Monday, September 5, 2016

Crust {Friday Brunch at The Four Seasons}

As the cool morning air was being replaced by the harsh noontime sun, The Four Seasons on the beautiful Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, was opening its doors to the first ever Friday Brunch. Crust, the in-house dining establishment, officially launched its business lunch menu a few weeks ago, and now has officially launched a highly lauded Friday Brunch with a service aspect that will be hard to beat.    
The venue is small compared to some hotels, but preferred for me, as it creates a sense of intimacy and coziness.  You can choose a busy table in the middle of the floor, for the see-and-be-seen crowd, (and closer to the food) or peg one of the quieter tables in the back (with a better view of the water and city).  Either way, you will have an attentive waiter to clean your table and refill your glass.  The initial bellini or glass of champagne is a welcoming touch.
This meal starts unlike most Friday brunches here in Abu Dhabi in that you are brought a plate of caviar (just to remind you that you are in the hands of luxury).  The plump little black beads sitting on a rich dab of cream fraiche slid down all too easily before we were up from the table and engrossed in the all of the exciting foods on display. 
To start, we could not pass up the oysters, complimented by a few interesting salads that were brought around to the table (none of which had any boring spring mix or iceberg lettuce).  One nice touch is the fact that you can sit and relax while servers will be happy to bring you anything you want.  Want to sit and chat, instead of jump up and down to refill your plate? No problem, just tell your server what you want, and it will appear at your table just a few moments later. 
Personally, I actually prefer to keep doing rounds at the buffet...just to see what I missed the last time.  And at this brunch all the chefs are so proud and knowledgeable about each of their stations.  As I stood staring at the fiery hot grill of meat skewers, the chef came over to tell me about each of the offerings...the seasoned shrimp, the specialty kofta, the grilled calamari...I was sold on the skewers of grilled calamari and it was an excellent choice.
The seafood options are plentiful without being overboard.  There was grilled salmon served in a 2 to 3 bite portion (just enough). There was another 2-bite option of steamed Asian cod, which was absolutely moist and tender.  King crab legs, and a small lightly fried seafood platter were passed to each table on request.  Not to mention the seafood biryani, salads and ceviche.  All were very well executed.  
Oddly, I actually ended up appreciating the Roast section more than I expected.  The charred corn on the cob, the creamy truffled mash potatoes, the seared brussels sprouts, and the eggy Yorkshire pudding were a delicious recreation of some of the familiar foods from home.  The salad section also offered a refreshing twist.  Buffalo Mozzarella with green tomatoes, farro salad, beetroot gazpacho...were just a few of the interesting options, proving again that the Four Seasons focuses on all the details.  Where most brunches provide salads because they should, at Crust they provide salads that they know people will enjoy, and come back for.  I also liked that all of the salads were displayed in small bowls or plates (and refilled as often as needed), so that it all looked quaint and homey rather than industrious and catered.
After a plentiful course of fresh crusty breads and a varied assortment of fresh cheeses, I could feel my belly filling.  I knew it was time to move on...to desserts.  With all of the offerings, you may want to think about making a meal of dessert on its own. Cakes, cobblers, puddings, cookies, ice cream, fudge and waffles...just to name a few. Some of the best were the dense pieces of homemade dark chocolate truffle packed with toasted nuts; the nutty pistachio ice cream and the creamy (almost chewy) dark chocolate, and finally a passion fruit cream served in a little shot glass, which I found to be the perfect light finish to a meal that you really hoped would never end. 
 With all of the intricate details that were so well executed by the team at Crust, even after folding up my napkin and leaving, I felt like I had most likely missed something amazing.  And I am still sure that there are some dishes that I just did not get to, (and so have no idea what I am missing, and so can't report back to you)
....a bit of a pitiful case of only having one belly to fill and one meal to fill it on.







Crust - Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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