You Gats-To-By kidding – this brunch has the best food in Dubai!
This brunch is a SECRET we won’t be keeping to ourselves!
REVIEW: Secret Brunch at The Ritz, Cafe Belge
In the land of brunches, what really sets apart a good brunch from a GREAT brunch? On this occasion, it’s a Secret we are willing to share…..
There’s a golden combination of elements that must come together to create the platinum tier of brunches and those are venue, food & drink and entertainment. There is one company who have revolutionised how we really “do” brunch in Dubai – and that’s Secret Parties. Carefully selected venue partners complemented by a specially curated food and drink offering as guests enjoy the cream of the crop of Dubai’s entertainment scene.
Secret started off true to their name – where the location for the brunch was a secret and guests weren’t informed of the location until the day before. Quickly their reputation became synonymous with the ultimate in party brunches, and they set about dominating the fixed brunch scene entirely.
And that’s where we come to Secret Brunch at The Ritz DIFC. Some time in early 2019, Secret Parties launched its first fixed brunch offering within The Ritz Carlton DIFC at Flair No. 5. Then in 2020, they added a second Ritz brunch to their already impressive roster in the form of The Secret Brunch at Café Belge.
Café Belge is a beautiful, 1920’s inspired Belgian restaurant and bar featuring a stunning mystical Sunken Garden, in the heart of DIFC.
From the moment we step in to Café Belge, Secret Parties comes us at from all angles – and we’re not mad about it! The roaring 20s are calling and we are most certainly answering! On entry, we are greeted by two beautiful and flamboyant, feathery white can-can dancers along with the signature SECRET light up letters. We know we’ve come to the right place and the party begins on arrival!
One of the ultra glam hostesses escorts us to our seats outside in the Sunken Garden area – a perfect enclosed patio which manages to stay cool thanks to air-conditioned units and the high walls surrounding the area. Let’s get down to business, we’re at Secret Brunch for a good time not a long time so we get our drinks order in with haste.
There are 4 drinks packages on offer – soft drinks, house, sparkling and champagne. We’ve chosen the champagne package because, well, go big or go home we say! And, as we’ve chosen to do the staycation package also, this is now our home for the night too. The staycation package includes your room (for 2), house brunch (we paid the difference) and breakfast in the room all for only AED 1300, it’s a pretty great deal and one we’ll definitely be cashing in on again.
Our drinks arrive pretty swiftly after ordering so already that has set the tone right for the day (let’s all just agree that this element makes or breaks a brunch). Well, if we were excited about the drinks we had no idea what gastronomical feast awaited.
The atmosphere is elegant and fancy with a hint of mischief in the air. We chose to sit out on the courtyard which is an outdoor space with open sides and high ceilings, so you get the al fresco vibe but not the heat, which in the hot months is appreciated.
There are olives, tapenade and (fancy) crackers on the table for us to snack on as we peruse the menu – for info, the house package there are all the usual suspects in terms of spirits, espresso martinis and wine (rose, white and red). I’ll hold my hands up and say I’m a bonafide rose snob. I’m THAT person that asks to see the colour of the rose before I order it (or if I have the name I google it myself because I’m nice like that). And let me tell you – the rose here is the perfect pale pink Provence-style rose that I was looking for!
Not long after we sit down, our food arrives which are shared, family style starters. Family style dining is quite a common concept in Dubai and something I was first introduced to in Nobu – you don’t order for yourself, you order for the table (us Brits like our meals to ourselves, lets be honest). There were 7 of us and we were served quite the feast. A (huge) chilled seafood tower arrives, which to be honest would have been enough, it was packed full! There was also a delish green bean salad and some sushi.
Next up, the mains. If the starters hadn’t been enough to convince me I needed to come back to Café Belge and eat all the food, then the mains truly sealed the deal. My only regret? I didn’t have on sweat pants to make room for all that food. You know the food has been a hit when you are all still talking about it the next day!
As the desserts came out, which were a show in themselves, the party really got going with dancers, sax and the DJ playing music to drive us to our feet (with current restrictions though, we had to make do with doing our best upper body from a seat dancing).
All in all, it’s another great hit from Secret Parties, a brand that continues to shock and delight with their special formula of brunch. We’ll be back there soon, we imagine – the rose alone sold that to us!