I'm back today with a post that is going to be rammed full of delicious food snaps so if you're not prepared to mouth water all over your computer/phone screens or you have yet to eat lunch, then I suggest you look away now!
Okay, let's get cracking.
Last weekend, Scott and I decided to visit one of our favourite, laid-back, Friday brunch spots in Abu Dhabi - Market Kitchen in Le Royal Meridien Hotel. It had been a while since our last visit and with word that they'd revamped the menu, we were eager to see if it still maintained the casual, yet sophisticated atmosphere that we knew and loved.
The old, set menu has been replaced with several new and exciting menus that offer up more variety each week. There's some old favourites that appear as well as some fresh and innovative new dishes to try. Market Kitchen have stuck with their traditional serving style, where food is brought to the table over four separate courses - drinks are also served to the table, which makes a welcome change from the usual buffet style of service offered at most Friday brunches.
We started with bread and our first cocktail of the day, a mouth-wateringly delicious Kumquat Mojito. Our first course arrived promptly and we were served an assortment of starters to tuck into. On the menu were Fresh Oysters, Salmon Tartare with Apple and Hazelnut, Fishcakes with Rocket Mayonnaise and Tuna Sashimi As someone who isn't the biggest lover of seafood, the chef was more than happy to whip up some alternative dishes for me to enjoy instead which included Burrata served with Roasted Peppers and Crusty Bread which was absolutely divine, Avocado Sashimi which along with the Tuna Sashimi was prepared at the table, and french fries.
Our next course consisted of Black Truffle Pizza with Fontina Cheese - an old favourite from the previous brunch menu, Parmesan Flaked Rocket Salad and a shot-sized serving of White Bean Soup - and of course, another cocktail. This time I opted for the Ginger Margarita which was spiced to perfection.
A well-deserved break was needed before we were able to tackle the main courses. On the menu was Roasted Meager Fish in a spicy Malaysian Chili Sauce and Masterstock Chicken with Orange Salt. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the chicken is life-changing. The sticky honey, orange glaze lends the chicken an Asian flavour which I'd have happily stuffed my face with until my trouser buttons burst. Incredible. The mains were also served with side dishes of Mini Mac & Cheese and Creamed Spinach, and washed down with fruity Passion Fruit Sangrias.
By the time desserts rolled around, I was close to bursting; however I ensured I had enough space to sample the two dishes on offer - Cheesecake with Fig Jam and Raspberry Sorbet and Toffee Crisp with Salted Caramel. Both pleasant options, although my heart secretly yearned for a Chocolate Fondant and my stomach yearned for a rest.
One of the most distinguishing features that sets Market Kitchen apart from other brunches is the 5 star service that they provide. Not only are the staff attentive and knowledgeable, they're exceptionally friendly and go above and beyond to ensure that all who dine there are having the most enjoyable experience possible. This was our third time brunching here and never has the service we've received faltered. Serious kudos guys.
The De'Vine' Brunch runs every Friday from 12:30pm until 4pm at Le Royal Meridien Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Live entertainment is provided by former Australian X Factor contestant, Jaymie Deboucherville (who is fantastic!) and packages start at AED 199+++ including mocktails, AED 299+++ inclusive of cocktails, house wines and beer, and AED 399+++ for the champagne package. For more information or to make a reservation call: +971800101101 or visit the Market Kitchen Website.