While the Rotana hotel brand might not be the most flash, it does get the job done and has been doing so across the GCC for many years. With an invite for the recently launched ‘Saturlaze’ brunch, I first had a visit to the Finz website to see what it had to say about the meal:
Sink into your deck chair, drink in the views and chill out while enjoying endless fresh seafood selections. Pair it with our beverages, and enjoy the ultimate indulgence: doing nothing more than enjoying the good life. Saturdays are about relaxing, getting away from the weekend chores, and spending time conversing with friends and family. That is the art of Saturlaze. Introducing its new lunch concept, Finz “Saturlaze” provides chilled beachside ambience from a DJ while chef Christian Rosse treats you with seafood creations. Bespoke mocktails and a paired vintage menu are also available.
I invited a friend from my NYUAD days, and unlike the rush I usually feel to arrive on time
and start drinking like a Friday brunch, perhaps owing to the ‘lazy’ concept, we got started not promptly at 2 PM but instead a more leisurely 2:45 PM. With the service lasting until 6 PM, I still felt relaxed and that I had plenty of time to enjoy a late lunch. Once inside, I took a step back to enjoy the interior. It’s rare the decor and ambiance of a place add so seamlessly to an experience, but in this case, the beachside chic of Finz truly lends itself to the meal. Similar to the Saadiyat Beach Club vibe, Finz has both interior and outdoor seating, with views overlooking Al Maryah and the Cleveland Clinic. For the Saturday brunch, an excellent DJ was spinning super chilled out classics.
After choosing our beverages (and placing orders for our main course), we received a seafood tower, loaded with not only (you guessed it) plenty of goods from the ocean. I especially liked how many dips there were (including a heavenly one made of butter and lemon), as well as the not quite Crudo, not quite ceviche bowls of salmon and tuna.
Once the seafood tower had been cleared, individual orders of shellfish spaghettini were placed in front of us. While tasty enough, I’m not sure a pasta course is called for here. I do love my carbs, but I might pull the raw mixes from the seafood tower and replace the pasta with a ceviche, or instead a freshly tossed seafood salad. In my opinion, the pasta was just a bit heavy.
Our mains were also from the sea. I chose a salmon filet (perfectly cooked and served up with lemon), while my dining partner opted for the grilled stone bass (which I wish I had chosen — the white fish looked flaky and tender). The dishes arrived with rice, couscous, and a selection of sauces (I like the tahini based one quite a bit).
Finally, a selection of treats (including small chocolate ice cream cones). The desserts don’t particularly shine, and I think to keep with the lighter trend of the meal, I would suggest a bowl of gelato, fresh fruit, or a chocolate mousse.
Overall, this is a well-balanced meal — one that leaves you satisfied but not over full. This is not an event to overindulge on heavy proteins and sauces, but rather a pleasant blend of dishes highlighting the ocean.
The Classic pairing runs AED275 (food and mocktails), with The Elaborate at AED350 (with alcohol). Saturdays 2-6PM.
Would I return to Finz? I’ll answer that question with a question. You know what this would be perfect for? Visiting parents or in-laws. With parents (or older relatives) in town and perhaps wanting to avoid the hectic nature of a Friday brunch, I think Finz is the perfect experience to treat them to.