A Japanese Saturday Brunch at Kazu - Yas Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi
The setting is luxurious. With the race track and yachts in an eye shot and airplanes taking off from the near-by airport, there is a constant reminder of a lifestyle that many of us yearn for. Having said that, staff ensure that guests remain grounded. They are engaging and chatty, without being annoying. My guest and I had the pleasure of having Luke as our waiter. What a delight - ask for him next time. Then, the music. It is a brunch that joins a handful of others where music is genuinely enjoyable, proof that a carefully selected playlist can get people as excited as a live performer. They just need to sustain it though because the playlist ran out of steam and changed unexpectedly. Keep The Weeknd, Bruno Mars and Maroon 5!
The brunch is based on an al la carte/buffet concept, which I think balances well between what people in Abu Dhabi want, which is visual and bountiful and also made to order a la carte dishes which appeal to more sophisticated palates. The buffet features sushi and sashimi, as well as a brilliant dessert station.
One of the must-haves on the a la carte menu is the Sea bass, dry miso and yuzu juice. Light, fresh and so tasty. Next, the Lobster tempura is Crispy and crunchy at the same.
The main courses so to speak are presented, very smartly, in an obento box. Anyone remotely familiar with Japanese culture will appreciate this. The Salmon and miso and Chicken teriyaki, in particular, are very good. But it was the Beef asparagus roll that had me asking more. Moist wagyu wrapped around crunchy asparagus - very good indeed. That is what's great about the concept. You can ask as many servings as you want.
Even as I write this I cannot get over to what extent this brunch offers value for money.
Fantastic. In a word. The highlight is obviously the Gekkeikan amuchi junmai sake. Like most sake, it is soft and easy to drink. However, if you need something more refreshing, then the Prosecco Rizzardi is for you. A really good drinks selection I must say. Too often, brunches serve champagne but pay no attention to the rest of their alcohol package. serving guests mediocre new world offerings.
There are not many brunches around offering decent wine. There is probably only one other brunch where I walked away commending them for their wine choice. Kazu offers a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, the Matua Valley Marlborough from New Zealand, as well as its Pinot Noir. Excellent stuff for a brunch. And for good measure, just because it is a Japanese brunch, Kirin beer! Easily among the top 2 brunches when it comes to drinks and value.
Overall, Kazu's brunch is one that I would gladly go to again. However, there were not that many guests on this occasion- a real shame. Brunch is about more than just the food, otherwise it is just lunch. Atmosphere and a crowd are things synonymous with brunch in the city.
It really is an excellent product, but they need to get the word out there. Kazu is an under-rated restaurant that deserves more kudos and a greater turnout. Priced at 298 AED net, you will not find a brunch in the city that can compete with it in terms of value vs quality. It offers tremendous food which is very light, perfect for the day before work, a drinks selection that is among the best in Abu Dhabi.
Yas Viceroy Hotel
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
+971 2 656 0000
Soft drinks 188 AED net
Note: No kids allowed as there is a family brunch in another outlet.