Belgian Beer Cafe, Novotel Abu Dhabi Gate

Novotel Abu Dhabi Gate Hotel, while a hotel catering for business travelers, has a major draw card for residents in the city - its very own Belgian Beer Cafe. In the past it was necessary to trek all the way to the city, now there is a cafe not very far from the two bridges.

The cafe has a typical bar feel, with wood dominating. It is quite spacious, and while it is not full, the bar is very busy with those there just for a drink, creating a very nice vibe. I am joining a couple of friends, so we sit at a table. Unfortunately it is still too hot to enjoy the terrace, although that has not deterred some guests from sitting outside.

Spacious lay out
 I start off with a Duvel beer. It is heavy in alcohol at 8.5% compared to the usual 5% I get in Asian beers, but it is also a bit bubblier, or effervescent I think is the right word. It is aromatic and quite intense. Even this non beer connoisseur could appreciate it.
First beer for the night
Jabu, our waitress, took great care of us. 

After that, I order a pork platter. My platter has 3 different cuts, cheese and a simple but tasty salad.I love it.
Inviting coldcut selection
For my main course I have the pan fried fillet of cod, with caper butter and parsley new potatoes. I have it with a glass of Hoegaarden, a deliciously sweet sour beer that I find quite nice. What I like about the menu is that they do suggested beer pairings, so for the uninitiated, there is some guidance. In my case, I was able to follow a friend's suggestion. The cod is light and thankfully, not heavily seasoned. I enjoy it.

A deliciously mildly fruity beer
Well cooked cod. 

The service is what you want in a bar/cafe like this - low maintenance, warm, attentive but not overbearing. That is exactly what we got.

The only down side in the evening came when my friend wanted to leave his car  and get it the next day. The hotel charged him 50Dhs for this. I can see why they would do this, but it is the sort of thing that will deter people from having a drink and choosing to go elsewhere because they would not be able to leave their car.

Nonetheless, it was a fun night out; a very nice alternative to a hotel, and what pleased me immensely , was that there was a non-smoking section! Admittedly the hotel has a challenging location, but after my visit to the Belgian Beer Cafe, it is worth making the trip. In the cooler months with a terrace overlooking a canal, this will be an even better venue for sampling the really nice bar menu and wide Belgian beer selection.

The Essentials

Belgian Beer Cafe
Novotel Abu Dhabi Gate
(not to be confused with the Novotel Al Bustan)
02 508 9999

Starters 30-110 Dhs
Mussels 115-180 Dhs
Mains 75-165 Dhs
Dessert 30-40 Dhs

                                                                            Pictures thanks to Nokia Creative Studio on my Nokia 1520

Brandon Stoltenkamp