Essential Abu Dhabi brunches 2016

Brunching is back and bigger than ever in Abu Dhabi. Try these hotspots

Essential Abu Dhabi brunches 2016
Newcomers

Brunch Like No Other at Safina

Welcome in the weekend at Safina’s recently relaunched brunch at Saadiyat Beach Club. Enjoy a full international buffet with live cooking stations including barbecued dishes, a seafood counter, Asian cuisine and a pasta station. For dessert, it doesn’t disappoint either. You won’t be able to avoid the ever-so-tempting crêpe and waffle station. If you’ve got the little ones with you, fear not. Parents can relax while the kids have fun at the supervised kiddies room, filled with fun activities including face-painting, arts and crafts, and games.
Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house grape, hops and bubbles), Dhs475 (French bubbles). Fri 1pm-4pm. Saadiyat Beach Club, www.saadiyatbeachclub.ae (02 656 3500).

Palace Brunch at Las Brisas
Ready for one of the most glamorous brunches in the city? Every Friday Las Brisas hosts a Palace Brunch by the Emirates Palace pool surrounded by lush gardens on a decking encircled and shaded by palm trees. From multiple stations featuring enticing classics, a seafood bar with a wide variety of fresh fish and shellfish, to a traditional tandoori and shawarma station, you’re in for a unique combination of flavours and cuisines.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs350 (hops, grapes, and selected fruity beverages), Dhs480 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, www.emiratespalace.ae (02 690 7999).

Asian Fusion Brunch at Sontaya

Sontaya, meaning sunset in Thai, is the seductively beautiful venue at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort that is set amongst a series of floating pavilions that look out to the beach and across the turquoise Arabian Gulf. You couldn’t ask for a better view. The good news is that it’s launched a new brunch every Saturday where it serves a variety of ancient dishes from South-East Asia. We can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.
Dhs229 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (grapes and hops). Sat 12.30pm-4pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, www.sontayaabudhabi.com (02 498 8888).

Italian Brunch at Jazz@PizzaExpress
It’s one of our favourite pizza joints in the city, so it was about time Jazz@PizzaExpress launched a brunch. Now you get to indulge in all your favourite Italian dishes, as much as your stomach can handle, while enjoying live music from the five-piece band.
Dhs129 (soft drinks), Dhs229 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. The Mall @ World Trade Center, www.pizzaexpressuae.com (02 444 7752)

Iris Yas Island’s Picnic Brunch
If you want to try an alternative to a picnic in a park, why not try a picnic at Iris? The family-friendly picnic brunch serves a meaty variety of delicious steaks, traditional bangers, chicken drumsticks, special wings and succulent shrimp done the Iris way.

All-time favourites that no picnic brunch should be without will be there, too. We’re talking burgers, chicken shawarmas, hot dogs and flat bread pizzas. Children are well-catered for, with a grass covered play area, arts and crafts, and various games to keep little ones happy. What more can a parent ask for while brunching?
Dhs200 (soft drinks, mocktails and juices), Dhs350 (grapes and hops), Dhs400 (premium drinks), Dhs450 (bubbles). Sat noon-4pm. Yas Island, Yas Marina, Building 1, www.irisyasisland.com (055 160 5636).

Hakkasan’s Hakka Brunch

Hakkasan Abu Dhabi has refreshed its Hakka Brunch menu to coincide with the start of the new season, providing an exciting new selection of dishes for those of us who’ve become regulars. You can choose to enjoy the four-course brunch menu either in the restaurant or seated on the terraces overlooking the stunning cityscape. The menu still features the signature Hakkasan Peking duck station but there are some new additions to the menu, including steamed wild prawns in a homemade chilli sauce. The brunch ends with a mind-blowing dessert station offering a selection of some of the finest desserts and patisserie created by its pastry team. Yep, still one of our favourites.
Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs345 (mixed drinks, house beverages and Chinese hops), Dhs495 (bubbly). Fri noon-4pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, www.emiratespalace.ae (02 690 7999).

Sho Cho’s Friday Brunch

Head to Sho-Cho for contemporary Japanese brunch while soaking up the sun on its terrace. If you’re serious about your sushi, you’re in for a treat. Sho Cho resident DJ Koast keeps the vibe going by spinning his signature mix of tunes throughout the day, so you’re guaranteed a groovy afternoon, too.
Dhs190 per person (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Souq Qaryat Al Beri, www.so-cho.com (02 558 1117).

Café D’Alsace’s Friday Brunch
Weekend brunches have just got a whole lot easier at Café D’Alsace with the launch of its new brunch kids’ zone at the nearby event space, The Venue. Located just metres away, kids can entertain themselves with games, movies and magicians while parents enjoy their meal. Staff will escort children to and from The Venue and care for them. Now that’s all sorted, what’s for lunch? Expect a wide selection of Italian, Mediterranean, English and Asian dishes.
Dhs115 (soft drinks), Dhs135 (house beverages), Dhs65 (children six to 12 years). Fri 11.30am-4pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island, www.cafedalsace.ae (050 811 5414).

Evening brunches

Caramel’s Sundown Brunch
Looking for a convenient and affordable brunch deal? It doesn’t get much better than Caramel’s weekend sundown brunch. Taking place every Thursday to Saturday for only Dhs149, you’ll get to relish in tasty plates including the Asian-inspired chicken lettuce bites with shitake mushrooms and hoisin sauce, or feast on Caramel’s signature chicken lollipops served buffalo style with blue cheese. They also serve mini mac and cheese, Kobe beef sliders and fish and chips, all bought directly to your table. Those looking for something on the lighter side will be thrilled with the choice of heart healthy lentil and cilantro, or spinach and avocado salads. It’s a win-win situation.
Dhs199 (food and house drinks). Thu, Fri and Sat 7pm-10pm. The Collection, within The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, www.caramelgroup.com (02 678 3344).

