Bubbalicious brunch at the Westin Abu Dhabi

Review: This popular institution is still one of the most lively ways to spend an afternoon in the city

DETAILS: Dhs348 (soft drinks), Dhs426 (house beverages), Dhs618 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi Golf Club،(02 616 9999).

There are chilled family brunches, and themed brunches, and then there is Bubbalicious. Like its older sibling at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, this Friday affair at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa is famous for its party vibe and it does not disappoint. Despite it being summer and hotter than the sun outside, it’s pretty much full to capacity and there are several big groups who are definitely here to let loose.

We take a wander around the seemingly endless food stands and find there is enough choice to suit even the worst fusspot – vegans, the gluten-averse, hardened carnivores or people who won’t touch green, there’s something, many things in fact, for everyone. We pile our plates up with food from all around the world – a seafood paella full of flavour, stir-fried prawns in a sweet, sticky sauce, sushi, ribs and various fruit and veg combo salads. It doesn’t necessarily all go together, but it’s like a nice little gap year trip for our stomachs. Though we steer clear of the pan worryingly signed as “saute chlorophyll” (we trust its a mistranslation as it appears to be fried green vegetables).

Throughout, the service is great. Drinks are topped up before we feel like we’ve taken more than a sip and plates are cleared quickly. The band play covers, including Stevie Wonder and many a Tom Jones tune, which are a big hit with the older crowd and get people up from their seats and singing with gusto. We’re not convinced the guitarist is actually playing, as at one point his arms are in the air, but, hey – anything goes at brunch as long as people are enjoying themselves, right?

There is also a juniper bar, with various infusions, including Earl Grey tea and raspberry. A pancake stand makes to order, and the well-stocked dessert counter is like Willy Wonka’s pantry – there are mini versions of just about every concoction you can think of, as well as jelly sweets and a chocolate fountain. Some are a little on the dry side, but that’s buffet life for you.

This brunch doesn’t feel as though the food is the main event, though. It’s an upbeat crowd who are here to socialise and they are not afraid to get down and boogie – literally. At one point a lady is on the floor pretending to row an imaginary boat. Okay...

It’s easy to see why this brunch is a hit with residents and visitors alike, and when dining out here can often be a lonely affair, it’s refreshing to see somewhere busy and filled with laughter. This is a UAE institution, and if you’ve never been you should absolutely go.

The bottom line

Great service and an upbeat vibe.

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