What comes to your mind when the word “brunch” is mentioned?
Normally, brunch is defined as a cross between a breakfast meal and lunch. In Abu Dhabi, however, a brunch is so much more than that.
Taking Brunch to the Next Level
Brunch in Abu Dhabi is more than just a meal — it is an experience. It is as iconic as the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque or the world’s fastest roller coaster ride in Ferrari World. Locals love it and tourists are highly encouraged to try it. It is a culinary delight that is punctuated with indulgence and companionship as people share flavorful fare with hearty conversations. Often, brunch is a gustatory extravagance, encouraging you to eat and drink to your heart’s content.
When in Abu Dhabi, you would naturally see brunch offers everywhere, from charming hole-in-the-wall cafés to five-star hotels. Different resorts and restaurants offer their own distinct take on the famed Abu Dhabi brunch. There are various gimmicks and themes targeting a wide range of diners – millennial hipsters, ladies-who-lunch types, expats, or even families.
Brunches in the Land of the Gazelle often last for three to four hours, starting from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays typically herald the start of brunch fests, signaling the start of the weekend up until Sundays. Some dining establishments also offer brunch menus on Thursday evenings for those who have finished their weekly work schedule.
If you’re seeking to experience the famed Abu Dhabi brunch, here are some brunches offered from Thursday to Saturday that you should not miss:
1. Thursday Brunch: Tokyo Nights
Get transported to Tokyo with KOI’s Legendary Art of Supper. For Thursday evening brunch in Abu Dhabi, head out to one of the UAE’s finest Japanese restaurants and indulge your palate with endless Japanese delights paired with free-flowing drinks for AED 230.
Enjoy brunch in the restaurant’s sophisticated lounge. Start off the weekend with generous shots of house beverages ranging from the traditional sake to the non-alcoholic mocktails, beers, cocktails, and wines.
Pepper your friendly chats with bar bites in between, starting off with Yellowtail Sashimi, Wagyu Tataki, or Fried Salmon California Rolls. Follow it up with Creamy Rock Shrimp Tempura, Yakitori Chicken, and Braised Wagyu Beef Shortribs and you’ll be smiling from ear to ear. Top the meal off with the mouthwatering Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart and you will surely whistle a happy tune.
2. Friday Brunch: BOA Steakhouse
Enjoy a distinct brunch experience in one of the best steak restaurants in Abu Dhabi. With a carefully curated steak menu, you will be treated to a delicious array of food and drinks that will surely make you want more.
Swing by Eastern Mangroves for a fantastic Friday feast with BOA’s brunch packages ranging from AED 340 to AED 595. Each package is all-inclusive and comes with the corresponding choice drink.
Because brunch tastes so much better when shared with friends and loved ones, start off your meal with shared platters of Chilled Jumbo Prawns, Fine De Claire Oysters, Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, or Rock Lobster Louie. There are also hot and cold appetizers to sate every appetite ranging from Mud Crab Cakes to Pepper Crusted Beef Carpaccio.
Move on to meaty mains with selections such as Grain Fed Tenderloin, Black Angus Rib Eye or Striploin, or Roasted Corn-fed Spatchcock, among others. You can also pair these tasty tenders with Truffle Cheese Fries, Sautéed Spinach, or Grilled Asparagus.
Top the meal off with a salivating selection of desserts such as Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Mini Apple Crumble, or New York Cheesecake.
3. Saturday Brunch: Gochiso
Another premiere Japanese brunch experience can be had at KOI Restaurants every Saturdays. There are four brunch packages to choose from, each offering a variety of drinks that include soft beverages, select house beverages, sparkling grape, or French bubbly.
Munch on scrumptious starters such as the Fried Calamari Salad with Soy Yuzu and Almond, Crispy Spicy Tuna, Creamy Rock Shrimp Tempura, or Assorted Sashimi. The main course platter has dishes that include Salmon with Homemade Teriyaki, Sautéed Prawns with Sweet and Sour Sauce, or Spicy Stir-fried Tenderloin.
Mango Ice Cream, Coconut Tapioca, White Chocolate Mocha Mousse, and Sticky Toffee Pudding are the dessert selections that will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.
Bond Over Brunch
When you want to mix exceptionally good meals with lively chats and laughter, then brunch would be a perfect opportunity to experience them all. In Abu Dhabi, brunch is something that should be tried at least once. Once you do, though, you would most certainly come back for more.
Chiara Bisignani is the F&B Marketing Executive at Saadiyat Beach Club. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations of KOI Restaurant & Lounge, Boa Steakhouse and Caramel Restaurant and Lounge in Abu Dhabi.