“Go BIG every weekend with Booming Beats and Banging Bites. A Mezze spread and Asian flavors. Meat cuts from the Vault and drinks on Tab. Go B.I.G or Go Home!” W Abu Dhabi
The capital was in need of a new party brunch and the newly rebranded W Abu Dhabi on Yas Island has delivered just that. The hotel’s all day dining restaurant Garage, the self titled ‘disruptive culinary movement’, has a new, lively Friday Brunch concept known as B.I.G that’s already proving popular with expat brunchers.
The restaurant and adjoining bar are completely unrecognisable from the white, clinical style decor of the hotel’s previous incarnation. The now open interconnecting spaces are testament to some vibrant interior design that has totally transformed the space. Bold botanicals sit alongside bright furnishings in the W Lounge while the restaurant area is a mix of contemporary design and styles, industrial meets monochrome interspersed with pops of colour and funky light fixtures.
Brunch is served from open kitchens spread across the venue, each kitchen has live interactive cooking stations offering different cuisines. Just sit back and watch the team of chefs, led by Guatemalan Head Chef Juan Bernardo Ancheita Canel, create their culinary masterpieces. Diners have five concepts to explore, Mezza Bar, Steam Table, Nikkei House, Meat Vault and Tart Van each offering a unique menu and flavours. Start at Mezza Bar where regional influences take centre stage with classic Levantine dishes such as a selection of hummus, fatoush and spiced sweet potato are served from the open brick kitchen.
Steam table is all about Asian street food, chose from the array of steamed and fried favourites such as spring rolls, dim sum, stir fries and noodles as well as oysters. The brunch is an interactive affair with the dim sum trolley making its way around the venue delivering wooden boxes of steamed delights that included a vegetarian gyoza. You also can’t miss the mile long Po’Boy (American style sandwich) or the metallic clad dancers with their feather boas.
East meets West in Nikkei House with a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours. Sushi, fresh seafood such as tuna and sea-bass are self service options, notable dishes such as the puffed quinoa and crispy prawns with charred avocado and tasty vegetarian option of BBQ eggplant topped with a 63 degree egg & panko crumbs are served straight to the table. It wouldn’t be Peruvian inspired cuisine without some ceviche and sweetcorn too. Meat Vault is predictably all about the finest cuts of meat, the carvery station offers a selection of roasts, steak, crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, roasted sweet potato and a traditional caesar salad.
The dessert party is a must-see theatrical display culminating in the dramatic opening of the Tart Van. The sweet journey begins in the bar where two silver jumpsuit clad dancers lead the parade of chefs and their giant tray of s’mores through the tables to the strains of 50 Cent’s Candy Shop. Once in situ in front of the pastel coloured van, the giant hanging candy balloon is popped and its contents sprayed over the desserts, diners and floor. Cue the smoke and simulated opening of the Tart Van’s counter and voilà, dessert is served! Unlike most brunches offering miniature desserts, B.I.G is about sizeable plates of sweetness in the form of thin crust tarts served like slices of pizza. I can personally recommend the Dulce de Leche, raspberry and lemon cheesecake and the s’mores which were all totally irresistible.
Another innovative concept is the Tap Wall, a selection of handcrafted cocktails and blends on tap, the rum based grapefruit breeze being a winner for me. The free-flowing beverages are part of a rotating menu ensuring even the most frequent brunches can expect a surprise. Drinks are also served table side from the roaming drinks trolley. Guests can choose to be seated in the main restaurant area, in Nikeel House (where we sat but it’s out of the way of the party) or sit outdoors on the terrace (weather permitting) that overlooks the Yas racetrack and Marina.
B.I.G is a fun brunch, a refreshing update of this Friday traditional so loved by the majority of Western residents and visitors. Add this new concept to your ‘must-do’ list, personally I can’t wait to take some visitors there to showcase what this new hotel has to offer, don’t forget your dancing shoes.
B.I.G (Brunch in Garage)
Location: Garage, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi,
Telephone: 02 656 0000
B.I.G Brunch – Every Friday from 12.30pm – 4pm (AED 250 Dry Package, AED 365 Spirited Package and AED 525 Sparkling Package)
I was invited to review the B.I.G Friday Brunch. All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2020. All rights reserved. Additional photos used with courtesy of www.wabudhabiyasisland.com