Twas a fine day to be Filipino

I did not grow up eating in hoity-toity, fancy schamancy restaurants and hotels that required you don your Sunday’s best garb and behavior. Our family (perhaps because of the sheer number of hungry mouths to be fed) frequented places with more affordable yet still equally scrumdiddlyumptious food. It’s not that I do not appreciate the beauty of fine dining. I just grew up believing that good food was not directly proportional to the tag price. Even if I started to actually have the money to afford frequenting fine dining places, I still couldn’t find myself thoroughly enjoying fine dining…it just didn’t feel right.

And so ladies-who-brunch at BICE Mare, Italian seafood restaurant at Souk Al Bahar was still intimidating for me (even though I did win the brunch from Foodiva’s Italian lunch competition). Except that…

100% of the BICE Mare Friday brunch time staff were Filipino! This is certainly one of the perks that I enjoy about being Filipino in Dubai :-)

The Husband and I were led to the window side table I requested (For better lighting for photos, of course). Then the staff immediately treated us to fresh juice and Italian spring water (not just normal mineral water) as we were waiting for our two friends to arrived. One even gracefully swished the freshly starched pristine table napkin on my lap.

As soon as our two friends arrived and settled into the table, they explained to us how the Ladies who brunch worked. I appreciate the rare waiter, who does enjoy going through the menu. We each ordered different dishes per course to make sure we got to taste all the dishes off the brunch menu.

They laid down an Italian bread platter, while we waited for our first course. A fine bread platter with bread sticks and a mound of crusty bread, which seemed stone cold on the outside, but buttery warm in the center. Though bread accompaniments were aplenty: roasted tomatoes, olive tapenade and pesto, we do love our butter and requested for some.

Boy, they did not skimp on the butter as they gave us two half-inch discs of the yellow gold for us to enjoy with our bread.

We were started catching up with the goings on in our lives, then we were interrupted most pleasantly with an offer for glasses of wine to go with our meal. As we were all conscious about our budgets, we politely declined. Alcohol at lunch was too much, we thought, but they insisted. It seemed that it was a rare occasion that fellow Filipinos graced the restaurant.

And so we graciously accepted the flutes of Rose Proseco (sparkling pink wine?) and glasses of sauvignon blanc. I’m no wine expert, but I really loved how the wines went well with the food (aside from the fact that it was free!). The wine made us feel extra welcome and special, gaving us an additional layer of happy buzz for the weekend. I suddenly feel so happy to be Filipino! LOL!

And the food?

I still dream of the BICE Mare spaghetti...

My favorites were the spaghetti: surprisingly very robust and naturally al dente…

Ohhh those vegetables! The fish seemed overcooked though...

and the baby Italian vegetables with my lemon sole, crunchy, fresh and sweet. Non-al dente noodles is a pet peeve, remember? So I was a happy noodle camper :-)

Thank you so much to the BICE Mare staff for making the experience truly at home!

The Ladies who brunch menu is available daily from 1230-330PM at 120 AED per head. The meal is quite filling, so leave tummy space, ok?


2nd level, Souk Al Bahar

Dubai, UAE



Delirious about delicious,


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  1. FooDiva says

    Bless you Didi – you’re honest writing makes for very compelling reading. Glad you enjoyed your day out – and the pork room in your previous post :) x

    • says

      Super thank you! I was just lucky to win that competition of yours :) Thoroughly enjoyed the spaghetti. I forgot to ask if it was hand made…