THE BEST BITES TEAM'S FAVOURITE BRUNCHES
THE GALLERIA AT AL MARYAH
I set the team this assignment then really had to think about which brunch was myfavourite because so many of them are so good, and all for different reasons. What swings the LPM La Vie En Rose Sunday brunch over the line for me?
It's the impeccable vibe.
Matched with consistently amazing food.
And unbeatable service.
Every. Single. Time.
How does it go? The starters start coming, alongside the mountainous bottle of rose!, and you can choose not to have some or add more of the ones you do love, but it's all unlimited. At this point, we get a bit excited and order 2 lots of the best escargots in Abu Dhabi, and more of the burrata that goes so well with pesto and tasty tomatoes, and the warm prawns: it's very hard to stop!
Between four of us, two chose the perfectly cooked and seasoned steak, my son the mushroom risotto and I had the most delectable sea bream. I dream of this fish and would go to the restaurant just to order this - ok that's a lie, maybe this and the snails, ok and the dessert ... which is the perfect segue to the grand finale.
My family was doubtful that my suggestion of pain perdu for dessert would cut the mustard, but once this arrived, a couple pronounced it even better than what is the best cheesecake in Abu Dhabi! For me, I love both. The cheesecake for its creamy, light vanilla filling and the thinnest, most superb crust ever and the pain perdu for the beautifully caramelised top and ice-cream with shards of honeycomb on top. It's all just a foodie's dream and if I wasn't completely aware that way too many calories are consumed at this feast, I'd be here more often.
I love LPM because it's always busy, the crowd is eclectic, the service energetic and the food just amazing. There's no live music but the background music was chosen in such a way as it more than added to the ambiance.
Sidenote: the brunch was full, as I think it usually is and therefore you must book.
Time: Sunday 12PM - 4PM (3 hour sittings)
Price: Soft AED375 | House AED450 | Sparkling AED575 | Kids 0 -12 50% off
Booking: 02 333 2444
PARK HYATT ABU DHABI
I like to consider myself a little bit of a brunch connoisseur simply due to the number of brunches I've been to over the last few years. I attended 25 brunches in 2022 alone - I would like to think that's some sort of record!
I had a solid brunch favourite for some time but that was knocked off my number 1 spot last year with the launch of the Saturday Brunch at the Park at Park Hyatt. There have been a few changes since my first brunch there back in early 2022 and, each time, it just keeps getting better.
Birthday? Park Hyatt! Visitor? Park Hyatt! No excuse needed? Park Hyatt!
Let's start with the setting: a beautiful outdoor lawn set up with big umbrellas overlooking the pool area and a live singer with a fabulous choice of hits, from today's charts all the way back to ABBA. Holiday vibes: tick!
And the food? Well, it's some of the best around. Cooked to order, the meat selection will make your mouth water including impressive tomahawk steaks, roast chicken and lamb. Canadian lobster served hot from the grill or, if you prefer a cold dish, the lobster benedict is something else. The list goes on: a whole room full of cheese, pies and bread, fresh pasta and pizza made by Chef Daniele, delicious sashimi and maki rolls, and an amazing Indian corner with fabulous Indian street food options. The dessert table is filled with tarts, cheesecakes, and even cheeky sweets. The build-your-own tiramisu is a must try!
Over my 3 visits, I've made my way through the signature cocktails which are fab. They also serve classic cocktails, if you prefer, as well as house wines, beers, and prosecco, or champagne in the premium option.
For those with families, the Camp Hyatt kids entertainment is a great way to keep the kids entertained while enjoying the brunch (almost) kids free!
Oh, and just one more thing, it's one of the few brunches that are longer than 3 hours so that's an immediate bonus!
Soft AED375 | House AED475 | Bubbly AED695
20% off soft & house package with BB+
Booking: 02 407 1138
CONRAD ABU DHABI ETIHAD TOWERS
Vakava's brunch is like no other in Abu Dhabi. Not only do they bring it with their punchy bright flavours but they smash it with their post-brunch rooftop party, which is included in the price of the brunch. Brunch starts with Latin vibes and a roaming cocktail cart. My favourite drink is the passionfruit caprihina. It's tart, sweet, and boozy, with fresh passionfruit seeds mixed throughout. This is an adults-only, table-service brunch, which is my vibe.
