT...
A spread of the best cuisines from across Europe, served in a relaxed, market-style setting

WHY GO...
For the incredible patisserie stalls, the Middle Eastern dishes and the sing-along Ronan Keating covers from the lovable live band

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