Location: St. Regis Saadiyat Brunch (Olea Restaurant)
Silk Package at AED 300 inclusive of non -alcoholic beverages
Pearl Package at AED 395 inclusive of house beverages
Diamond Package at AED 495 inclusive of food and bubbly
Children’s Package at AED 150 per child from 6 till 12 years old – kids under 5 years eats for free
*all prices exclusive of 20% taxes & fees
“The world was my oyster but I used a wrong fork” – Oscar Wilde
Hosted at the Olea Restaurant, and 55&5th The Grill, this brunch offers a wide selection of dishes under the now standard UAE 5 star hotel theme; ‘around the world’ cuisine. Given that this is my first brunch in el capital, Abu Dhabi, I was hoping that they would do international cuisine different to Dubai.
To my dismay, the offering were your standard: Arabic station, South East Asia station (typically clubbing Chinese, Thai, and Vietnam together), Sushi station, American (junk food) station, Mexican (but more accurately Tex-Mex) station, Roast station (I am yet to find a restaurant that can consistently produce a juicy cut of meat), Italian station (pasta and/or pizza), and the ladies favorite desserts station.
The overall quality across the food stations was definitely above average, yet nowhere near the mark of Crescendo (at the Anantara Dubai the Palm). However the brunch did have a few unique stand outs worth mention which are all located in the 55&5th section of the brunch:
- Oyster station with 3 varieties of oysters (French, Irish, English) which were hands down the nicest oysters I have had in the UAE. They also have numerous options for condiments other than the usual (lemon, tabasco, vinaigrette) including caviar, capers, and cucumbers.
- Foie Gras station where they pan sear it and serve it with pears, onions and toasted bread. This was a crowd favorite!
- Cheese station with over 50 different varieties of cheeses. If you are a cheese lover than this is probably the widest selection you can find after the Westin Bubbalicious offering.
For beverages the brunch has an impressive 5 cocktail stations offering:
- Mojitos, margaritas, grey goose vodka
- Gin & Tonic with a variety of aromatics
- Coconut with rum, and rum passion fruit cocktail
- Sangria and Bloody Mary shooters
- Old fashioned
One red wine (Malbec) and one white wine (dry variety from Chile) are offered. For beer the horrible Heineken (bottle) is your only option; so stay clear. The bar tenders are not proper drink makers like Iris or Cocktail Kitchen; so do not expect to get blown away by the cocktails. However the cocktails are not premixed or mass manufactured (like Saffron and Bubbalicious) so credit to the St. Regis management for making the effort. If they manage to add some proper beers (in draught) and increase the wine offering to a minimum of 3 (per color) then they would actually have a great drinks selection.
A band plays a nice variety of tunes in the outdoor terrace of the brunch. The vibe is definitely a family style brunch, with tons of children running between your legs and plenty of drunk grandparents grooving 50s style to 90s music.
In the winter a table on the terrace offers a magnificent view of the sea, making the venue really enticing. Unfortunately the 20% creates a hefty price tag versus the offering. If the management can find a better balance in the pricing department, then this has the potential to be a top class brunch.
Value for Money: 10/20.