The brunch at The Foundry makes its intentions known even before you step through the door. It calls its Friday offering “Raising the Steaks”. Apart from the play on words (everybody loves a good pun), it also serves as a friendly warning to the other feasts across the island that it’s throwing down the gauntlet, or slab of meat on the grill, if you will. So, does it manage to sizzle and impress? Or is it all smoke without fire? We step in to find out.
You can hear the chatter and laughter of diners the minute you leave the lift. Smooth, mellow tunes play in the background as you take a seat. It has a great, casual vibe.
When compared to other brunches in the city, this one weighs in on the smaller scale in terms of the number of people – 120 – and the spread it puts out. Though a closer inspection reveals its focus is on quality, not quantity.
The main square in the restaurant is decked out with the usual cold entrées – seafood bites, cold cuts, vegetarian starters and salads.
For a restaurant that is known for its prime cuts of meat, we spot more than a few options to keep our vegetarian friends happy, including a veggie-packed quiche, a soft and light gnocchi in a creamy, mushroom sauce and a meat-free lasagne.
The brunch also manages to squeeze a few live-cooking stations into its confined space. This can make things a little crowded as diners queue up for their customised orders. Though nobody seems to mind.
The chef making mini tacos is a particularly popular sight. His bite-sized creations come topped with crab or chicken mince and a mango salsa. But it’s the beef with pineapple chutney that is a refreshing taste of the tropics. And you won’t be able to stop at one.
Fans of raw meat will be happy with the tartare served with a quail egg and a crisp slice of bread – a small but hugely tasty plate.
However, the biggest huddle is around the steak station. Although there are cuts from Ireland and Argentina among others, it’s the South African tenderloin which wins. It is served with a line-up of sauces, flavoured salts and mustards, and practically melts in the mouth.
If you are left with any room for dessert – and we recommend that you save some – the sticky toffee pudding with hot caramel and honeycomb ice cream rounds things off nicely.
The Foundry is a winning choice for Friday brunch and the limited space just means you can get to the food faster.
The bottom line
A leisurely brunch with a great selection.
Dhs229 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages), Dhs369 (bubbly), Dhs115 (kids aged six-12), free (kids under six). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina Street, Al Zahiyah (02 818 4888).