Friday brunch - Zuma, Abu Dhabi
|Lounge seating area|
|Window seating - quiet and laid back.|
As I walk in, I am greeted at the door by a hostess in a gorgeous one piece. Simple but stylish. We are shown to our table, and pass the lounging area that has also been converted into a dining area. The sofa style seating options lend an even more casual and relaxed feel to this part of the restaurant. We are seated at the window, giving me a view of the water. Not long after, we meet our waiter for the afternoon, Jonathan. He talks us through the concept and introduces the drinks packages available to us. Slick, suave, confident and significantly, knowledgable. Very knowledgable.
Followers of my reviews will know by now that with brunches all over the city, it is all about standing out from the rest. I am a huge fan of a la carte brunches because they awfully civilized and laid back, with no jostling for position around that chocolate fountain. Zuma, though, has read the brunch culture perfectly. Brunches usually scream abundance, and your average brunch attendee wants to see a display with a lot of food. Then, of course there is the likes of yours truly who wants that a la carte experience. They have combined both. It is something I have seen at only a couple of brunches in Abu Dhabi. A wide selection of dishes that would work on their own as a buffet are spread out before me. In addition, there is an a la carte menu that offers every guest one main course. Needless to say, I am sold on this.
|Loved the choice of Tattinger!|
|Not a bad view.|
|The bluefin tuna in the foreground|
|Oysters and salmon tartar boxed.|
Early favourite for dish of the day is the wrapped yellow tail in garlic and ponzu sauce. I end up making two trips. I then try the Wagyu beef gunkan. Outstanding. However, while my tastebuds are basking in the aftermath of these flavours, I try the seabass, black truffle oil and yuzu. Wow! With truffle oil being so popular these days, it is easy to overdo it, but the chef gets its right - there is enough truffle to elevate the dish but not too much to rob it of its character.
|Seabass and black truffle oil|
|Wagyu beef gunkan|
|If you look closely you can see the marbling.|
It is sophisticated and classy, without being showy! Again, a brilliant balance. The food is exceptional with some of the best ingredients and sourcing I have seen at a brunch. The chef de cuisine leads a fine team of chefs including 6 hailing from Japan and a very amiable Junior Sous chef from Malaysia. Finally, the pricing is competitive with other top brunches in the city. In fact, the Champagne package here is cheaper than quite a number of brunches in Abu Dhabi.
All the elements you need to make a brunch a success were here. The thought provoking thing is that this was their first brunch!
Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
02 401 5900
including non alcoholic beverages and zuma cleansers
kowaku @ 445 per person
including prosecco, sommelier's selection of wines/beer
kyasha @ 555 per person
incl champagne, sake tasters, sommelier’s selection of wines/beer