• CAFE BELGE - DXB FOOD DIARIES

    Posted by Jen Sahi on 29th August 2019.

Friday brunch at Café Belge is an opulent and buzzing affair. Even on a hot summer afternoon, the doors are propped open and both inside and outside terrace tables are packed with groups of good-looking, well-dressed 30-somethings enjoying the welcome Prosecco and free-flowing drinks.

This spacious restaurant boasts extremely high ceilings and an Art Deco vibe that evoke the grandeur of an elegant 1920s-era Belgian café. Add a live band performing swing jazz to the equation and you feel like you should be donning your flapper gear and doing the Charleston.

The indoor area is a bit dark and largely lit by artificial light as the outdoor terrace is fully covered and blocks the sun. Despite it being summer, the terrace is surprisingly cool. The ceiling fans and portable AC units do an excellent job, but it’s smoky from the barbecue. We’re sat inside by the door so we almost get the best of both worlds.

Many brunches these days have moved towards table service, but the brunch at Café Belge is still a proper full-on buffet with copious amounts of indulgent food situated both indoors and out, so you have to get up and do a bit of exploring before helping yourself to whatever you please.

Inside, there are gems like the fois gras station, make-your-own Bloody Mary station, sushi counter (maki rolls and sashimi), and cold seafood counter featuring caviar, oysters, crab, shrimp, clams, mussels and langoustines. There’s also a decent cheese selection with a massive oozing baked brie en croute.

Outside is where you’ll find the mains (grilled meats, pasta and risotto station and paella) plus the requisite Belgian specialties – moules marinière, curried mussels, Belgian frites with mayo, and a Stella Artois bar which gets progressively busier as the day goes on.

And those with a sweet tooth will be happy because there’s an entire room dedicated to desserts with gorgeous cakes and individual desserts on display, plus fresh crepes, waffles and ice cream.

There’s so much choice that it can be slightly overwhelming. (I honed in on the sashimi and stuck with the Aperol Spritz, while my friend remained steadfast with the grilled seafood.) But at the same time, that’s what makes it the perfect pick. It’s lively enough for large groups who have something to celebrate, but equally enjoyable for couples and smaller parties, and unexpectedly welcoming enough to bring your kids (though there are no designated kiddie activities or zones). There’s so much on offer for everyone so no one will be disappointed.

The best part? It’s currently on the Entertainer and is especially great value at buy-one-get-one-free. So if you appreciate your food, love your Stella, and want to have a bit of fun, the brunch at Café Belge is definitely worth a try.


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