The Foundry Brunch Jazz & Steak Brunch - Southern Sun Hotel, Abu Dhabi

I tried The Foundry for dinner a few weeks ago and was taken in on so many levels. You can read about it here: Understandably I was really eager to try a brunch that, based on word of mouth, sets itself apart from the other brunches in the city, The Foundry Brunch Jazz & Steak Brunch.

The concept
The Foundry is essentially about beef, it in itself quite unique in Abu Dhabi. With only a couple other restaurants offering a  premium steak brunch, this is a different brunch. The custom at brunches is usually to have a rib eye roast beef as part of the other stations. Not here. This brunch is called a steak brunch for good reason. Secondly, they have chosen to offer a brunch that is part a la carte and part buffet. The Foundry plays to its strengths. Because it is limited in space, it has made this limitation a strength. The resultant brunch is quite intimate, with numbers of between 80-120 common.

The beef
A detailed menu is provided. There is the Argentinian Cube Roll, also known as rib eye or scotch fillet, USAD Angus tenderloin, Mulwara  grass fed Black Angus striploin from Australia and then an Australian wagyu. In addition, there is also Milk fed veal from Holland. I was quite impressed by the selection on offer. Serving this a la carte means guests get their preferred temperature of beef, unlike the ubiquitous roast beef one finds at most brunches which is invariably dry and overcooked.

The stations
In addition to the beef, The Foundry offers some great stations with genuine live cooking and plating. The Foie gras station features Pan seared foie gras served with lightly sweetened green apple and foam. I love the sweet sour element on that plate. The Oyster Bar features not two but three types of oysters, again something quite unique. You can expect any three of the following: Belon, Fine de Claire, Michael Kelly and Prat au Coum. I am particularly pleased with the Michael Kelly oysters - all, though are beautifully shucked. 

Another of the stations that really stands out is the Carpaccio, Tartar and Charcuterie station. Apart from the fact that I do not like my quail egg boiled (it should really be a runny, raw egg), the beef carpaccio is satisfying. There is also soup that is made to order. I have the lobster bisque. I appreciate the idea of the choice of soups served in this way. I was never a fan of the big pot of soup that greets me at other brunches.

Finally, the dessert station too is noteworthy for what it offers - a choice of 6 desserts. These are plated live and are a la carte size. My daughter is thrilled to see churros as part of the dessert station. I like the less is more concept at play here too. Excellent. Over and above these desserts though, the Foie gras station also has desserts including Chili chocolate foie gras, Creme brûlée foie gras and foie gras ice cream. The latter probably needs a bit of tweaking because the balance is not quite there. But still, I like the concept of foie gras based desserts.

There are also a few non beef main dishes made to order, including Roasted quail, Seafood thermidor and my choice, Red mullet meuniére. The red mullet is wonderfully cooked. Finally, there is the Cheese vault, a small room with around 12-15 cheeses tastefully spread out. A great selection, with everything labeled in a guest friendly way. The only element missing is the jams!

The drinks
The bubbly package includes NV Moet Chandon Imperial Brut, a  classic. In addition, there is also a comparatively extensive selection of wines, with  4 reds and 4  whites to choose from. Again, if one considers the price of the brunch, this is unprecedented. 

The verdict
One of my favourite brunches. I have been to many brunches, and this is one I will remember. It has picked joined  a trend I can see more brunches adopting as guests become more and more discerning and become wary of the usual buffets. Furthermore, the presence of so many chefs on the floor emphasises my belief that it is not enough for waiters and waitresses to engage guests, but that it is now the chefs who need to take engagement to the next level. One cannot be dismissive of price - it is also one of the most value for money brunches. At 450 AED net, you are not likely to find this type of brunch anywhere in Abu Dhabi. 

Less is more. Less is so much more.

The essentials

The Foundry,

Southern Sun Hotel,
Abu Dhabi 
+971 8184888

Soft Package 275AED
Wine Package 350AED
Bubbly package 475 AED (all net prices)

Brandon Stoltenkamp