There is a mix of six cold and hot starters, which rotate in and out each week, so you can visit multiple weeks in a row and not have all of the same dishes. The ceviche is fresh, made with seabass, leche de tigre, onion, sweet potato, and coriander. The cachapas steal the show. This is one of my favourite dishes ever. The sweetcorn pancakes are complimented with salty halloumi cheese and fresh sour cream. The pancakes have perfectly buttery golden griddled edges; they are perfection. By this point in the brunch, the roaming cocktail cart is usually on its second way around the room and I'm onto my second caprihina with a glass of easy-drinking rose on the side. The drinks keep flowing at this brunch and with the modest-sized dining room, it doesn't take much to bring a party vibe. The Mexican Mule is their take on a Moscow Mule and is definitely worth a try. They also have red sangria and mojitos.
The main courses are steak and salmon with sides of potato and quinoa salad. The picanha steak is generously seasoned, just the way I like my steak. It's a touch fatty in the best way and even more delicious when smothered in the zesty chimichurri. The desserts are a selection of South American sweets. On my many visits to Vakava I've had tres leches cake, sorbets, alfajores cookies, and churros, just to name a few.
The party continues post-food when you head upstairs to the rooftop for drinks from 5-7pm. You won't find a value like this at a brunch anywhere else. On more than one occasion, I've been part of a conga line around the bar! Overall, this brunch is a fantastic adult-only option for those who wish to eat delicious food in a fun, party atmosphere.
Saturday 2PM - 7PM
Soft AED295 | House AED495
15% off with BB%
Booking: 02 811 5666
THE ABU DHABI EDITION
For me a table brunch had to top this list. I like the ability to hold a full conversation with my fellow brunchers, and that the decision-making is done for me, leaving me to enjoy, relax … and eat!
Alba Terrace is one of the most relaxing and pretty places in Abu Dhabi, a lovely shady outside area to enjoy the last of the cooler weather, the sunken seating is perfect for a larger gathering or celebration, and a chic and stylish interior. This brunch is held from 12:30PM - 5PM, with a staggered start for your 3-hour package so you can take the brunch at your own pace (no rushing for the best of the buffet).
The menu (designed by Chef Tom Aikens - so you know it’ll be good) is a mix of Mediterranean influences, and I would suggest taking a slight break between courses as this menu is vast! Highlights for me were the fragrant, citrusy red snapper carpaccio, the spaghetti niçoise with its to-die-for confit salmon, and the stunning rosewater pavlova. And of course the amazing cooked-to-order pizza.
For me cocktails are just as important as the food - and here there are 10 to choose from as well as prosecco, 6 wine options, and 4 mocktails. You will be spoilt for choice - the beautiful candy floss pink Aperol coconut margarita being my personal fave as it was just so gosh-darn insta-worthy.
Entertained throughout by the marvellous Marvin with his sing-along pop classics this could be the relaxing, feel-good Saturday you’ve been after.
Time: Saturday 12:30PM - 5PM
Price: Soft AED245 | House AED365 | Champagne AED465 | Kids 6-12 50% off
Booking: 02 208 0000
SAADIYAT ROTANA RESORT & VILLAS
When I moved to Abu Dhabi, I quickly realised that brunch is a lifestyle here, and if there’s any brunch experience that I’d like to re-live over and over again, it’s the Market Brunch at Sim Sim. It’s the kind of brunch that is sure to impress your visitors and for good reason!
On arrival, you’ll quickly feel the market-style set-up when you see the crates of fresh produce and an array of live cooking stations. If you’re looking for variety, then you’ve come to the right brunch! Insider tip: Market Brunch is one of the biggest in Abu Dhabi so make sure that you do a few laps and come up with a game plan before diving in!
I like pina coladas, and dancing in the rain… Good brunch cocktails are one of my prerequisites when deciding on a brunch and oh boy, Sim Sim delivered. The brunch set-up has a variety of bars which makes it perfect if you fancy bar hopping. You can choose from Patron, Aperol Spritz, Moscow Mule, Jack Daniels and my favourite, the mojito bar.
If you want the best seat in the house, then book outside. The palm trees, water features, live band and smell of lobsters on the barbeque will transport you to a tropical island.
