The newest restaurant at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa is Sacci, an Italian restaurant with a relaxed, family feel and a focus on good, fresh Italian food and with that restaurant, of course comes a Friday Brunch – but it’s a Friday brunch with a difference as we found out…
UPDATE: Oct 2016 – sadly, the Sacci Friday brunch is no longer running though the restaurant is still in operation for lunch on weekends and dinner daily from 7pm.
The restaurant has a clean and airy feel about it – of course reminiscent of Italy, of a modern Italian eatery with old fashioned values, and the restaurant manager Matteo certainly added a warm welcome that made us immediately feel relaxed and at home.
The area is split into two areas, the main dining area and a large, comfortable lounge and bar space where you can relax with a welcome drink prior to being seated at your table.
The concept of the brunch is that of a family brunch, done the Italian way, but there’s no buffet tables laid out – all of the food is freshly prepared in the kitchen and brought straight out to your table.
Of course no Italian restaurant is complete without freshly baked bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar – and as any self respecting Italian will know, only top quality Italian oils and vinegar are acceptable!
As you sip your welcome drink in the lounge the small appetisers or antipasti are brought out to whet the appetite. We were offered beef and parmesan panini pieces and focaccia with cherry tomatoes. A great way to relax and slip into the calm pace of the afternoon!
Once you’re ready to be seated at the table, a selection of cold starters were first up, including Bruschetta, Insalata Caprese, a rocket and olive salad and a very Italian dish made with breadcrumbs, carrots and cucumber which was delicious and incredibly fresh and light to taste.
Shortly after we’d polished those off, the hot starters were brought out! These included baby octopus, cheesy yumminess wrapped in aubergine and a cheesy potato cake that was so tasty, light and fluffy you wouldn’t even know it had potato in it!
By this point we were realising we might need to pace ourselves if we were to be able to enjoy the remaining courses – we didn’t know how many there would be, but it quickly became clear there was a lot yet to come as we hadn’t even started on the mains yet!
Next up, the first plates – pizza, cannelloni and prawn risotto. All just a fresh and flavoursome as the dishes prior. My particular favourite was the Cannelloni (although I do love a good pizza too!). I’ve never been a big fan of cannelloni but this was delicious – the meat inside was so tasty, I’d definitely order that again!
Just as we thought we’d had our mains, we were told that they’d be brining out the ‘real’ main course next…! We were promptly presented with a huge plate of crumbed salmon, chicken, a big dish of meatballs in the most amazing tasty sauce, deep fried calamari and all the usual accompaniments – vegetables, roast and mashed potatoes… We were beginning to think we should have invited a couple more people along with us to help us make a dent in the dishes in front of us!
There is a lot of food, but the idea behind it is that it’s a long, leisurely lunch with friends, spent chatting and having a tipple, just whiling away the afternoon and generally relaxing in good company. And it’s an idea that I really like. I love that you don’t have to think about what you want to eat – the food just keeps coming, so you can pick and choose and I also really like the fact that there’s no interruption to the conversation with people needing to go to buffet tables and queue, or spend time choosing what to have for the next course… All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy.
After all that food we’d managed to keep a little room for some dessert… but wait, before that there’s a cheese course! The selection of cheese comes served with honey and a variety of jams – the berry jam was amazing! So deep and fruity in flavour, rich and intense…
I’m a big fan of cheese so I made a good effort to clear up my cheese plate, and then we saw dessert arrive…
Have you ever seen a dessert plate like it?! This was for the two of to share but still it was certainly a spectacle! And not just a sight to see, of course it tasted great too. There was caramel mousse, the Italian classic Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, pannacotta, a type of profiterole and too many more to even remember – but I do remember they tasted good! You can certainly be assured that you’ll find something to your liking!
And with that said too, because everything is freshly prepared the Chef is only too happy to cater for any dietary requirements and if you fancy a certain sauce that’s not on the menu – they are happy to oblige! Nothing in the restaurant is pre-prepared at all, everything is cooked fresh on demand.
Overall, there was a huge amount of food so make sure you take your appetite, but the idea is that you arrive at 12.30pm and stay right up until 4pm to relax and slowly work your way through the dishes. It’s a slow food concept, just as the Italians like to eat and surrounded by family and friends over a lazy afternoon – an idea that is a lovely approach to socialising, and we certainly felt very comfortable and relaxed in the environment. The restaurant is also very family friendly, there were several diners in with children, and of course we had Baby Arabian Notes along with us too (who happily slept through a good deal of it!). It’s also worth noting that the way the restaurant is designed means there are tables where you can find more privacy if that’s what you’d like too.
It was certainly a lovely way to spend the afternoon – we left happy, relaxed and with full bellies after enjoying this new brunch with a difference.
The brunch is priced at Dhs230 per person for soft drinks package and Dhs350 per person for the free flowing alcohol package – which I think is a bit of a bargain by normal brunch standards, especially considering the amount of food you receive! Call 02 616 9999 to book or click the links above to find out more.