The Friday Chill & Grill brunch at Nahaam - Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi
Nahaam does a so called Chill & Grill Friday brunch, and as I arrived for, the question in my mind was whether this afternoon would have those elements that make Jumeirah a special culinary destination. Does it have that Jumeirah feeling that elevates the spirit and drives home a sense of luxury?
Five talking points
1. Terrace Seating
The outside area has a few barbecue stations which set it apart from brunches in the city. As I went outside, the aroma of lobster and beef coming from different stations filled the air. It felt like a day out with friends. Very different. A Thai station at one end as well as Beijing duck station at another end were popular. Then of course there was a band, 'Desert Sunlight" that played an eclectic mix of songs. Songs from 80's icon Sade to Pharell could be heard. Dynamic, lively and totally entertaining.
2. Outstanding stations
In addition to the usual stations, I was impressed by the Pork stations (out of respect for some of my readers, I am not posting pics) - both barbecued pork and cold cuts were available. A definite stand out in the city! Seafood, secondly, was top class. The Canadian lobster was immaculately cooked, as was the Alaskan crab. Also, the oysters were fresh, rich with the strong taste of the sea. Delish.
While there was prime rib, I did not try this. An absolute highlight was the Cheese station that scored in my mind on both variety and presentation. It was clear that a lot of work went into it. Finally, the sushi and sashimi station were also worth writing about; what would you expect considering chefs from Tori no Su, the hotels multi-award winning restaurant.
Champagne as part of a premium package is common in most brunches. But even here there was a difference. Not all Champagne is premium Champagne. However, I could not argue with NV Veuve Cliquot Brut 'Yellow label'. However, a choice of Champagnes is rare. In light of this I was pleased that, available as part of the premium package, was also the NV Veuve Ciquot Brut Rosé.
As far as the other drinks go, there was a mojito station, appropriate;y located outside - sip on a mojito while looking at the gorgeous pools. I was also excited to see that there was a wider range of wines as part of the Champagne package. I think guests feel cheated when they pay the premium option and are given Champagne but the same red and white as the basic package.
4. Kids' buffet
A very interesting area with a nice balance between fun and wholesomeness. My daughter came to sit down with a super large hot dog. As a father I stepped in and immediately cut it in half. An obvious solution is to get kid size hot dogs. Other than that, I was impressed by their selection of salads, something usually overlooked by hotels who usually have a chicken nuggets and fries mentality when it comes to children. Of course there was also a Willy Wonka-like choice of candy. Childhood. Happy.
In a word, excellent. Big brunches are always a challenge for staff but the staff to guest ratio here was such that a waiter or waitress was always in earshot. While brunches are usually about just filling those glasses, I appreciate it when staff care about the way they pour wine and, especially, Champagne. I was lucky to have Catherine waiting on me. Routine replacement of cutlery after plates are cleared is a pet hate of mine, but Catherine was spot on every time. Furthermore, it is always a good sign when the Assistant F&B Director (he alternates weekly with the Director), Beverage manager and Chef de Cuisine are on the floor!
One of the top big brunches in the city with a number of facets that makes it a brunch you will remember. Quality. That is the word that comes to mind as I write this. Attentive service. It is a brunch that showcases the many strengths of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers' F&B strengths. Classy. The brunch offers the basics you would get at other brunches, but also surpasses one's expectations by having all these other surprising aspects - A brunch that is highly recommended.
Nahaam Chill & Grill Brunch
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers