Cosy French Fare @ Brasserie Flo, The Venetian Village Abu Dhabi

Last weekend, we made our way down to Abu Dhabi with the family, to check out one of the many restaurants in the Venetian Village. This was actually the first time that we have ever been through the grounds of The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi (where The Venetian Village lies). What was meant to be a simple lunch review, ended up being an elaborate afternoon spent savouring possibly one of the better french restaurants in this region. It was a cosy affair, meeting the manager Franck Mottais  (who actually spent some time in Cromwell, a little town in the South Island of New Zealand, of all towns!), as well as the Chef, Sebastian Pinson – who was an absolute charmer with my 5-month old girl (here’s a shot of them both)

What kind of food do they serve? How is the place like? How are the prices? Would I come back, would I recommend it to friends? Here are my thoughts :

Ambience  

One of my favourite shots from the afternoon, is this. Sun rays peeking in through between the thick beige curtains, white-washed table-clothes, red-covered comfy seats. Tables close-together. Reminds me of the little restaurants or, ‘brasseries’ in the many alleyways when we spent sometime in Paris, and Lyon. Brasserie Flo is as Franck had put it, your ‘neighbourhood restaurant’ – with regular guests coming back to dine every so often, bringing friends and family, guests when they come and visit. As someone who has lived in Dubai since we moved to this region and has gotten so used to the larger-than-life restaurants, mostly franchised, this was something different. It was homey. We liked it, so far.

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Food

We asked for them to recommend to us a few dishes to try from their ala carte menu. At a glance, the prices appeared to be extremely reasonable – considering the setting (fine-dining), with entrees between 50 AED to 70 AED (115 AED for a shrimp platter, the outlier), mains averaging at 80 AED, and desserts around 40 AED. Dubai dining seems so much more expensive than in the capital, isn’t it. 

Our afternoon started with fresh burrata (fresh, apparently flown in straight from Italy), served with grilled vegetables, provence style (65 AED) – light, and appetising, perfectly complimented with the lobster ravioli served in lobster bisque (70AED).

For mains, mum had the classic pasta – cooked with creme fraiche, pancetta, tossed with mushrooms and onions (80 AED) – delicious, not too salty, not too heavy. I went for the wild dover sole (240 AED), which after being grilled in the kitchen, was prepared next our table. Tasty, though I didn’t find it to be anything special – but that’s just me. G’s duck confit (125aed) was our favourite amongst the three, crispy on the outside and just the right amount of moist in the inside. If you were to try something out of the menu for lunch, I’ll recommend the duck.

From the desserts selection, we were recommended the menage a trois (45AED) – one of the more popular desserts in the restaurant, and we can understand why. Trio of chocolate, baked lava cake style with creme fraiche ice cream on top to take away all that sweetness. Heavenly. Honestly!

Something on the lighter end if you’re not a fan of chocolate, is the blackcurrant frozen souffle, served with vanila ice cream on a layer, and then meringue, finally decorated with forest berries (55AED). The portion for this is so generous it really can feed three. So reasonably priced, I wonder why we don’t go to Abu Dhabi more often!

Probably hard to believe but we actually could stomach in more desserts – as the chef wanted to present what would later on be served as part of an afternoon tea deal – 95 AED for all this (two other desserts not shown) and coffee/tea for – two people. If only this was just next door 🙂

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Overall 

Prices are reasonable (yes, they are in the Entertainer for mains as well) – and the food is something I would be happy to spend money on. The setting is more so for a date (it’s so romantic!), or a get-together with friends in the afternoon/evening over a few glasses of wine. Though we did bring the little one, I honestly would save it for the adults. I would be curious, as always, how the service would be like if this was not a review – do let me know if you do go 🙂 As for deals, they do have so many – try out the lunch special – two courses for 105 AED, add on another for 35AED. The one I want to return for is the Saturday evening Jazz Happy hour – 95 aed from 5:30 – 7:30pm for free flow cocktails and bites!

Many thanks to the staff, especially Franck and Chef Sebastian for taking care of us for the afternoon. 

  • Brasserie Flo
  • The Venetian Village
  • Deals : 
  • Lunch Special – Two courses for 105 AED, add one more 35 AED
  • Afternoon Tea – 95 AED for two people
  • Saturday Afternoon Happy Hour – 95 AED per person for free-flow cocktails and small bites

Disclaimer : We were guests of Brasserie Flo for the afternoon. Thoughts are our own, though it is entirely up to you to judge 


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