REVIEW: Etiquette dictates you should be 15 minutes late to a party, or to coin a phrase, be ‘fashionably late’. I apply the same rule when attending brunches. It has nothing to do with fashion or etiquette; I don’t enjoy walking into an empty venue. Simple as that.
It’s odd then that I find myself loitering in the Lobby Lounge of the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers on a Friday at 11.55am waiting for my fellow brunch-goer to arrive, that’s a staggering 20 minutes early before it kicks off.
Five minutes pass and we’re heading poolside to take our spot. En-route we’re entangled in a posse of partygoers, rambunctious and dressed to the nines. More early birds? Apparently not! The sounds of a seemingly raucous jamboree reach us first, seeping through the entrance of Nahaam where the much-talked-about Nahaam Friday Brunch is already in full swing. My fears of being early are instantly allayed.
Two large parties are already seated and several duplets of balloons float above the guests – birthday celebrations have begun in earnest. Buzz boys dart among the tables as a host whisks us through the throngs to our table where drinks are poured. The atmosphere’s electric; we’ve arrived and it feels oh so good!
Happy to soak in the party vibe, it takes a good seven minutes before we head to the stations to fill up. First stop is the hotel’s neighbouring Sole restaurant, opened up to absorb the overflow of brunch-goers. Delightfully fresh bowls of Mediterranean goodness await and upon arriving back to our table, we’re in time for the first of several tableside live stations.
Takoyaki is served, a ball-shaped Japanese snack filled with seafood encased in a deep-fried crispy shell. Hot on its heels, the juniper mix trolley arrives; we indulge of course. Throughout the experience, several more stations arrive, serving risotto to homemade adult popsicles, and everything in between. The Fire Jalapeño Shots go down a treat.
The sushi station is abuzz and there’s a fabulous seafood display but we have meat in mind, lots of it. Carmine Pecoraro, Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers’ Executive Chef, recommends the short ribs, beef brisket and black belt beef. Not a rib eating man, I still delve in on his recommendation and the aromatic meat melts in the mouth.
The juicy beef brisket is cut into perfect slices and served with an array of delicious sides, including Yorkshire Puddings. Being from the North of England, I have to confess I avoid Yorkshire Puddings that are stood warming, after all they should be devoured hot from the oven. But I break my own self-imposed rule and tuck in – true to form the centres are as moist as they should be.
We go back for more, and more again. Transfixed on brisket and short ribs, we forget to sample the Black belt Beef and there’s no room for desserts, which can only mean one thing – we’ll be back!
To book your spot and experience this beautiful brunch, call 02 811 5666