Brussels Breakfast at: Belgian Beer Café, Radisson Blu Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

The Brussels Breakfast at Belgian Beer Café. Courtesy Belgian Beer Café
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The location

The Yas Island incarnation of the popular Belgian Beer Café has perhaps the most inviting interior of the three outlets across the capital — it certainly feels less claustrophobic than the InterContinental Hotel’s version, with the social bonus of several big screens showing sports. The terrace is open now, although the airy interior ensures that you won’t necessarily be gagging to get out into the (hot) air.

The atmosphere

As you might imagine before noon, the general ambience felt fairly chilled, with a live duo playing smooth pop standards for spells of the breakfast’s four-hour duration. The other diners when we visited were mostly couples, although we did spy one or two larger groups who looked dressed-up ready for brunch. Service was a bit rough round the edges. We were slightly press-ganged into ordering a couple of the small plates (“So I’ll bring you the organic yogurt pot and the hot smoke salmon,” we were told, before having the chance to select anything ourselves). Attention to detail was slightly lacking at points, too: for example, a fruit-juice order (orange and pineapple) for our table for two was presented the wrong way round. It’s the little things.

The food

There are four main sections to the menu: small plates, eggs, waffles and larger plates. The pick of our starters was the ricotta hot cakes (which could equally have been labelled “pancakes”), with bananas, strawberries and vanilla butter. However, not everybody appeared to agree — a diner on the next table seemed to mistake the ricotta element for undercooked batter and called a waiter over to ask if his dish was cooked properly. Oops. Elsewhere, the chicken and waffles — featuring crispy fried chicken with spiced maple syrup and vanilla butter — was a sweet-and-savoury pick-me-up, despite being mounted on a single, overcooked waffle. A barbecue was fired up on the terrace from noon, too, although by that point we were already too stuffed to contemplate a plate piled with charred meat.

Who’s it best for?

Those looking for a generous, hearty breakfast without resorting to hotel buffets, or anybody who fancies a pre-brunch wake-up call to ease into the day.

The verdict

Ignoring the service hiccups, the Brussels Breakfast is a satisfying way to start the day in relaxing surrounds.

• Fridays 10am to 2pm. From Dh150 to Dh216 per person, including taxes. Belgian Beer Café, Radisson Blu Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Reservations 02 656 2407.

The National was a guest of the restaurant.