Urban Kitchen - Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi
The question in my mind before the brunch was whether this would be an Asian brunch or if it would have only a few Asian dishes and then be overwhelmed by the usual international dishes that are so ubiquitous in the city. This is a tough one for the hotel because in calling it an Asian brunch, they are creating a niche product. If they fill the brunch with international dishes, they lose what makes them special. So, a question of damed if they do and damned if they don't...For me it is straightforward. This is the Dusit Thani. It has to be true to its essence. About 100 years ago in Thailand, King Rama VI came up with his ideal society concept and called it Dusit Thani, or 'town in heaven' and the main feature was a blending of Thai and Western influence. Urban Kitchen, after my experience today, is true to that. I am pleased that the 'Thainess' has not been sacrificed in order to put bums on seats.
|Spacious but intimate layout accentuated by open kitchens.|
|Thoroughly enjoyed the seafood station|
|Freshly baked naan.|
|Lobster minus the shell makes it more accessible to less adventurous eaters.|
|The superb red curry.|
Is there anything special for the kids? There is a dedicated kids station that had my daughter entertained for three hours. Pure beef sliders, chicken pieces (these were not processed nuggets) and potato wedges were some of the treats on offer for them. There were also movies to keep them from boredom. The highlight for them though, was being invited by the restaurant manager to make their own mocktails - virgin mojitos. Memorable!
|Kids area, very much part of the brunch and not stuck in a corner in the back.|
|Mocktails making had this little guest thrilled.|
|My waiter appreciated the pomp and ceremony of Champagne pouring.|
|Chocolate fountain - always popular. Orange-flavored on this day.|
|Beautiful presentation of fruit.|
Finally, while some brunches profess to be Asian, this one was truly Asian, but with enough options for those who need a break from an all Asian affair. The Arabic and Indian station which featured a fantastic serving of ouzi (baked lamb) offered a lot of options. In addition, the talented resident pianist ensures that the usual elements of a brunch are there - vibrancy and life. But it is the Thai inspiration that makes this a special brunch. It is a brunch that offers more than the usual choices. It is a brunch where the different tastes can take you to the streets of Bangkok, the city of angels.
The brunch concluded for me a memorable experience of The Dusit Thani in recent weeks in which I was able to be transported back to Thailand. Between Benjarong, its exquisite signature Thai restaurant, Capital Grill, its chic steakhouse and now Urban Kitchen, you have options that bring with it an added experience that many hotels cannot offer - a place where three cultures are brought under one roof; a place where Thai and Western cultures blend effortlessly with a third culture - But while King Rama's vision was of a place where Thai and Western influence would co-exist, it is a tribute to his vision that Arabian culture has added to the cultural mix in this hotel. The Dusit Thani, or 'town in heaven' now sees three cultures overlapping!
The bottom line
Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi
02 698 8888
AED 220++ – Buffet including soft beverages and juices
AED 320++ – Buffet including selected hops and grape beverages
AED 420++ – Buffet including selected hops, grape and sparkling beverages
AED 85++ – Buffet for kids between 7 – 12 years of age
Kids under six years of age dine complimentary