Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Sambusek launches set brunch
Cold mezzeh, hot mezzeh, main courses, desserts. Who needs a buffet when a set brunch can be so delicious and satisfying?
Head down to Sambusek, the Lebanese restaurant at Rosewood Abu Dhabi (it’s on Al Maryah Island), and try the Fan Lubnan, a lunch spread that claims to be a “set menu”. But the never-ending stream of dishes brought to the table belie this description – it easily is one of the capital’s most lavish Lebanese spreads.
The cold mezzeh comprises nearly a dozen items: mixed pickles; impossibly creamy hummus; tahini, aubergine mutabbal; three salads — fattouch, tabbouleh and olive; baba ghanoug; moudardara; kebbeh nayeh; and my favourite – perfectly moulded cheese shanklish, deliciously light and crumbly. On the side was a large basket of hot, puffy, golden Lebanese bread that was topped up as the afternoon wore on.
Next up: the hot mezzeh, a veritable mini-menu in itself – sambusek full of melting cheese; spinach fatayer; potato harra, redolent with fresh coriander leaves; and what easily was the star of the show – chunks of chicken liver in a rich, dark pomegranate sauce and flecked with the fruit’s jewel-like seeds.
But the main course was yet to come, and I distinctly heard one of my dining companions moan softly. Wisely, we decided on a 20-minute reprieve from stuffing ourselves and sat quietly, lost in our food-induced comas and staring out over the glittering water and hazy skyline.
Then we bravely signed to the waiters and they hurried to our table with a mixed grill platter – shish tawook, lamb chops and kofta kebab, served with garlic sauce and grilled tomatoes and onions – and a plate of samki harra, flaky fish in a mildly spiced sauce.
Dessert was equally arresting – a saucer of mixed bakhlawa, a large dish of fruit, and melt-in-your-mouth mounds of hallawa bill jebel.
Also to be enjoyed: the great views over the water, the softly playing Arabic music and the unobtrusive service – all in a mellow, stylish setting.
Sambusek’s Fan Lubnan brunch (noon to 3pm) costs from Dh199 per person, including soft drinks (taxes extra). Call 02 813 5550 to book.
Published: May 1, 2014 04:00 AM