Fusion brunch at Sushi San

Review: A great-value Thursday evening gem

Fusion brunch at Sushi San

DETAILS: Dhs185 (soft drinks), Dhs250 (house beverages). Thu 6.30pm-10.30pm. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Al Dhafeer Street (800 7874 4726).

One thing we always like to see is a packed restaurant, and that’s exactly what we encounter at Sushi San’s Thursday night Fusion brunch. It’s a casual event and feels like the perfect to end the working week. Lots of people seem to agree with us as it’s fully booked when we visit and staff tell us the next few weeks are, too, so book in advance.

It’s good value as well, with the drinks package coming in at a very reasonable Dhs250. Soft drinks are Dhs185 and include mocktails. The house beverages package will get you mixed drinks made with the Japanese national beverage and shorts.

Staff are incredibly friendly and eager to get you started with drinks and food.

We start with the buffet section, which has a decent, if not huge, selection of dishes. Go for the tempura early on when they’re fresh (though they will be refreshed as the night goes on) and try the dim sum-style dumplings, too. The barbecue chicken one is the stand-out for us.

Salads are worth a look, though none make it into our favourite dishes of the night. Spicy beef lettuce wraps are another good option from the buffet.

While you’re on your feet pass by the sushi counter where you can look at the raw fish waiting to be sliced into sashimi and delivered to your table. We’re not fans of octopus sashimi in general, so give that a swerve here, but the tuna and salmon versions are both excellent.

You can order maki rolls from your table by checking which ones you want off a list and handing it to one of the waiting staff. Be careful not to order to many at once, not only are the portions generous but the rolls themselves are huge and packed with fillings and flavour. On our visit, however, the rolls are perhaps our least favourite part of the brunch. Already full from the number of starters we polish off, our bursting bellies may play a factor in it, but whereas everything else we eat is fantastically fresh, the rolls feel like they’ve been sitting around a while. Maybe order yours earlier in the evening.

Minor niggles aside, this is a brunch that is much more than the sum of its parts. You will find more refined Japanese food in the city and there are more stylish dining rooms, but for sheer enjoyment, Sushi San is as good as any brunch we’ve been to recently. From the warm welcome to the casual vibe and general joy at the weekend arriving, if you like Japanese food and drinks, we recommend you take a look at this excellent value offer.

The bottom line
Great fun and well worth the cash.

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