Koi’s Thursday Evening Brunch

Koi has a chic and stylish lounge area where you can enjoying a selection of tapas-style Japanese treats, refreshing mixed drinks and free-flowing grape. While we suggest having dinner before you set off for your night out, you’ll still be able to nibble on sharing platters such as creamy rock shrimp tempura and California rolls.
Dhs249 (food and house beverages). Thu 9.30pm-midnight. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, www.koirestaurant.ae (02 678 3334).

BOA Steakhouse’s Supper Club Evening Brunch
Kick off your weekend on Thursday nights at BOA Steakhouse where you can sit back and relax in the chic and stylish lounge and terrace area while enjoying a selection of tapas-style treats and free-flowing house beverages. You’ll be able to enjoy a constantly evolving menu with a variety of light dishes and sharing platters on offer, such as nachos, crispy calamari and burrata cheese salad.
Dhs249 (food and house beverages). Thu 9.30pm-1am. Eastern Mangroves Promenade, www.boaabudhabi.ae (02 641 1500).

Classic favourites

Pit Stop Brunch at Origins

Origins Restaurant offers one of the best international buffets in Abu Dhabi, so you know it’s going to be a memorable brunch. Dine indoors and soak up the vibrant surroundings at the heart of Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi or outdoors on the spacious terrace overlooking Yas Marina Circuit. Views aside, you’ll get to enjoy a delicious selection of local and regional speciality dishes.
Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs375 (house beverages and bubbles), Dhs480 (bubbles), Dhs2980 (branded bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com (02 656 0600).

Friday Brunch at Zuma
One of the poshest brunches in the capital, Zuma follows the Japanese Izakaya style of dining where food is served to share. Dishes are steadily bought to the table creating an informal yet sophisticated style of brunching with a contemporary twist. Located at the Galleria on Al Maryah Island, you’ll get to enjoying beautiful waterfront views while tucking into your Japanese cuisine.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs445 (house beverages and bubbles), Dhs550 (bubbles), Dhs150 (children four-12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Galleria, Al Maryah Island, www.zumarestaurant.com (02 401 5900).

Asia de Cuba’s Chino-Latino Brunch

Asia de Cuba’s innovative menu represents the perfect culinary combination of Asian and Latin flavours and techniques, featuring an extensive selection of shareable ceviche, small plates, salads, signature wok dishes and entrées. After making its UAE debut in January 2015, this brunch (and venue) remains high on our favourites list. Meat lovers, look out for the fantastic barbecue grill.
Dhs325 (soft drinks), Dhs425 (mixed drinks and house drinks), Dhs525 (bubbles). Fri noon-4pm. Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, www.asiadecuba.com (02 699 3333).

18 Degrees’ Sky Brunch
Passionate about quality food, all the ingredients at 18 Degrees are sourced from the freshest local produce for the most sumptuous food. The Sky Brunch begins 80 metres above the ground, so the view is almost as good as the brunch itself. Go here for the great selection of cold cuts, cheeses, raw seafood, Mediterranean appetisers and meat from the grill.
Dhs174 (soft drinks), Dhs226 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Hyatt Capital Gate, abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com (02 596 1440)

Non-stop party

Cooper’s Carvery Brunch
One of the most popular British bars in town (and Time Out’s local), Cooper’s offers everything you need for a great brunch and an even better after-party. The Friday carvery brunch features the most succulent roast meats and all accompanying trimmings complemented with free flow of selected beverages. But it doesn’t end there. Once you’re done with the traditional roast brunch, you can choose to continue the weekend fun with the extended drinks package from 4pm to 7pm. This place is like our second home, we’ll see you there.
Dhs125 (soft drinks), Dhs160 (house beverages), Dhs190 (premium beverages), Dhs120 (extended drinks package). Fri noon-4pm. Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi, www.rotana.com (02 657 3333).

McGettigan’s Friday Brunch

One thing we know about McGettigan’s is that you’re always guaranteed a party. The Irish pub offers an à la carte brunch menu, live carving station and a fresh salad buffet. And it’s not just pub grub you can expect. The food menu is extensive with tasty dishes such as salmon fillet, homemade cottage pie, Irish mussels and a perfectly cooked roast rib of beef with all the trimmings. Once that’s done, you can keep the party going thanks to the McGettigan’s extended drinks package between 4pm and 7pm. There’s always a good crowd here, so be prepared to spend the majority of your day here and then keep the good vibes going into the night.
Dhs199 (house beverages), Dhs149 (extended drinks package). Beside Al Raha Beach Hotel and Resort, www.mcgettigans.com (02 652 4333).

4 things not to do at brunch

Don’t go against the flow
Brunches are a free-for-all, yes, but if there is a queue then get in line. We’ve all been patiently waiting for the seafood paella to be ready, so wait your turn unless you want squid in your face.

Only dish what you can handle
Besides the fact that wasting food should be a crime in this day and age, it’s really quite embarrassing walking around a posh establishment with mountain of prawns heavy enough to feed a small island.

Over or underdress
If there’s a dress code, stick to it. While most brunches are pretty laidback, shorts and flip-flops are a no-no. And the same goes for that ball gown you’ve been dying to wear. We haven’t heard of a ballroom brunch (yet).

Go back to savoury
Stick to the ‘starters, mains, dessert’ formula and you’ll be just fine. But if you’re planning to return to the carvery station after two trips to the dessert table, we suggest you save some extra cash for the taxi driver’s carwash en route home.

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