Le Petit Belge is one of JLT’s hidden gems. Located at lake level of the Pullman Hotel in Cluster T, the restaurant (if you’re familiar with Dubai’s Belgian themed gastropubs) looks and feels more like a branch of Maison Mathis than the BBC (Belgian Beer Café). And that may be because both are owned by the same SWR Hospitality group. The interior, although modernist European, is warm and inviting. There’s a small, bushed-off outdoor seating area which, even though it’s starting to get really hot, is still the perfect place to sit…even in the afternoon. Happy hour is from 16:00 – 20:00 and includes a pint of Stella at AED25 and a glass of house wine for AED20. And of course, there are like a billion beers to choose from, many Belgian. Entertainer is accepted for mains.
The Brussels Sprouts Creaser Salad at Le Petite Belge is insane. Try it even if you don’t like sprouts.
The other must-try out of the trio of dishes we ordered was the Mussels Taster; decent sized, open shelled moules in a threesome of quart sized mussel pots in rich Roquefort, Garlic Cream and White Wine sauces respectively – yum, yum, and triple yum. And yes, of course, they’re served with a side of frites…or fries.
The Fish & Chips with a Belgian twist I ordered turned up in the form of a chunky fillet of cod fried beautifully fluffy and crisp in a beer batter coating on one side, and some lovely fries on the other, with mushy peas in the middle – how utterly Belgian. I found the fish coating unbearably oily. The fries were nice though.
Service was…um, more accommodating than friendly. I’ve seen more eye contact and attention from United Airlines stewardesses than the girls at Le Petit Belge. Katy Perry would probably give Taylor Swift a more genuine smile than these girls occasionally strained in my direction. In fact, in writing, I am recommending that the management at Le Petit Belge send their wait staff to Maison Mathis Arabian Ranches to learn…how to smile. Moving on, the restaurant has a weeklong lunch special (Sunday – Thursday from 12pm – 3pm) where, in their own words, you can ‘enjoy a soup of the day, choice of salad or sandwich with fries for just 52 AED inclusive a soft drink’. Good deal. Irrespective of the somewhat insensitive service, I am in love with this mini-Maison Mathis, and am making it my go-to gastropub in JLT. Try it.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.