Sofra, Shangri-la Abu Dhabi {Brunch}

        If there is one thing that Abu Dhabi does well, it is brunch. It seems that each time I try a brunch, the experience (and yes, it is an experience) changes, and somehow continually improves. I have noticed that these hotel chefs are seriously passionate about their food and give all their effort to keep up with the madness of the competition.
With all the craziness that is Abu Dhabi (a big city packed with expats from all corners of the world trying just to get along), it is still the land where the sun is always shining and the beach is always waiting. The weekends provide some solace when people can put down their laptops, flaunt their sun hats, and try to celebrate why they live here. With brunch packages that include endless alcoholic beverages for the entire 4 hours, you can easily enjoy yourself, and then wish you hadn’t...until the next weekend.

  Brunch is on Friday. As it is the week’s holy day, it is a day to relax and celebrate. This week we were invited to the extravagant Shangri-La Hotel to experience their Friday brunch at Sofra which flaunts the hotel’s highly admired focus on the East. Chef Benali assisted in opening the hotel until 2009, before he left for a stint of over 5 years in China and Singapore. He has now excitedly returned to lead the hotel as Executive Chef and is thrilled to share his love of great food with his patrons. You will rarely find him behind the grill during brunch, but instead he is assisting his team, welcoming his guests, and sharing his knowledge and love of the food.
The food is extensive (as expected), and set up as if it were a global souk with over 10 different areas to shop for your favorite things. If you start on the right and walk in a circle (with a few zigzags) around the large room you will pass each one. But don't try to fit them all on one plate. There is a reason the bunch lasts four hours.
 1. Chinese/Asian stirfry.
2. Western Roast, featuring roasted meats, vegetable, potatoes and fish. (See the long-roasted lamb dish featured above). The crispy potato wedges, and buttery roasted carrots were soooo addictive.
3. Japanese Teppanyaki. 

4.Indian: featuring a few different very flavorful curries and lentils, and some fantastic peppers.
5.Iranian grill and Shawarma
6. Freshly baked breads spanning the globe from Germany to India.
7. Moroccan Tagines 8.Lebanese Mezze 9.Japanese Sushi and Nigiri
10.Seafood (everything from Oysters to BBQ'd langoustine)
Then...when you think you can't have any more, you realize that you have not even attempted the desserts. And the desserts are crazy!! If you have kids, BRING THEM, they are a great excuse for trying the self-serve frozen yogurt machine. (The yogurt is super tangy- as it should be). Want ice cream instead? There are about 10 different flavors.
So, I made sure to get a good tasting of a few different cakes and ice creams...All great. Then, as I took a bite of a layered chocolate cake I literally said "Oh my god!" as I realized that in between each thin chocolate layer was an equally thin layer of creaaamy peanut butter frosting. I easily polished off that slice, between 'ooo's and 'ahhs'. But AFTER all of that, don't ask me how, I managed to fit in a cheesecake square with fresh berries, and a little cup of crème brulee...and a Japanese sesame ball (SO GOOD). Oh I think I left out the dark chocolate bomb cake too.
Needless to say, Sofra knows desserts.
The service is super friendly and always trying to help in any way. So before you plan your next weekend brunch, or before you can recover from the last, you might want to try Sofra.

Sofra BLD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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