“An intimate culinary affair with traditional artisan recipes.” AQUA
We have tried every kind of brunch since of our introduction to this UAE weekend foodie phenomenon way back in 2009. The big overwhelming buffets, the intimate table brunch, the boozy affairs and those that combine all of the above, our brunch preferences have changed over the years as much as our waistlines have increased. In all honestly, my least favourite brunches are those held in all-day dining restaurants, until I tried Aqua at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi.
Located on the third floor of the hotel Aqua is an elegant and sophisticated all-day dining affair consistent with the rest of the establishment. The Friday Brunch is lively, housed around the show kitchen and spills out onto the terrace overlooking the water. Diners are spoilt for choice but not overwhelmed which I prefer, food and beverage stations are set-up around the restaurant entrance as well as outside, there’s plenty to choose from and the service at our table was excellent.
Aqua’s brunch features an international selection from across the globe, it’s a family friendly brunch too with a special Rose Buds menu for children and dedicated playroom to keep them amused for the duration. After some confusion at the Mexican station about whether the chef cooked meat in a pan that was then being used to prepare vegetarian (the answer is yes he did), I really enjoyed my food. Quesadillas are made to order from a selection of ingredients on offer, fresh salsa, guacamole and sour cream were just some of the many accompaniments.
Next stop for me was vegetarian noodles from the Asian selection while my dining companions tucked into the various meat and fish options including oysters, fresh seafood and decadent foie gras. Chef Francisco and his team have added some artisan sandwiches to the salad bar, there’s Spanish tapas and seafood paella, Italian, Indian and Arabic dishes, a carvery section and a traditional French raclette at the cheese station. I question the decision to have the cheeses located outside as most of the selection, even with the covered roof, was melting in the heat and it was certainly attracting lots of flies. The teenager was impressed with the neighbouring charcuterie selection that contained pork products.
For those partaking in the Connoisseur and Gastronome packages, bespoke cocktails can be ordered from the enthusiastic dancing bartender at the indoor bar. Mojitos served in copper jars from the outdoor mojito station were very popular at our table too.
Now let’s talk desserts, which we all know by now is my favourite part of any meal. Presentation was on point and we were spoilt for choice, freshly made Nutella crepes topped with gooey chocolate brownies were worthy of a second helping and the insta worthy ‘Messy Cake’ that took centre stage was moist and delicious. A tasty pear crumble replaced the traditional apple variety, perfectly paired (excuse the pun) with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. Other notable dishes were the carrot cake and creamy tiramisu, lots of fresh fruit too for the more health conscious.
In my humble opinion the key to enjoying the best of Aqua is dining alfresco on the delightful terrace (weather permitting of course). Sadly, we were seated in a corner inside, that despite its disappointing position did have amazing views, several requests to be moved outside should the opportunity arise proved futile so we remained ensconced. This is not the capital’s biggest brunch, it’s quality over quantity with good and well-presented choices, I actually prefer the more intimate as opposed to the enormous selection of bigger brunches. Yes, Aqua is an all-day dining restaurant but it’s a stylish one with an experienced and creative chef at the helm and these things combined make it a worthy brunch contender.
Aqua Friday Brunch
Location: Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island
Telephone: 02 813 5550
Friday Brunch: 12:30pm to 4:00 pm
Cost: Gourmet (soft drinks) AED 250, Connoisseur (grapes, hops & mixology) AED 350 and Gastronome (grapes, hops, mixology & bubbly) AED 500
Rose Buds Friday Brunch: 0 to 5 years – complimentary and 6 to 12 years – AED 125
Read more about the Rosewood Abu Dhabi in previous posts Burgers & Chateaux at La Cava | Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Iftar at Sambusek | Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Festive Afternoon Tea | Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Click here to read more about brunch in the UAE.
I was invited to review this brunch. All the views are my own. Unless otherwise stated all photos on this page copyright Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Additional photo used with courtesy of www.rosewoodhotels.com