The Jazzy Brunch at Olea - St. Regis Resort Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
|Anita and the band really connected with the guests.|
|One of 4 live cocktails stations. There is also a Sangria station.|
I go to the Seafood cum cold mezze station. I like the idea of this dedicated area, but the enclosure does not work. It is cluttered and space to move inside is limited. I see a typical selection of seafood that you would expect at a top brunch. Highlights though are the sashimi that, based on the colour, shout out freshness and large crabs. However, I choose some oysters.
|Bubbly, oysters and caviar - how indulgent!|
At this time, the jazz band is really in the swing of things. The ensemble with guest performer Anita Williams produce a number of classic jazz pieces with a bit of a twist. Anita oozes sensuality and a zest for what she does. I am not the only one that thinks so and applause comes from an appreciative number of guests. While a live band at a brunch is certainly nothing innovative, it works so well here because of that connection between the St. Regis and jazz.
|Live foie gras station available|
|Banana shallots on display|
|Wagyu prepared and trolleyed by Chef Uditha and his team.|
My daughter, meanwhile, is over at the dessert area (yes, that early!). Candy has been tastefully and interactively displayed on a wire tree. I see her jumping to get a bag. She gets it and a broad smile washes over her face. Next, I watch her as she tries to 'fish' out a dessert. This is something nice for the kids. Small portions of desserts enclosed in plastic balls bobbing on water. Again,a different way of getting kids excited. Not every brunch needs a candy floss machine! It makes one foget there is no kids area as such, but I over-hear a waitress offering a child some fries and nuggets. However, my daughter was quite happy with the pasta she enjoyed earlier.
|Kudos to the team for the top class cheese station.|
A walk around the brunch reveals the usual stations, but extra special stations catch the eye - the Moroccan and Asian stations. But it is the cheese station that brings the biggest gasp from me. Charles de Gaulle reputedly once asked, 'How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?' Well there are not that many here, but around 26 is not too bad. Not bad at all! It is not just that the selection is noteworthy, it is the quality of the cheese as well as the presentation. Rightly, French cheese dominate and I enjoy Brillat savarin, Crottin, Neufchatel and Fourme D'ambert are just some of the cheeses on offer. Perfectly chosen jams and pureés make this one of the best - by far - cheese spreads in Abu Dhabi.
|Vergelegen at a brunch? Yes.|
It was quite an amazing brunch with a number of features which puts it in my top 5 brunches I have been to in the city - an outstanding range of dishes, service that checks absolutely all the criteria and easily the best drinks options of any brunch in Abu Dhabi. That word 'quality' comes to mind. The sommelier and Head mixologist on the floor ensured that the drinks on offer were without equal. Finally, the jazz, the jazz, oh the jazz. The afternoon continued a rich tradition that is synonymous with St. Regis and the ensemble made sure those elements in the brunch were held together by the keys of the keyboard, the strings of the bass, the beats of the drums and of course the sensuality of the vocals. Now that was fabulous way to spend an afternoon in Abu Dhabi. A shame it had to end.
The Jazz Brunch at Olea.
971 2 498 8888