ELEGANT BRUNCHIN’  

Map How many of you wish that Friday brunch could start a little later than noon? If, like us, you want a lie-in to start your weekend alongside the option of enjoying great food, good vibes and the best company in a pretty setting – we’ve found just the right place to cater to your cravings; FACT’s Shabana Adam visits Alba Terrace’s All Day Brunch at the stunning Abu Dhabi EDITION Hotel


Running from 12.30pm to 8pm, diners can choose any three-hour slot to visit the All Day Brunch, during which a refined menu of delicious food is served to the table. Oh hello, we’ve been waiting for a concept like this! The sharing-style plates allow for more indulgence and interaction with family and friends, and the atmosphere equally matches the relaxed feels. Alba Terrace draws inspiration from Provence, reminiscent of the Mediterranean with its warm tones and romantic aesthetics accentuated by lanterns, candles, plants and a design that wouldn’t be out of place in any charming Southern European country.

During the day, your experience is made livelier with music whilst in the evening (we took our seats at 5pm) the surroundings are illuminated with a sunset backdrop and mood lighting to set a more intimate yet inviting scene. We decide to sit outside and really make the most of the winter weather – they even have the cosiest pashmina shawls for you to sink under if you get chilly. The staff are friendly and attentive from the get-go, making sure that our glasses are kept full and the pacing between each course is perfectly-timed.

Prepare to feast as the brunch boasts select dishes created by the youngest ever British two-starred Michelin Chef, Tom Aikens. A complimentary glass of bubbly is offered to guests as a welcome drink and the fluffiest focaccia bread is brought to the table with a side of olive oil and salt flakes – just what our carb dreams are made of. We’re informed that the daytime menu differs from the after-dusk dishes and upon viewing both, we’re more than happy with the selection on offer for the evening.

For starters, we’re spoiled with the Signature Charcuterie Board, topped with smoked duck breast, beef coppa, truffle salami, and wagyu chorizo with a side of sour apple chutney, grape chutney and celeriac remoulade. Now, despite the elegant reputation that accompanies this French-derived platter, charcuterie actually has its origins as a humble peasant dish. But don’t let the simplicity of the preparation deceive you – here, the successful charcuterie board is curated and composed with a thoughtful arrangement of textures and tastes. We top up the crispy bread with a chosen piece of meat and lather it in chutney – exquisite

The Burrata Cheese Trolley is another delight with a plate of eight-year aged balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and assorted condiments. It’s creamy and flavourful, just as any good burrata should be. The refreshing Mint and Cucumber Salad is the perfect accompaniment and packed with all of our favourite ingredients; feta, peas, broad beans and quinoa, whilst the Tuna Tartar is a starter that we scoop up with gusto and finish in record time. A very impressive beginning. Next, mains are chosen to please every palate and cater to a variety of dietary requirements. The Prawns Risotto with courgette and pistachio is an instant hit at the table. What we adore the most is the amount of juicy prawns added into the dish – unlike some places we’ve tried, there was no skimping on the good stuff at Alba Terrace. The Truffle Pizza was, hands down, the most-talked about plate at the table.

Not only was the truffle aroma enticing our taste buds but the dough itself was divine. Topped with ricotta, mozzarella, button onions and baby spinach, you’ll be diving in for more, just as we did with the constant “one more slice” approach! The Chicken Paillard with violet artichoke salad and parmesan is the type of dish that you want to be able to cook for your friends when inviting them around for dinner. It’s delicious and homely, and sure to please anyone with a poultry preference.
Dessert was a whole different game. This is when you’ll want to whip out your phones and take a pic for the ‘gram (I mean, if it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?). The Petit Sugared Brioche Bun steals the show with its raspberry crème mousseline filling, followed by the Coffee Overdose with coffee panna cotta, espresso ice cream and mocha foam – a real live wire way to end your meal. We were all utterly mesmerised by the creamy texture and intense flavours of the chocolate ice cream and the mango sorbet – U.N.R.E.A.L.

Sharing-style brunches might not be everyone’s cup of tea, however, when done with consistent service and a high standard of quality ingredients, there’s nothing better than lounging on comfy chairs, catching up with your nearest and dearest whilst the food and drinks are well taken care of. Portion sizes are generous and you can request more of any one dish if you just can’t get enough. The All Day Brunch is another fine dining example at The Abu Dhabi EDITION Hotel of how successful a concept can be when it’s kept simple and gimmick-free. ✤


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