If you like Italian food, there are plenty of choices in the city to keep you happy. One that I’ve heard people talk about is Spaccanapoli at the Crowne Plaza, so we decided it was about time we investigated. The Crowne Plaza is one of those hotels that I always think of as ‘old Abu Dhabi’ – the place where everyone went before there was much else to do here, and of course this idea is compounded by its location – deep in the heart of the oldest part of the city on Hamdan Street. But with that said, every time I have visited the hotel, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I’ve found…

I’d heard the food was pretty good at Spaccanapoli and was keen to try it out, and what way to get a taste of a whole range of menu items than at a brunch?! It’s called the ‘Friday Bonanza’ and you have the choice to go along and order from the normal à la carte menu, or choose the brunch option. The Friday Bonanza brunch runs all day from 12pm to 11pm and allows you to eat as much as you want for three hours from the time you start. You can choose from the buffet and a selection of menu items including pasta and risotto, main courses and desserts with three or four choices available in each category.

I’ve got to say, aside from the ‘Friday Bonanza’ they’ve also got some great value offers for different days of the week to choose from – cheese and wine night, Wednesday seafood night and also a Saturday brunch style event, The Italian Mania where you can eat unlimited amounts for four hours at any time of day choosing from the antipasti buffet, pizza, pasta and including unlimited beer and wine!

But back to the Friday Bonanza – you can choose a range of salads, soup, Italian cheeses and antipasti favourites from the buffet, then the other items are served as a sharing style meal, where the dishes are brought to your table as they are ready for everyone to get stuck straight into.

We were impressed with the quality of the food – of course the pizza was a guaranteed winner, but the fish was also delicious and the chicken legs disappeared pretty quickly! It was all really tasty stuff and of good quality – the plates were all pretty bare by the end!

But the best thing of all about this brunch has to be the price – it’s really very good value at only Dhs125 per adult including soft drinks and water and just an extra Dhs89 if you want to add the free-flowing alcoholic drinks package. You pay more than Dhs89 for just one glass of wine in some places!

The restaurant became busier and busier as the afternoon went on, but it never became too overcrowded or noisy. It’s also a family friendly restaurant with high chairs available and kids aged 6-11 dine at half price and little ones 0-5 eat for free.

NOTE: if you have a pushchair there is quite a staircase you’ll need to take to reach the restaurant so you’ll either want to leave it at home or if you do need it for nap time, ask the staff to use the service lift.

You can find the restaurant menu on the hotel website here.
Buon appetito! :)