Have guests in town you want to bowl over with a spell binding Dubai Brunch? In the mood to splurge a little to appreciate some very fine food? Craving for some unparalleled seafood, fantastic desserts & memorable cocktails? Café Belge sets forward a Friday brunch that just might be the answer to these needs.
From oysters to lobsters, clams and shrimps, this exquisite Friday brunch rolled out at the Ritz Carlton, DIFC is genuine gold for the seafood lovers. The brunch unconditionally spoils its guests, in that the dishes are all delivered to the table at their whims and fancy. You can of course stretch your legs to stroll around the gardens or the outdoor seating, but if you decide to recline and not budge an inch until its time for desserts, that’s okay too! The dessert room, yes there is a room for the desserts obviously, is a fairy land for the kids and adults alike with chocolate fountains, giant chocolate blocks for shavings, waffle stations, macaron- cupcake – cookie jars and what not.
At the onset, a ravishing seafood platter loaded with a selection of “Crustaceans and Shellfish from Europe” arrives at your table. Dubai’s current favorite, “dry ice” is triggered for the required smoke and theatrics to grab your attention into the job at hand. And what a wonderful job it is! Oysters wedged open beside your table by expert hands, drizzled with lemon and extended to you with a “you are in for a treat” kind of reassuring smile. Crabs and clams to relish upon, with prawns and lobsters to lavish on! Everything the platter held was as fresh as fresh can be, separately supplemented with Belgian mayonnaise & Mignonette sauce, if you do not fancy the raw and original flavors of the sea.
The starters came around soon after, in beautiful portion sizes. Smoked salmon with herring caviar, tuna tartare with potato chips, foie gras waffle bites, truffle scrambled egg, fish terrine with cocktail sauce and warm truffle brie – all in bite-sized quantity that was perfect to enjoy the dish avoiding any sort of wastage. Absolutely delicious tuna tartare and smoked salmon had me giving increased respect to the world of seafood. Anything with truffle in it is bound to be exceptional – hence the scrambled egg and truffle brie were promptly devoured.
A live trolley rolled to a stop next to our table, where gorgeous looking meat fillets were handled with love by the sous Chef in preparation for a sensational beef tartar. Although mixed with simple onions and capers, the tartar was perfect, owing to the fresh, high quality meat, yet if raw meat is not your thing, you could skip over to the mains.
Coming from a land & culture where eating raw meat is scorned upon as badly as say, mixing your paella with pasta, I get many a raised eyebrows from my friends & family when I tell them about the beef tartare or sushimi I enjoyed. Do you enjoy these delicacies? Is it an acquired taste or a built in inhibition? Whats your take on uncooked seafood and unseared meat?
The mains, aaah. Now this is what I had a problem with. Don’t get me wrong – each of the dishes were worth extending compliments to the chef. But my issue was with the portion sizes.
Slow cooked short rib
Seared Sea Bass
Moules champagne cream, and
With a menu as amazing as this, we were unable to enjoy the food, the way it deserved, because of the gigantic portion sizes. Even though the dishes were for the table to be shared by two of us, the quantity made no sense, what with 4-5 pieces of legs and thighs in the braised chicken dish, a whole sea bass seared, so on and so forth. The mussels in champagne cream were beyond delicious – some of the very best I have had in my short culinary journey. Yet a pot full of them was heart breaking as I contemplated the wastage involved. As for the slow cooked short rib, let me tell you THIS by itself is worth your trip to the Café Belge brunch. Succulent meat that deserved every bit of attention and cooing we gave it at the table.
The dessert buffet spread looked better than a bride on her wedding day. I’m not even exaggerating! Pecan tarts, Chocolate mousse, cheesecake, lemon tarts, baked apple & rhubarb, crispy hazelnut cake – Oh, I could revel on and on. But you see my point? It was varied, vibrant and worth the while. Warm Brussels Waffles were topped with a glossy callebaut chocolate sauce and my Mister had his share of fun shaving out chocolate bars to sprinkle on my waffles. Since his entertainment involved chocolate, I did not object.
Something else noteworthy about the Café Belge Friday brunch is the service. Professional, warm and friendly – they knew when to step in and when to leave us be. They suggested, commented and joked, all in good spirits. They made all the guests (as far as my wandering, spying eyes would cover) feel at ease and the caviar lady and the saxophone gentleman were just so wonderful to have around! I only wish the Chef and the management would look at drastically reducing the main course portion sizes or revamp the manner of serving it – maybe a taster first and then the full dish on request? Either ways, that corrected, I would be elated to give the Café Belge Friday brunch an easy 10/10 for their fantastic food, killer good cocktails, fine ambience and near perfect service.
Café Belge Alfresco Brunch
12.00pm – 4.00pm
Three packages are available:
– AED 325: Soft beverages
– AED 450: Belgian beers by the draught, wine & signature cocktails
– AED 575: Champagne, Belgian beers by the draught, wine & signature cocktails
Café Belge is located at The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, Dubai and is open daily from 12pm-2am:
Reservations: 04 372 2323 / email@example.com
FoodKissed was an invited guest at the Café Belge Friday Brunch. All opinions and suggestions are on the basis of personal experience, honest and unbiased. Please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments below. Stay FoodKissed 🙂