DETAILS: Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs385 (house beverages), Dhs525 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers (02 694 4553).
Truth be told, as we get older buffet brunches appeal less and less. If someone can deliver plate after plate of delicious food to our table then great. All that getting up and walking about a huge venue just isn’t always for us. However, the Friday brunch at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi’s may have changed our mind about them.
The organisation here is brilliant (okay, now we really sound old). You congregate in the cigar lounge-style St. Regis Bar from 12.30pm, where you can choose from around a dozen different mixed drinks that are lined up on the bar. Whatever your preference, there’s bound to be something that takes your fancy on offer. There’s no waiting around to be served, no jostling for position, just take your pick and wait to be shown to your seat (maybe grab an extra glass to take with you).
The restaurant itself is just big enough to fit plenty of culinary options inside and small enough to explore without having to travel too far.
The drinks packages are generous, with mocktails on offer for the soft drinks package and a range of mixed drinks included in the house beverage option. The bubbly package will get you a premium French variety.
There are plenty of buffet counters and live stations available, our favourites being the Japanese, seafood and carvery sections.
The brunch also manages to straddle having a great amount of choice but also serving only the very best of each cuisine.
Take the Japanese counter, for example. Here you have a brilliantly made selection of sushi and sublime sashimi-grade salmon, tuna and octopus ready to be sliced just for you. It’s all great.
Over at the, frankly huge, cold seafood counter there are delicious oysters ready to be shucked before you, as well as lobster, crayfish, shrimp, crab and more. All of it is super-fresh.
The roast section has a few meaty options (and vegetarian), plump Yorkshire puddings, rich gravy and loads of vegetables to choose from. It’s hearty and top-notch.
Juicing and lemonade stations bring something a little different, as do the regular parade of hot dishes that come around the dining room throughout the afternoon.
Cheese-lovers and those with a sweet tooth are well catered for, too. Desserts and cheese each have dedicated rooms that are a true sight to behold.
A live band or singer would improve the vibe, which isn’t the liveliest, but regardless, this is one of the top brunch options in the capital.
The bottom line
The art of brunching done properly.