“Cantonese food is characterized by its tender and slightly sweet taste.” Unknown
Dai Pai Dong, the cantonese restaurant located under the Rosewood Abu Dhabi is a sophisticated affair that’s also home to Dragon’s Tooth, the ‘secret’ 1920’s Shanghai speakeasy bar which is one of my favourites in the capital.
Named after the open-air food stalls in Hong Kong, Dai Pai Dong offers delicious Chinese street food and a great selection of mixology. Having sampled the cuisine and cocktails on several previous occasions I was excited to try the Yum Cha Saturday Brunch, Yum Cha meaning dim sum and Chinese Tea.
After a somewhat shaky start with some service issues we started the experience with some custom made cocktails and mocktails from the bar which were delicious. Back at our table, the service continued to be hit and miss but the food was good. The Yum Cha brunch is centered around dim sum with a constant stream of bamboo steamers delivered to the table. There’s lots of options with a selection of rolls, salads, bbq meat and seafood dishes accompanied by Yangzhou fried rice and steamed lettuce. It’s a social sharing concept with any favourites replenished as many times as you like, table highlights included the hot and sour seafood soup, Char Shao Bao (chicken) and the deep fried shrimp dumplings.
Vegetarian options were more limited but the vegetable dumplings and the eggplant dish were tasty. A selection of artisanal desserts were laid out in the bar, a good selection of mini sweet treats that included a divine and moorish tiramisu and a mixed berry glazed choux bun that we may have had seconds of, or was that thirds. Guests can enjoy brunch with a selection of teas served in traditional cast iron teapots or with chinese beer, wine and cocktails.
The interior has a traditional design complete with authentic Chinese artwork and artifacts and a theatrical glass fronted show kitchen. Additional tables are available in the mall concourse complete with it’s striking dragon sculpture and outside on the large terrace. The restaurant was busy both inside and outside on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the brunch is a relaxed family-friendly affair in contrast to the more rowdy Friday brunches available throughout the city. I recommend booking a table on the terrace to enjoy the good weather and definitely, as always, save room for dessert.
Dai Pai Dong
Location: The Galleria, Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 813 5550
Opening Times: Lunch – noon to 3:00pm Dinner – Saturday until Wednesday: 6:00pm to 11:00pm, Thursday and Friday 6:00pm to midnight. Bar – 4:00 pm. to 1:00 am
Yum Cha Dim Sum Brunch – Saturday noon to 4:00 pm.
Brunch Selection and Free Flow of Tea | AED 188*
Brunch Selection with Fizz and Mocktails | AED 238*
Brunch Selection with Hops, Grapes and Mixology | AED 288*
Celebrate Chinese New Year at Dai Pai Dong from 15th – 28th February 2018 with the Great Prosperity New Year Dinner Set Menu l AED 248* per person.
*Prices are subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee, 4% municipality fee and 5% VAT.
I was invited to review the Yum Cha Saturday Brunch. All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved.
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