Brunching, Marina Style { Intercontinental }

The Friday Marina Brunch at the Intercontinental is like no other brunch in Abu Dhabi.  And it might just be the biggest party on the island...well, at 1pm on a Friday.  All three of the Intercontinental's restaurants situated on the scenic Marina, fling their doors wide open, and spill out onto the waterfront as long as the temperature will allow. The Marina Brunch is busy, which really makes the brunch feel festive, but also requires just a tad bit of patience if you might need to wait just a few minutes longer for a freshly grilled prawn.

  While you choose to be seated in one of the three restaurants, you walk to and from all of them, along the Marina, filling your plate with all of the house specialties along the way.  (And don't worry they have all of the standard brunch fare too!)  We sat in the central Circo, which focuses on Italian and Seafood with only a short hop to both the Brazillian churrascaria, Chamas, and the European pub favorite, Belgian Cafe.  While they are unfortunately not serving any of those fantastic Belgian beers during brunch, you can get your fix of fish and chips and endless bowls of their famous mussels.  If meat and more meat is your thing, choose to be seated in Chamas, where you can simply peer over from your table, watching as the searingly hot steaks are being sliced.

At Circo, in addition to pizzas and pastas, the seafood options are constantly well stocked.  Cracked fresh crab, oysters, sashimi, seafood salads, and of course freshly prepared sushi as you wait. For you cheese lovers, have no fear.  The bar at Circo is transformed into a cheese counter accompanied by baskets of house-baked breads to help you swipe that creamy brie off your plate.

When you have had your fill of the savories, dessert cake, cheese cake, panna cotta, and lots of chocolate.  However, my favorite was the genuine gelato cart, parked right outside.  Endless gelato??? Yes, please!  I mixed torrone (Italian nougat) gelato with gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) and just a sprinkle of toasted pistachios.  In this heat I could have easily gone back three times... but I thought I should probably try to save a little for someone else.

A large brunch is great because it means there are all types of guests, and this one is exactly that.  Those leisurely guests just finishing from a morning at the hotel pool, the families with toddlers and prams, and even the chic Dubai singles checking out Abu Dhabi for a change of scenery.  The feeling is very relaxed, and while the weather is nice, there is lots of flow from indoors to out.  Service was also surprisingly swift considering how popular the event is.  FYI check the specials, because all this month you can attend 2 for 1!    

Friday Marina Brunch
Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi
Book Online!
Every Friday 12-4pm

Belgian Beer Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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