Asian fusion Brunch at Sontaya - The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
I am becoming more and more grateful for Saturday brunches. With hotels generally offering a typical big brunch on a Friday, it frees them to be very creative on a Saturday. Having said that, there are still hotels offering a brunch with a similar concept to what they are doing on a Friday - it is just a scaled down version. Sontaya's Asian fusion brunch, on the other hand, seeks to continue the growing trend of a Saturday brunch that is high on food quality while offering a balance between price and personalised service.
There are four additional dishes that form part of the main - Pad thai, Wok fried seafood, Stir fried chicken and the Braised beef brisket. It is a substantial course in terms of variety, but what I would like to see though is a vegetable offering, like a stir-fried vegetable dish just to balance the selection. It is the only thing missing in another wise superb selection.
Finally, dessert is a glorious one. Well, it is actually a selection of treats, but has the best presentation you are likely to have at a south East Asian restaurant in the city. The Sontaya Paradise, despite the cliched name, captivates us, the moment it is placed on my table. White chocolate with orange, Coconut gel cookies, Flower sorbet, Mango cheesecake and Tropical fruit are again really nicely plated, and we are treated to something that sadly missing in Abu Dhabi, a bit of science meeting food. Chef pours water into the large bowl and the effect created by dry ice in the bowl is quite a spectacle!
Overall, Sontaya's Asian fusion Brunch is, firstly, the perfect Saturday brunch. The quintessential aspects of a brunch the day before work is that it is laid back, intimate but also different from the Friday brunches. This brunch checks all the columns. But to regard it as a good 'Saturday' brunch would be unfair because I think it is a good brunch all round. There is just so much thought that has gone into this brunch, that it as to be commended.
The location is of course always going to be an advantage, but then there needs to be more to sustain the brunch. And there is. The menu also reflects a very balanced approach to the brunch, with the portions spot on, while the idea of sharing, so fashionable these days, rooted in the brunch. The wine pairing, of course, is a winner. This was the first brunch I have been to where I felt Bubbly would actually be a distraction, and they should resist serving it because the Vina Esmeralda, for example, is just excellent as an accompaniment to the dishes. There is no need for bubbles.
Saturday brunch has given Sontaya a chance to break the brunch mould, and they have achieved this.
St Regis Saadiyat Island,
12.30-4.00pm every Saturday
AED 229++ incl soft drinks
AED 299++ paired with wine & beers