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The Pangolin: a breakfast big enough for Ernie Els

Words by Rob Chilton

Homemade boerewors are the star of the show at this tasteful restaurant in Dubai Sports City

Ernie Els is a big chap. Standing at six feet three and weighing 14.5 stone (191cms and 95kg), the South African golfer can always be easily picked out striding among crowds of fans on the fairways.

After 18 holes at The Els Club, his picturesque Dubai golf course near Sports City, we imagine Els has quite an appetite so maybe it was he who suggested to the chef at the club’s new café/restaurant, The Pangolin, that the breakfast be on the large side.

The Mighty Skillet arrives - gulp

Els got his wish because the star item on the breakfast menu, The Mighty Skillet, satisfies the hunger of any ravenous person. Two eggs your style, homemade boerewors, butternut hash brown, beans, wild mushrooms and roast tomato (AED 89) are brought on a sizzling pan, the weight of which would challenge the strength of a pro-tour caddy.

The herby, juicy boerewors are clearly a nod to Els’ South African heritage, while the butternut hash browns are a pleasingly flavoursome alternative to the regular potato variety. Plump tomatoes, woody mushrooms and slightly spicy beans are excellent veggie supporting acts. Toss in an Americano (AED 18) and a croissant (AED 17) and you’ve tastily replenished the calories burnt on your morning round.

Colonial style interiors

Led by Australian chef Troy Payne, The Pangolin’s philosophy is to use local suppliers and make food from scratch – something that impressed EDGAR when we visited for dinner in the upstairs dining room last year – and the breakfast certainly backs that up as it tasted fresh, homely and real – especially the boerewors.

Coming from Dubai restaurateur Sergio Lopez, (Common Grounds, Tom & Serg, The Sum of Us) the space is beautiful. Greens, browns and creams create a peaceful colour scheme, while Edwardian touches blend with an African safari lodge look, plus a colonial vibe thanks to artefacts and artwork dotted around the place.

Meats are cured in-house

If you’re tempted to try The Mighty Skillet, we suggest you do a workout first and arrive hungry because it takes a lot of exercise to work up an Ernie Els-size appetite.

Breakfast served from 8am-12.30pm on weekends (8am-11.30am on weekdays).

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