The new Friday Market Brunch at Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas is in its first few weeks of opening and yet it has already taken the capital by storm. Alert all foodies and fun-loving social beings, this is an absolute ‘must’ if you haven’t already beaten us to it!
KM were delighted to be invited to enjoy the full Friday Market Brunch experience and here’s what we thought…
Once we were warmly greeted and swiftly and efficiently given our wristbands indicating our chosen brunch package, we were free to explore and embark upon what felt like, a culinary adventure. The slipway leading down towards Sim Sim restaurant was lined with a colourful display of fresh organic fruits and vegetables – all of which were available to purchase in true ‘market’ style – giving off the sweet scent of fresh fare, which only served to awaken our taste buds ready for the feast to come.
The restaurant was alive with the vibrant atmosphere of people delighting in coming together to share their weekend with family and friends and indulging in the finest of international cuisine against the buzz of live entertainment.
Sim Sim is a wonderfully spacious restaurant offering diners the choice of al fresco dining or the cooler option of dining indoors but whilst still being able to enjoy the warm sunlight flooding in through the floor to ceiling glass windows and doors. Live cooking stations stole the day both indoors and out with an impressively diverse team of specialist chefs each preparing their specialty to order and mixologists preparing beautifully refreshing cocktails, including – quite honestly – the best passion fruit mojitos I have ever tasted (and I’ve tasted a fair few)!
Once settled at our table inside, we couldn’t wait to pay a visit to the VIP lounge where not only the premium beverages can be found, but also, beautiful Italian oysters and the most divine caviar from Romania. The VIP lounge is a serenely calm and tranquil open-air courtyard with the therapeutic sound of a running water feature and lush floral displays emanating a sweet provocative perfume. The courtyard provides a welcome sanctuary from the bustling activity of the main restaurant and the oysters and caviar tempted us back several times before we were ready to move on to the main cooking stations.
As seafood lovers, we transitioned from caviar to the fresh seafood station. The seafood station was representative of a traditional fish market with everything available from shrimps and jumbo prawns to freshly caught fish (including a huge Turbot), crab and lobster. Everything is prepared to order and cooked on the BBQ outside before being delivered to your table. I couldn’t resist the ceviche and tuna carpaccio, whilst my husband opted for the fresh lobster grilled on the BBQ and served with lemon butter sauce.
After a much needed pause, we ventured into the centre of the restaurant where most of the main courses were being prepared. We were spoilt for choice with stunningly fragrant Indian curries; divinely fresh dim sum and peking duck; perfectly cooked al dente truffle risotto and lasagna; a very extensive choice of meats at the carvery and so much more!
We were able to sample all of this at our leisure whilst our children went running off to let off steam and had great fun in the large dedicated outdoor kids area. When it was time for dessert, the children came back to join us and much to my daughter’s delight, the live band came in from outside and toured the tables. Our 7 year old needed little persuasion to join the singer on the microphone and dance with her to one of her favourite songs – a truly memorable experience that added to the fun.
For dessert, the exquisite array of sweet pastries, cakes, mousses, parfaits and more were all so tempting, but it was the ice cream truck serving homemade gelato in traditional waffle cones that caught our attention. Creamy refreshing indulgence at its best!
For those who had room for cheese, the cheese selection was by far one of the best we had seen in Abu Dhabi with many of the oozy cheeses ripened to perfection to bring out their full flavour and texture.
A foodie’s haven and a truly family friendly brunch where all feel welcome and part of a relaxing and memorable day… Not to be missed… book now!
What:The Market Brunch
When: Every Friday, 1pm – 4pm
AED 335 per person net inclusive of brunch with unlimited soft beverages.
AED 475 per person inclusive of brunch with unlimited selected house beverages.
AED 595 per person includes access to VIP lounge, Premium French Bubbles, Premium beverages, wines, beers & cocktails.
Kids from 0 to 5 years dine for free, 6 years to 11 years @ 165dhs
Location: Sim Sim, Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas