The inaugural Sipping Abu Dhabi with Brandon - Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi

Sipping Abu Dhabi. The concept is simple. 12 people move to high end bars and have an evening of canapes and drinks. Movement is important. It is about meeting people and connecting, like in the old days when people looked at one another. The inaugural event, at Beach Rotana, took in three restaurants/bars - Finz, Indigo and Rodeo Grill. 

We start at one of the sexiest restaurants in the city, Finz and gravitate towards the bar, with sumptuous views of the water through floor to ceiling windows. We start with a glass of Perrier Jouet NV paired with a series of canap├ęs: Oyster tartare in cucumber, Hamachi yellowtail cevicheHome Smoked salmon on avocado and Crispy crab cornet. The bar at Finz is a bar that is a destination in itself. With one of the best DJs in the city, Miki Love, spinning tunes from her fantastic selection, it is really a great way to get the evening started. A champagne sabering by Gray Mackenzie and Partners' Sandeep completes the first part of the evening!

For …

Taking steak and wine to your home in Abu Dhabi - with Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Gray Mackenzie & Partners, La Carne and

Steak is expensive in Abu Dhabi restaurants. Over the last few months, while compiling my second Abu Dhabi Steakhouse round up, this dawned on me once again. Did you know that at one of the restaurants that will feature in the round up, you can get a steak for around 750AED? This is an extreme case of how expensive steak is, but the average is around 300AED for a decently marbled sirloin. I met Joan at a Japanese wagyu steak dinner, and she became essential in bringing this dinner to life. It was with this in mind that I thought I would include in my round up a post on doing it yourself at home - picking up some great beef at a fraction of the cost and a bottle or two of wine and having a fun evening at home  while saving a lot of dirhams. The premise is not that it replaces the steakhouse experience because we all have to go out but it is an option when the money is a bit low or you are not in the mood to dress up.
Ideally, the evening would have been held at one of our homes but then…

Brunch in the Clouds - still THE brunch to experience in Abu Dhabi - St Regis Abu Dhabi.

When Brunch in the Clouds launched little over a year ago,  some people dismissed it as a gimmick that would not be sustained because it was deemed expensive. Was there really a place for a brunch priced at 900AED net was the question. But I felt differently. ( Brunch in the clouds 2016) St Regis Abu Dhabi does not start a concept like this without putting serious thought into it. When it won the Best Brunch in Abu Dhabi award from Fact Magazine, incidentally, reflecting mirroring my call when I judged it the best brunch in 2016, naysayers really started to take note. Needless to say, going back a year later was all about perspective for me - have they taken the brunch higher, pun intended, or have they simply rested knowing they have created a niche here and people would come regardless?

The best of both worlds

Table brunches are the concept that many seasoned brunchers (a 'bruncher', my fun word, is a person who goes to brunches) want nowadays, but there is also another type o…