My husband always judges a brunch on the seafood selection and the quality of the meat – well, he couldn’t fault this one. He was in under-the-sea-heaven when he saw the seafood market. Don’t be shocked when you see the lobsters still moving, they weren’t joking when they said: “fresh”.
You can select fresh fish, prawns or lobsters and have them grilled to your liking and served tableside. For those on the more adventurous side, you can try out some eel or camel.
This brunch has everything you could want
Time: Saturday 1PM – 4PM
Price: Soft AED390 | House AED515 | Champagne AED615 | Kids 6-11 AED195
20% off with BB+
Booking: 02 697 0000
ROSEWOOD ABU DHABI
I was recently tasked with arranging a reunion for a group of friends who we met when we first moved to Abu Dhabi. There were 8 adults and 10 energetic kids aged between 2 and 6, we decided on Aqua since there’s a supervised kids club, outdoor space for sugar-fuelled little ones to let off steam and pool access - definitely an ‘if the kids are happy, we’ll be happy’ kind of scenario!
Everything about Aqua superseded my expectations! Almost all the food was served from the 10 - 12 live stations with everything from brisket and BBQ meats to the delicious ceviche, made to order at the seafood counter. The Chinese station was a winner, the dim selection was really good and the cheese selection was impressive too. The Indian station served a great selection of curries and they were making fresh naan in the tandoor. The kids loved watching their pasta being made as well as crepes and waffles for dessert. Whilst there’s not a six-foot-long seafood section, there was fresh seafood constantly being replenished.
The kids club is very well kept, there’s a lovely kitchen with loads of role play toys, a massive selection of books, a room with consoles for older kids plus a garden area where they planted seeds amongst other activities. Pool access is included, if you had older kids, they could be swimming throughout and you'd be able to keep an eye on them from your table. After we'd eaten we moved to comfy seating at the edge of the pool, drinks in hand, and everyone spent the rest of the afternoon dipping in and out and listening to the live saxophone playing mellow tunes.
The service was great throughout, nothing was too much trouble. The lifeguards were plentiful and extremely vigilant too which was nice to see given the setting.
To top it off it’s a steal ... and we'll be back
Time: 2.30PM - 4.30PM
Price: Soft AED255 | House AED355 | Bubbles AED455 | 0-5 go for free and 6-11 AED128 and you get 2 FOR 1 with BB+
Booking: 02 813 5550
WEST BAY LOUNGE ABU DHABI CORNICHE
Growing up in Abu Dhabi means I am no stranger to the typical, dress nicely 5-star hotel brunches, however now being in my "young adult" years, brunch for me is more about atmosphere and vibes as much as it is about the food, which is why West Bay is my brunch numero uno! I'd deem myself an 'occasional bruncher', so if I am going to do a brunch I want to go somewhere where it is full of other bubbly patrons, great sing-along music or something to dance to, picturesque views and free-flowing quality drinks - and the Saturday brunch at West Bay has just that.
Located on a perfect strip of white sand beach, what I enjoy most is that warm feeling you get of “I’m on holiday,” as soon as you step through the glass doors to reveal the beach club resort. With so much activity going on around you, it's amazing to soak it all in on the short walk across the resort to brunch at their open-air restaurant. What more could you want than enjoying a plate of good food and washing it down with a refreshing cocktail, wine or beer - whatever tickles your fancy, whilst being 10 steps away from the ocean? Nada.
West bay brunch also has a myriad of USP’s that make it the certified favourite for me. The rolled ice cream station, the best quality live sushi station in my opinion - and I am self proclaimed sushi connoisseur, the talented and engaging live music duo and the beach resort access and views. Yes please, i'll take it all!
West Bay is also great if you want to make a whole day out of it and if you have kids I highly recommend this brunch as they can enjoy a zip line, multiple pools, beach swing and many more, whilst adults can enjoy this all the same plus drinks on the beach in the company of friends and family. West Bay has my heart and is my definite go-to, so maybe I will see you there!
Time: Saturday 1PM – 4PM
Price: Soft AED199 | House AED303 | Champagne AED383
20% off with BB+
House and Champagne packages include resort access
BB+ only for resort access with Soft package
Booking: 02 692 4375