“I think our commitment to quality ingredients will set us apart. We’re going to create cravings that you’re going to want to come back for.” Imre Cupani, CCHG
Yes, this is yet another post about the expat indulgence that is Friday Brunch, but it’s with a quirky new take on the classic buffet, Table Brunch. Last weekend was looking pretty quiet in the diary then a lovely e-mail popped up in the anexpatabroad inbox inviting myself and the other half to try a new concept, an à la carte Friday brunch at Market Kitchen in Le Royal Méridien Hotel. We extended the invitation to our friends to enjoy the table brunch experience with us, a new one for us all.
Market Kitchen has its own indoor courtyard
As if us expats are not indulged enough this classy reinvention of brunch does not even require you to leave your seat as all manner of cocktails and sharing platters arrive on the table in front of you. Impeccable service, a ridiculous amount of delicious food and non-stop cocktails from the extensive mixology menu why wouldn’t you want to try Friday Brunch at Market Kitchen? Really, why?
Table Brunch at Market Kitchen, a new contender on the Abu Dhabi Friday Brunch scene
The Market Kitchen ethos for reinventing classic dishes and cocktails with a modern contemporary twist has been extended to the whole brunch concept, giving the sophisticated Modern american New York-esq restaurant a niche in the popular Friday dining scene. The ‘Farm to Table’ approach means the menu changes on a weekly basis, with the team of chefs creating an exclusive menu using the freshest ingredients available from local markets and producers each week, giving diners a new experience with every visit.
The whole Market Kitchen team went above and beyond the normal levels of service, adapting some of the courses for little old non-meat and fish and pasta eating me (some might say weird vegetarian) and when one of our guests mentioned his gluten intolerance the chefs prepared him some special dishes, even down to his own selection of bread!
Lychee Raspberry Bellinis
We were slightly confused by the menu selections at first but were quickly informed that we would be presented with everything on the menu in a four course sharing-platter concept! Yes, everything! We were overwhelmed by the amount of food that was fast approaching but also excited to try all the appealing sounding dishes.
This was only the first course of four! Sushi, salmon tartare and crispy calamari
The very tangy and colourful salmon tartare that was a favourite at our table
Roasted beetroot and goats cheese salad
With a round of lychee raspberry Bellini’s to moisten the taste buds, our first course arrived with a very attractive and artistic looking salmon tartare with avocado, spicy radish and ginger dressing (definite favourite with the fish eaters on our table), sushi with chipotle mayo (an avocado version for me) and a large bowl of crispy calamari with lemon rosemary dip. I also ordered a separate roasted beetroot and goats cheese salad with crystallised ginger.
One of our efficient servers delivering Gin and Cucumber Martinis
Kumquat mojitos are the one!
A round of refreshing kumquat mojitos arrived along with our second course of a tasty creamy tomato soup served in a quirky miniature cup and saucer with a perfect aged cheddar and basil toast, a classic soup that was piquant and I really enjoyed it (simple girl and all that). The meat eaters had a beef short rib hash served on a bed of salty spinach and topped with an egg and I had the veggie option minus the beef and substituted with creamy mash. The third option from this course was the filling tasty black truffle and fontina cheese pizza.
Beautifully served in a cup and saucer, the creamy tomato soup with aged cheddar and basil toast, so scrummy.Black truffle and fontina cheese pizza.
Beef short rib hash served on a bed of salty spinach and topped with an egg and the veggie option minus the beef that was substituted with creamy mash
For the main course there was an attractive roast platter presented on a large wooden board complete with grilled filets of beef, parmesan crusted chicken with asparagus and basil (meat eaters favourite) all accompanied with a selection of delicious sides of the most creamy, light and fluffy mashed potato, steamed broccoli and truffled macaroni and cheese.
Roast platter of beef and chicken with sides
Alongside the meat selection came a dish of sea bream crusted with nuts and seeds in a sweet and sour jus. I savoured one of my favourite dishes of asparagus with a zesty lemon and olive oil dressing.
Sea bream crusted with nuts and seeds
Asparagus with a zesty lemon and olive oil dressing
As if we weren’t full enough there was still the final extravagance of dessert to finish. Presented to us by one of chefs (a jolly Scottish chap and Abu Dhabi newbie) and the restaurant manager was a very palatable trio of desserts that was a feast of colour on the plate and a special meringue and passion fruit pod creation for our gluten-free guest.
The trio of decadence, warm chocolate cake, market cheesecake and mini apple crumble
A warm chocolate cake that oozed warm liquid chocolate was offset with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a petite Market cheesecake topped with glazed cherries with a sour cherry sorbet and a mini homely warm apple crumble with a perfect accompaniment of cinnamon ice cream made up the triple calorific dessert. A perfect ending to a perfect meal! My only disappointment was the omission of the salted caramel ice cream (my absolute favourite of favourites) sundae from our particular Friday menu, but that is simply the perfect excuse to go again!
Gluten free option, a meringue pod with passion fruit
It’s no secret from my previous posts that I am a big fan of Market Kitchen and I really enjoyed everything about the new table brunch concept. The attention to detail, flavoursome food, fabulous cocktails and it was a refreshing change to be served rather than wandering around a vast buffet. I love the casual family style of unpretentious dining at this restaurant, its elegant setting with good, quality delicious food using the freshest produce and unprecedented level of prompt and attentive service.
Elegant and quirky at the same time, the Market Kitchen decor
Some of the team of brilliant chefs working in the open-kitchen area
This restaurant exudes quality and I love the decor complete with indoor courtyard and quirky knickknacks, this really is a success story of the refurbished Le Royal Mériden Hotel. Bravo Market Kitchen you have a brilliant and successful brunch concept and one that is a welcome addition to the Abu Dhabi brunching scene!
Cheers to the new Friday Table Brunch at Market Kitchen
Market Kitchen’s modern American cuisine has touches of Asian inspiration evolving from its French-fusion beginnings under the influence of French Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who originally introduced the Market Kitchen concept to the culinary marketplace in Paris and then Boston.
Read more about Market Kitchen in my two previous post ‘From Farm to Table‘ and ‘Shaken or Stirred‘.
It’s all in the detail, table setting complete with a regional decoration of dates
Location: Le Royal Méridien Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 695 0300
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Table Brunch is available at Market Kitchen every Friday from 12.30pm to 4.00pm
Cost*: AED 250 with Mocktails, AED 350 with signature cocktails/wine/beer and AED 450 including Champagne (*Prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% tourism fee.)
This is a sponsored post but the views are all my own. Thank you to Market Kitchen, Le Royal Méridien Hotel and TohPR for the opportunity to review the new Table Brunch.
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2014. All rights reserved.
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