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Friday Brunch at Olea Restaurant, St. Regis Saadiyat aims to position itself at the top end of the five star hotels, in Abu Dhabi.  Expect all the usual suspects plus live cooking stations including a foie gras and ribs section along with live jazz music creating a bubbling atmosphere. Having not been to any brunches in Abu Dhabi before, it was difficult to decide on which one. Abu Dhabi has many top hotels and as it was Charlotte’s birthday I wanted somewhere special. Despite there being a large range of decadent Friday Brunches in Abu Dhabi, as an SPG member it was always going to either be the St. Regis Saadiyat or Le Royal Meridian. Although they both stand at the top end of the five star hotels, the St. Regis probably offers a more exclusive and one off experience with great outdoor seating and considering the great weather at the moment it was essential to take advantage of being outside!



Everyone out for Charlotte's Birthday

Everyone out for Charlotte’s Birthday


The Friday brunch is held at ‘Olea’, the main restaurant of the hotel and there is a vast amount of food on offer which justifies the price tag. Normally, it is 300 AED (not incl. tourist tax and service charge) per person for the cheapest (non-alcoholic) package. and 499 AED (not incl. tourist tax and service charge) In February 2015 they had 2:1 vouchers in the Entertainer and we took advantage of this.

Beef Cannoli, Ribs and Lamb

Beef Cannoli, Ribs and Lamb

English Section! Yorkshire Puds and Roast Beef!

English Section! Yorkshire Puds and Roast Beef!

Arabic Section

Arabic Section

One thing that did leave me slightly confused, is the name of the brunch –  “Jazz Brunch”. Although there was a live band of four that played mainly pop songs relatively loudly (at least since we were seated close to it), they didn’t play one single piece they played was Jazz…not that I am complaining as I loved the music, it just wasn’t what I expected!

Really good live band playing a range of old and new pop songs...

Really good live band playing a range of old and new pop songs…

When we reached our table on the terrace, there was only 6 chairs though I had a booking for 7, and in fact we needed 9 so they attached an extra table with three chairs and were very accommodating and helpful.  After this had been sorted out, we started enjoying the wide variety of food. The whole restaurant was packed and some of the more popular areas like the Sushi and seafood buffet got a bit jammed.

It can get busy at the start of the Brunch

It can get busy at the start of the Brunch

Lobsters and Crabs in the Fresh Seafood section

Lobsters and Crabs in the Fresh Seafood section

Lobsters and Crabs in the Fresh Seafood section

Prawns and Mussels in the Fresh Seafood Sections

Three of my favourite items on one plate, Paella, Pumpkin+Spinach Ravioli, and Beef Ribs

Three of my favourite items on one plate, Paella, Pumpkin+Spinach Ravioli, and Beef Ribs

My favourite area was the desert section which offered the usual array of small sized desert types, crepes, chocolate fountains, ice cream, fruits and the a very innovative fishing section where you can fish out a desert….
Different Assortments of Deserts

Different Assortments of Deserts

Catch your Deserts!

Catch your Deserts!

Funky Choclate Fountain

Funky Choclate Fountain

As it was Charlotte’s birthday the restaurant organised a complimentary cake and the band gave a little shout-out –

After the brunch we all fancied a walk around the resort, except the security stopped us and wouldn’t allow us access to some areas of the hotel. En route I heard many other people complaining about this situation. To be fair one customer had a good point in stating how does the hotel expect people to come and stay if they cannot see the facilities on offer. However as I have previously been to the hotel for the Guggenheim Exhibition opening a few months back I knew there was a shisha place on the beach so we headed there (Turquoise Restarunt) and we were all able to see the facilities on offer from there and have a bit of fun on the way…

It can get a bit of hand after a brunch, even when its been a dry one!

It can get a bit of hand after a brunch, even when its been a dry one!

Pool at St Regis, Saadiyat

Pool at St Regis, Saadiyat

Sea at Saadiyat Beach, St Regis Resort

Sea at Saadiyat Beach, St Regis Resort

Sunset on Saadiyat Beach

Sunset on Saadiyat Beach

Myself and Charlotte

Myself and Charlotte

Myself and Cara reunited in Abu Dhabi

Myself and Cara reunited in Abu Dhabi

Taking all this into consideration, I would definitely return to the restaurant. Although, I am not sure I would return for the brunch purely because I am on a diet and think the range is so vast. For me it’s quite confusing and would prefer a more specfic targeted cuisine. However the music was great, the atmosphere was fab, the staff were friendly, and the price (especially with the Entertainer) was amazing.  Finally I would also prefer a much easier access to the Shisha area post brunch rather than arguing with the security in trying to access the area and having to walk all the way around the hotel.

Adieu, Adieu…Stormy