Rhodes 44 Brunch - St Regis, Abu Dhabi
As we are guided to our table, we are welcomed by one of the staff, Tim, who immediately recognizes me from my last visit, and is able to recall moments from that day, leaving me stupefied. What a memory he has, I think to myself. But it is not mechanical at all. Tim is all passion and soul as he offers us complimentary Laurent Perrier Champagne. Tim is the kind of staff member you want stationed right at this point of the brunch, and it is something that numerous restaurants seem to over look - the power of a first impression. He immediately sets the tone for us: warm, sincere and engaging.
|The concept at Rhodes 44.|
As we are seated, Milos, our dedicated waiter for the day, greets us and talks us through the afternoon that lies us ahead. I love the idea of a dedicated waiter or waitress. It personalizes the whole brunch and gives you a chance to develop a rapport. He explains that the brunch will comprise what is on the menu (simply but stylishly presented by the way), hence the 'brunch at your table' tag, but goes on to explain that there is a seafood station, Eton mess station (more about that later), cheese station and if you prefer not to have the dessert on the menu as well as a selection of desserts as part of a dessert station. There is also an ice cream trolley that will move around later. Finally, depending on your choice of package, you have access to Pimm's bar stationed outside or a mimosa trolley. Reading this, you may feel it was a lot to absorb, but on the contrary, Milos' conversational and confident tone, was such that it was easy to keep with all the information.
|Fantastic seafood station|
|A daughter's pleasure - helping her dad with the oysters of course.|
|Of the best oysters I have had in the capital.|
|How about that for presentation?|
|Supremely delicious tomato soup.|
The crowd here was really dressed slickly, without being ostentatious, As English as the brunch was, no one was dressed for Ascott, but you still feel that some effort is required for this stylish restaurant. So, seeing an in-house guest arrive in flip flops and shorts, left me thinking it is time for another blog on brunch etiquette, with the previous one on the subject here: http://bit.ly/1imqUvN )Why do certain in-house guests at these occasions think they are above the acceptable norms that the rest of the vistors have to abide by? After all, this is not a resort!
|The salt base haddock was beautifully offset by the tomato|
|The beef - new meaning to the word 'tender'.|
Finally, dessert was truly something. The so-called Eton mess is simple: fresh cream to which you added toppings like fruit of the berry family and meringue pieces, for example. Oh yum! No, make that double yum. And decadent. Also, the at-your-table dessert just screamed 'eat me' - a plate with cappuccino pannacotta, vanilla cheesecake and the rhubarb and apple crumble were a slice of heaven. The latter in particular, was crunchy while the rhubarb added a tartness to it, neutralizing the anticipated sweetness. One of the consequences of all of his was that I did not try of the impressive 50-cheese-selection on offer. I had already had my share of dessert for the week!
|No picture can do the Eton mess any semblance of justice.|
|The ice cream trolley - a hit with young and old.|
As I walked out, I reflected on the Bard's words from Twelfth Night: 'Do not think because you are virtuous, that there shall be no more cakes and ale.' Long may the cake and ale be brought forth at this spectacular brunch!
The low down
St Regis, Abu Dhabi (on the corniche)
Brunch with soft drinks 270 Dhs ++
Wine and Pimm's brunch 350 Dhs ++
Champagne and spirits brunch 450 Dhs ++