Going to brunch? Then go on, treat yourself and enjoy the best of the best.
We all love a bargain, and at Time Out Abu Dhabi we're no different.
That said, sometimes pulling out all the stops, getting dressed up and living it up with some excellent food and amazing ambiance is just the ticket.
Here are the best fine dining brunches in Abu Dhabi from the Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant Awards 2018 to try this year.
Not content with winning our Best Brunch last year, Zuma maintained its impeccably high standards in 2018. Proving once and for all its inherent desire to never let a diner leave with a quibble, the same almost immeasurably high standard it meets on any given sitting is matched (if not in some ways surpassed) during brunch. Brunch here is a real occasion. From the moment you pull up at the entrance on Al Maryah Island and descend into the restaurant (either in the glass lift or down the stairs) there’s a sense of anticipation. There is no anti-climax – from this point until the end of the afternoon everything is superb. The dining room itself is a stunner, with the wooden bar pretty much covered in a delicious range of desserts, and counters with an impressive amount of sushi, sashimi, robata, gyoza, salads and more. The tables, every time we’ve been, are filled with couples, families and friends, almost always dressed to impress and ready for the feast ahead. It’s hard to contain your excitement right from the very first bite.
Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900).
Our 2017 Restaurant of the Year also picked up the Best Party Brunch plaque at our 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards, and while it misses out on the big one in the 2018 Restaurant Awards it still keeps its Best Americas title and comes oh-so-close to the Best Fine Dining Brunch award. This Friday offering gives brunchers almost precisely the same experience you’d get from an evening fine-dining soirée. That is, a selection of the Peruvian eatery’s best dishes, some served buffet-style and some to the table. After descending in the funky lift, you’ll be shown to the Pisco Lounge where brunchers gather while sipping on expertly mixed beverages and snacking on roasted corn and tuna tartare tacos. At around 1.15pm the band starts to play and you’ll be shown to your table, where a big bowl of creamy guacamole will be waiting. Shortly after it’ll be joined by delicious salt cod croquettes, soft and fluffy beef bao buns and more tuna tacos. There are maki rolls, ceviches, tiraditos, and salads at the buffet (our favourite is the snapper and truffle ceviche). Then there’s the chicken, beef and mushroom skewers, sea bass cazuela and spicy beef tenderloin. It’s all incredible. The desserts are rich and plentiful, and you can continue the party back in the bar area afterwards, where the band plays on. It’s so good you won’t want it to end.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).
They say only two things in life are certain – death and taxes. Well, we’d like to add a third to that list: brunch at Hakkasan is abolutely outstanding. Abu Dhabi’s slice of the world-renowned Chinese chain sits in the sprawling grounds of the Emirates Palace – and rightly so, as the food is fit for a king. Unless we were finding fault just for the sake of it, we’d have to admit that the restaurant is entirely worthy of its ever-lasting place in our hearts. Brunch here does nothing to dissipate our love for this outstanding Chinese eatery. It is a set menu as the food is just too delicate to be served all-you-can-eat style. You wouldn’t let the crown jewels be prodded and poked by the general public, would you? Highlights include the golden-fried soft shell crab and red chilli, which is covered in a practically life-changing “chicken crumble”. The dim sum are also exceptional and feature a Szechuan-style wonton, har gau wagyu beef dumpling, mushroom dumpling, pan-fried taro cake and a towering prawn dumpling with foie gras sauce. The packages are also remarkable value given the quality. Fridays here are very special indeed.
Emirates Palace, Corniche West (02 690 7739).
99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant
Last year, this stunning venue rightfully walked away with our Best Newcomer award. And while its brunch might have missed out on this top gong, it wasn’t for the want of trying. 99 Sushi’s Zeitaku brunch provides the same flawless dishes to which we’ve been accustomed, each one intricate and hugely tasty. It will be in the running again next year, no doubt.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 672 3333).
It’s hard to knock Cafe Milano for the stellar service and great dishes it serves up. The brunch experience is very enjoyable, too, and though it doesn’t hit the heights of some of its rivals for this award, the carpaccio and seafood risotto are well worth the visit.
Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 333 2222).
First-timers to Abu Dhabi will no doubt have been recommended a venture this super seaside seafood spot, and we’ve been long singing its praises as well. The amazing Asian flavours it conjures up during the 15-course brunch showcase some of the best it has to offer and the packages are great value, too.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche Road West (02 611 0909).
Less of a party and more of a celebration of seafood delivered to a virtually peerless standard in the capital, Finz offers one of the most ideal ways to round off a weekend with its Saturlaze brunch. The chilled-out tunes are the perfect accompaniment to this late-afternoon affair during which the chefs and servers again prove their absolute worth.
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9011).
Koi Abu Dhabi
Still providing one of only a handful of top-notch Japanese brunches in Abu Dhabi, KOI remains a joy to us, with its modern twist on traditional fare showcased deliciously every time. The vibe is consummately chilled (and that’s definitely not a bad thing) yet the chefs still put their all into producing the prized plates.
The Collection at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 678 3334).
Offering its devoted fans back-to-back brunches on a Thursday night and Friday lunchtime would prove a bit of a stretch for less accomplished restaurants. But at Market Kitchen, you can happily mix it up by savouring both the tapas-style end-of-week offering before returning the next day for the ingeniously interactive version that really pushes the boat out.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street (02 674 2020).
This innovative Indian eatery loves to keep its customers happy, and with its Lazy Lunch offering, we applaud it for doing so as it lets you take a leisurely journey through some of its finest creations. The chefs’ love of theatre remains top of the bill, and the servers seem in their elemen.
The Hub at The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah (02 672 8888).