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Home: Living Here: Dining Out: Flavours (Buffet Restaurant)

Growing up I always looked forward to weekends keen in the knowledge that there was something new to be done. My father always used the day for the family and it was the one day we set off on what always felt like an adventure seeking out somewhere new to eat or something new to do or better still both.

Far away from home I may be, but the chance to reliving my childhood adventures and wanting to share that excitement with my family has never waned. It has become customary to set out on a Friday to explore the wonderful country we live in. Because, just when you think you have seen everything and been just to about everywhere something new pops up to surprise us.

It was one such Friday trip took us along the coast to Abu Dhabi and then onto a Friday brunch with great food, wonderful music and a kids playing area to keep the most important members of the family happy.

Flavours at the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Resort and Towers which comes alive every evening provides the perfect brunch on a Friday morning. Flavours has all the ingredients to enable you spend a perfect Friday. And if you are an adventures person than a trip to Abu Dhabi for a family Friday brunch would not sound too outrageous to you, but rather a wonderful opportunity.

Flavours has a very open and spacious setting with a relaxed and comfortable feel that will ease the tired bones and satiate the hungry palate.

With the entire front of this restaurant boasting of full ceiling to floor windows overlooking the pool, resort gardens and even beyond to the ocean, one canít help but feel engulfed in the beauty unfolding around. Simplicity remains the key to this restaurantís environment. The atmosphere is one of happiness with lots of laughter and chatter emanating from every corner.

Before you even enter you are drawn in with the unbelievably soothing voices of the Wouter Dyck Trio who pump out the most amazing Jazz tunes that leave you feeling like you never want to leave. These three men set the scene for a lunch that is not only satisfying to your taste buds but also your ears.

I could not help but notice that many children did not make it past the play area on entry. With so much of excitement happening in their own little cove, they left their parents enjoy themselves while they had their fun. They were drawn in by the friendly and very happy staff, the bright coloured ball pit and the childrenís cartoon playing. When the hunger pangs struck, they would venture out of the area under the watchful eye of the staff and head for the specially designed childrenís buffet. Placed on the buffet were all the things the children loved to eat like sausage rolls, spring rolls and other finger foods, although I must say they were just a little too high up for the children to serve themselves.

Being such a large open area Flavours allows everyone easy movement and access. The buffet is spread over the entire restaurant which means that there were never too many people crowding in one place.

Keeping with that adventurous feel you are, like me, bound to continue discovering in this setting. Just when you think you have found all the food counters you stumble across some more. What I thought were the chefs busy preparing meals, was actually a live cooking station where Arabic shawarmas - they were succulent ones - were being prepared. Tucked down in what is the open kitchen were an array or cold Arabic mezza and the most amazing dessert selection.

Three different fresh juices are available to start the day. The fruit cocktail which I preferred was a rich blend of flavours that was chilled and great for this weather.

This was a brunch that also included a very large selection of breakfast foods for those late risers who prefer to commence the day with the more traditional dishes like cereal, dried fruits, toast and pastries, as well as some hot dishes like the live cooking area for eggs. Here, the Chef will prepare for you eggs or an omelette with a selection of other ingredients just the way you like them.

After our long drive it was lunch we were looking for, so it was straight to the salads and starters for us. We found an interesting mix which included coleslaw, potato salad and a very delicious mixed seafood as well as other interesting items. There was a variety of fresh sushi prepared continually and a large selection of cold cuts and for that added temptation fresh Oysters.

If you like to have the very traditional roast meal than you will be happy to know that there was a lovely fresh piece of roast meat along with a nice gravy to accompany it. The hot section had the perfect vegetables that is a perfect foil to the roast.

The buffet has an extensive mix of flavours from Chinese style fish, Tempura, Fried Noodles, Sweet and Sour Chicken which was one of my favourite and Chicken Biryani. Vegetable spring rolls, rice, two choices of soup and Beef in Oyster sauce as well as a large selection of other dishes that would take all day to tell you about completed the set. This is defiantly not a place you could say did not enough choices, you would be hard picked not to find something for everyone.

For the sweet tooth, and I know every family has at least one of them, you will find not only cakes like the fabulous coffee mouse cake and pastries but also fresh crapes being made with a selection of sauces.

The atmosphere at Flavours was electric where people were just having the time of there life. Nothing seemed to be rushed. Just as guests from the hotel lounged lazily around the swimming pool, so did those inside take their time to finish their meals. The music was toe tapping and one that you could join in and sing along with. The band was more than happy to take special request which made the homely feel even more evident.

The drive down was great and one that when teamed with a great brunch like this was a perfect way to spend your relaxing day off. At only 95Dhs net per adult, children 6-12 50 getting a 50 per cent discount and those under 6 free this, it works out well for a family budget.

Flavours as the name suggests combines a host of tastes. The Friday brunch is definitely an option to look forward to if you have that spirit of adventure running through your veins. by Kerry Leigh

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