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REVIEW: The Appaloosa Brunch stands out from the bunch


Billed as Bring Your Own Friends (BYOF), Appaloosa’s Friday brunch at the Marriott Hotel Al Forsan has all the hallmarks of a thoroughbred. 

By David Young

Just as the famed horse breed of the same name stands out from the herd, this brunch quickly emerges as having its own patterns and rhythms.

Be warned though. You need to arrive on time and be ready for a feast that will span your almost four-hour feast.

Neatly labeled as To Start the Day, Appaloosa’s first round of table service is a generous array of sharing platters.

The Piggy Quanco and assorted selected cold cuts arrive together on a broad wooden paddle board, accompanied by two substantial salads, one roasted chicken, the other, quinoa.

The Quanco surprises with an apple mustard base for its San Daniele ham, rocket leaves and goat’s cheese topping. The cold cuts alongside are a welcome addition, with a little parmesan cheese and a drizzle of balsamic.

The blue cheese dressing of the roasted chicken salad brings the croutons, cucumbers, and caramelised walnuts alive. And it’s sweetly balanced by the baby tomatoes and mustard vinaigrette of the quinoa salad.

Be warned Course Two is more than you expect. The lightest of the four shared dishes is the portion of Sriracha fritters – simple corn balls of batter for dipping that pack in a little kick. The chicken wings, rolled in barbecue sauce, are sprinkled with sesame and chives, and are simply delicious.

Don’t be fooled by the menu’s reference to nuggets; as these crispy balls are certainly not modest in size. The black bean coating, flecked with crushed peanuts, and illuminated with scallions, just entices you to devour the whole lot with little thought for what’s next.

The brawny toasties are propped up on a bed of red cabbage relish and topped with curried mayo.

Save yourself though for the marquee Course Three. The grilled, Tikka-marinated butter chicken would (almost) be enough on its own. But they’re amply flanked by steak fajitas, warm tortilla wraps, and very well-presented guacamole, sour cream, and jalapenos.

You still haven’t encountered the pièce de résistance, the Bavarian knuckle. It may be huge, but there’s no struggle – it simply falls apart to the touch. The mild sauerkraut, dumplings, and dips are almost inconsequential – it’s all about the succulent meat. If you’ve left any space, this is your reward.

To round off your heavyweight title bout, the Appaloosa has saved a British classic for your dessert – a Knickerbocker Glory! Fruit, nuts, and vanilla ice-cream, it’s the perfect finish.

Take your time and pick out the nuggets of mango and pistachio, meringue and berries, and savour them. Making it to the finish line on this wonderful brunch is an achievement. If only they handed out medals…

Oh and don’t forget the Drinks Trolley: Yes, there’s an olde worlde trolley for mixing beverages any which way you like them.

Every Friday. For packages and more information, visit Marriot Al Forsan  Abu Dhabi

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