It has been some time since we last visited Amerigos, the Mexican themed restaurant at the Park Inn by Radisson on Yas Island. Renowned throughout the capital as a particularly lively Friday brunch with a family friendly focus and complimentary pool access — we’re sold!
Sometimes it’s nice to spend the weekend in shorts and flip-flops and the popularity of this offering is immediately evident as a large queue snakes out of the door as we arrive. The pre-paid nature of a brunch like this is usually indicative of a situation that’s likely to involve heavy drinking, with the venue securing their revenue before things get out of control and we’d strongly recommend advanced reservations if you wish to dine al fresco on the terrace.
Dubbed the Acapulco Friday Brunch, the concept of a Mexican-inspired fiesta is certainly appealing for those in search of an outdoor brunch. With a full buffet of Tex-Mex staples laid out in cardboard cutouts resembling food trucks and market stalls, it’s a colourful and vibrant proposition. Taking on the feeling of a street food market the food selection is relatively small (Amerigos is more of a drinkers brunch) though all bases are covered. Tri-coloured nachos, fresh guacamole and made-to-order ceviches are piled generously onto plates, while a soundtrack of Reggaeton and Spanish pop music (yes you will hear Despacito on more than one occasion during the course of this brunch) plays in the background.
Live-cooking comes in the form of quesadillas (the chicken is particularly good) and tortas, a gourmet Mexican sandwich. Despite the expected burritos and enchiladas missing from the equation, diners can find solace in seafood paella and the parilla grill, serving up freshly grilled shrimp, beef ribs, lamb t-bone and chicken adobo.
From a foodies perspective, the desserts are the strongest point of this brunch, with crisp and doughy churros covered in a cinnamon sugar being the highlight. There’s also plenty of ice cream, apple stuffed empanadas, and the obligatory tres leches cake to work your way through.
As more of a drinkers brunch, the choices outside of the usual grape, hops and house spirits are what help to invigorate the party atmosphere of a brunch like this. It’s hard not to enjoy the alfresco dining experience with a signature Margarita in hand, or why not take things up a notch with the CoronaRita – a Margarita with a Corona beer poured in for good measure.
Fancy mixing your own drinks? Then the Michelada bar is for you. Where you can concoct your own mixture of Mexican beer, hot sauce, lime and tomato — not for the faint of heart! Don’t forget the tequila… lot’s of tequila!
Granted it was over two years ago, but we remember our previous visit to Amerigos revolving around far more traditional Mexican food offerings (Pozole, Panucho Yucateco, Chiles En Nogada). It’s a real shame these more traditional dishes aren’t included in the brunch offering and it feels like a missed opportunity to educate diners in some of the more obscure aspects of Mexican cuisine in addition to the expected nachos and quesadillas.
Much like our recent review of the Eat, Play Laugh brunch at the Marriott Downtown (which also includes pool access), the Acapulco Brunch is less one for the foodies and more of a brunch to kick back and enjoy the atmosphere. When it comes to Mexican food in the UAE we strongly believe that Dubai’s Peyote reigns supreme and part of the problem with this specific brunch is that there was not one dish that appealed enough to make us want to return in a hurry.
There’s little doubt that the Amerigos brunch offers good value for money (packages start at AED 190) but at times the service becomes overwhelmed, resulting in long waits for drinks. But as The Four Tops sang on their 1988 hit single “You’ll be going loco down in Acapulco, if you stay too long,” This is how this brunch feels. The atmosphere is lively, the drinks free-flowing and the complimentary pool access is certainly appreciated, but as things wear on it can get a bit too raucous.
If over-sized sombreros, a drink and a dance are your thing, then look no further than the Acapulco brunch.
Location: Park Inn, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Social: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter
Hours: 12pm – 2am
Phone: 02 418 2575
Out & About UAE were guests of Amerigos. All views are our own and photographs are © Out & About UAE.