By Thomas Shambler
Inspired by the ‘golden era’ of 1920s Brussels, Café Belge adds a touch of class to the Ritz-Carlton DIFC's stellar reputation
A truly refined brunch is a rarity in the UAE. The strategy for most appears to be centred on making as much food as possible – borrowing from as many cuisines as possible – in hopes that guests will gorge themselves before realising the food isn't quite up to standard.
Fortunately, that's not the case at Café Belge. The classic, 1920s Brussels-inspired décor is almost the perfect setting for a brunch. The dining room is bright and airy, and thanks to some architectural trickery you can even sit outside in some of the sweatier months. An ornate bar is the centrepiece of the restaurant and proves quite popular post-brunch.
Brunch begins with a large seafood platter, including lobsters, crabs, oysters, shrimps, as well as truffled egg, foi gras waffles and beef tartar made fresh at your table.
There's also a live mussels station (but don't fret, large saucepans full of them will be delivered to your table). Once you've successfully devoured that, a wave of six mains arrives including the likes of seared salmon, wagyu beef, and potato dauphinoise.
For those still hungry, there is also an entire room dedicated to dessert (complete with obligatory chocolate fountain). While that does sound like a lot of food – because it is – it's all suitably delicious.