Excellent bar food in a vibrant location 31 Reviews
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The Belgian Cafe at the InterContinental hotel is always busy but we were lucky enough to get a table without making a reservation before our visit. Rowdy groups of friends and colleagues putting another day to rest keep the atmosphere alive and vibrant without it being too loud and intimidating. This is a fun place to hang out, that’s for sure.
It’s a bonus then that the food is so good – you’ll want to hang out for longer without hunger driving you towards the door.
Huge plates of stomach-lining grub from Belgium (surprise!) are the order of the day here but you’ll have to have a big appetite to be tempted by more than one course.
To start we ordered the creamed mushrooms on toast and prawns in garlic. The latter reminded us of a Spanish tapas dish – the prawns were succulent, full of flavour and not the least chewy, swimming in garlic oil that we kept dipping the (rather stale) bread into. The creamed mushrooms appeared a little underwhelming on first sight, however they tasted phenomenal. Sliced mushrooms cooked in cream and then ladelled over a slice of toast, this dish is a real rib-sticker and is actually perfect by itself if you fancy a lighter meal. The mushrooms are incredibly tasty, but do remember you have more to come if you are having a main.
The mains are hearty stews and meatballs and slabs of meat; this is the stuff to help you through a long, cold winter. There are also big steaming pots of mussels which, frankly, you’d be a fool not to try.
We went for the garlic cream variety, cooked in a tantalising sauce that is not too heavy and full of aromatics such as shallots, garlic and herbs.
Do yourself a favour and leave a chip (or a frite if we’re going to be authentic) soaking in the sauce for a while before you eat it. Heavenly.
We also ordered steak tartar. This raw meat dish is definitely not for everyone but is a good offering for a casual dinner. Fresh, nicely seasoned and served with gerkins, an egg yolk and all the various other accoutrements and trappings to spice it how you like it, we had to request some mustard for the final finishing touch. Both mains were served with the fantastic Belgian frites that the café is half famous for (the other half is the mussels) and mayonnaise.
For dessert we were bizarrely told the chef was struggling to cook our Belgian waffle to satisfaction and could we pick an alternative. Dame blanche is a simple concoction of vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate fudge sauce and it turned out to be the ideal dessert with which to end our heavy meal – light and delicious tasting like more than the sum of its parts.
The bill (for two)
Creamed mushrooms Dhs55
Prawns in garlic Dhs90
Steak tartar Dhs135
Dame blanche Dhs35
Total (excluding service) Dhs465
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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