A brunch with plenty of vitamin sea…

I will never take off my ‘I heart Saadiyat hat’, nor tire of telling the uninitiated about just how magical that Abu Dhabi island truly is. It’s a bonafide natural beauty, blessed with fairytale dunes, exotic wildlife, perfect turquoise seas, a heard of iconic cultural landmarks, super luxe five-star lairs and a blossoming culinary community.

Saadiyat Beach Club (SBC) took over the space formally occupied by The Monte-Carlo Beach Club in 2014 — so it’s been in public cognisance for more than a hot sand minute. And since the very birth of the venue, it’s enjoyed a reputation for hosting bougie crews, azul hues and the most spectacular views. It’s an unashamed celebration of leisure time luxury — cabanas in the front, party in the back — but we’re not here to test its double (pool and sea) dip credentials. We’re here to pass comment on something altogether more serious… The quality of its ‘starting at Dhs345 for the soft package’ brunch.

Inside the lowrise, bone-white building that houses the main line-up of food and beverage venues, we’re confronted with a sophist’s choice — peak alfresco season is behind us, and although those shallows-side tables on the terrace look terribly tempting, the wiseman dines indoors. So let it be. The SBC brunch is a buffet-style feast at Safina restaurant, and although we’re placard holders on the march towards a future of ‘sharing starters, and your choice of a main” — when the more traditional format is done right, it can still be immensely enjoyable.

And of course Saadiyat Beach Club does it right. The only corners cut here are from laps around the pool. There are tables lined up with intricate salad concoctions and connoisseur cold cuts, but our line of sight is suked away by a focused team of chefs searing char lines into premium cuts on the grill stations. Our plate begins to feel heavy, but the ice-chilled super luxe seafood spread is calling siren-like from the side of the room. And pizzas, big Neopolitan energy, freshly fired flat bread – topped with glinting, oil dimpled mozzarella. More impossible choices navigated, but only on the understanding that further trips will be made.

Safina puts on live entertainment for its brunching public, and the service is smart and fleet. The only ostensive reality check is in the pricing, it’s Dhs345 for the soft package and that doesn’t include a day pass (you’ll have to add on Dhs200 for that particular pleasure). But Saadiyat Beach Club was never destined to be anything less than ‘VIP, darling’. And looking absolutely flawless doing it.

Verdict: Scoring highly across the brunching board, if it’s in your price range — you’ll find few contemporaries with such experiential charm.

Saadiyat Island, Sat 1pm to 4pm, soft Dhs345, house Dhs445, premium Dhs545. @saadiyatbeachclub

Images: Provided