It’s officially summer time again, and I’ve discovered the coolest way to soak up the sun while making the best of the weather. Last week I headed to Sofitel on The Palm to discover Moana, a seafood restaurant located in the heart of the resort. The Friday brunch offers a set menu which starts from AED 350, and includes access to the resort’s pool & beach as well. With the weather and view being absolutely wonderful, we opted for outdoor seating, and were pleased to find out that rather than the typical buffet set up, Moana offers a four course set menu that’s served to the guests’ tables.The restaurant welcomes guests with cool French lounge music played by a live DJ, and delicious Passion Fruit Mojitos.The cold starters from the menu were mostly raw, including a selection of ceviche, tataki, and tartar, but the restaurant was more than happy to accommodate our preference for cooked food. Our starters included a refreshing serving of buffalo mozzarella and tomato, a chef’s special sushi plate, gulf prawns and a prawn cocktail. The selection was light, and kept us eager for the hot starters. What I liked about the service was that despite a full house, we had undivided attention of various waiters along with the rest of the restaurant, who were checking up on everyone and serving a course after another without a delay.
We started off with a tomato soup with chunks of calamari, prawn, and cherry tomatoes. The course included Spicy Grouper Fish, Black Mussels, Grilled Sea Scallops, and Mushrooms & Tofu. My favorites from this course were definitely the black mussels, as they were the best I’ve ever tasted. The texture was softer than the usual, as the mussels were cooked with tomato sauce, chili flakes, and fresh basil leaves. The mild grouper fish spiciness was also a delightful twist to my average fish meals, while the mushroom and tofu was my least favorite -just because I really dislike tofu- but I can always appreciate great efforts by a chef.In between courses, our waiter refreshed us with a second selection of mocktails available in the non-alcoholic package. The Pomme Vanille was my favorite, a mix of vanilla syrup and apple juice. Other drink options include soft drinks, fresh juices, water, and a couple of other mocktails. The mains were definitely the highlight of the meal, they were also the breaking point, where we realized we can’t eat even half of what was being served. While all mains kept true to theme with seafood, an Italian touch was added with some Spinach Ricotta Ravioli topped with Parmesan cheese, which mixed well with the Grilled Atlantic Sea Bass. The Chargrilled King Prawns were presented beautifully upon a bed of rice topped with saffron foam. Despite the prawns being really chunky they were cooked to perfection rather than the usual serving elsewhere of having them either under cooked or over burnt. Last but not least, a plate was served with a mix of bite sized desserts which included an exciting mix of ingredients such as avocado, saffron and balsamic jelly. The passion cube which consisted of a crunchy base, passion mouse cube, and a topping of avocado sponge was definitely the best from our desserts selection.As we wrapped up with our delicious brunch, we were given access to enjoy the rest of our day at the resort’s beach and pool. The excellent service extended even after leaving Moana, which made the whole experience one to remember.
I would definitely recommend Moana‘s brunch to seafood enthusiasts looking for a family-friendly restaurant as the place was buzzing with kids.
Find more about Moana here