The Food Byte: The Coffee Club, Dubai

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I have a handful of favorite cafes in Dubai and I don't usually deviate from them. I drink coffee once in a blue moon (tea person here) but love the assortment of mini desserts that go with the coffee. There are several quaint little cafes popping up across Dubai with beautiful and Instagram worthy interiors. The hot drinks are quite pleasing to the taste buds and so are the savory bites.

Another point to note is that cafes here, at times become complacent. And by that I mean, they follow the 'if  it ain't broke, don't fix it'. In other words, they don't add new items to their menu on a regular basis. I'm not asking for a 180 of the menu. It's always a pleasant surprise when you go to your favorite cafe(s) and find something new (could be just one caffeinated drink) that makes you go, "I wonder how this will taste like".

There's one cafe, though that has improved from the last time I visited it. Australia's The Coffee Club opened it's glass doors to the residents of Dubai in the summer of 2015. They launched with a rather intriguing unbranded message ("Where will I meet you?") that really wanted me to get to the bottom of it all. It's also because I'm curious by nature. Yes, I was the nerd who asked way too many questions in class. Side note: working in the ad industry really makes you notice and appreciate the finer details of every campaign.

The launch of the cafe was a success and I quite liked the food, so much that I visited the venue on and off. I pretty much loved the vibe the cafe gave off. It wasn't your standard cafe- it felt different and you have to experience it to believe it. Fast forward to 2017 and I was alerted that The Coffee Club has a completely new menu. Of course I sped my way to the cafe and I was delighted to experience the same cool and casual vibe reminiscent from my first visit.

Located in Al Wasl Vita, Jumeirah, the cafe is a bright, airy, family and work friendly place. It's slightly larger than the cafes we are all used to and makes every visit just about wonderful. The interiors are pretty impressive with dark furniture and interesting wall aesthetics.

The staff are ever so hospitable and always upbeat, ready to recommend their best sellers faster than you can say, "What do you recommend?". One of the things I absolutely love about The Coffee Club is the all day breakfast. I've reached cafes where the cut-off time is 11am and I'm left with no choice but to forcefully select something off their lunch menu. So, the all day breakfast at The Coffee Club makes me a happy bunny. I have my days when, all I want to eat at 2.30pm is fresh avocado on toast.

The menu has a variety of items from the breakfast section to brunch, lunch, dessert, pancakes and drinks. For newbies, it may take a while to finally narrow down what will be part of the gastronomic journey. I did go through the same because the cafe revamped their menu and everything looked so delicious (can I have the Cinnamon Ricotta Pancakes with Caramalized Banana for lunch?). I digressed and our first order was a tall glass of cooling strawberry milkshake and fresh orange juice.

A freshly made Chicken Club Sandwich arrived at the table and I was quite impressed by the American-ish elements that made up the presentation. It felt like I was having a picnic in the park. The sandwich was a delight really and the flavor of the chicken made this meal acquire all the brownie points. Kudos to The Coffee Club for making a club sandwich that was enjoyable and one that wasn't greasy.

The Salmon Nicoise Pesto was up next. The grilled salmon atop the classic nicoise salad with a drizzle of fresh pesto sauce in addition to the deliciously baked chunks of potatoes makes this worthy enough to be recommended to every seafood fan. While I'm not one to eagerly reach out and consume seafood of any kind, I quite like salmon and pretty much found the grilled salmon to be cooked to perfection. Mild yet flavorsome are the words I'd use to describe this dish. It gets 4/5 stars from me and probably a full score from a seafood fan.

People who know me are aware of how much I love chicken. It's the only meat I prefer so when I spotted the Tabbouleh Chicken on the menu, I immediately ordered it. This was the first time I came across such a dish in a menu. I love, love, love tabbouleh and you (now) know the case with chicken. So, I waited with baited breath until it arrived on my table  Let me start by saying that my first bite was pretty much beyond delicious.

My taste buds were taken in for a delightful gastronomic adventure when I bit into the perfectly grilled succulent chicken, freshly made tabbouleh, giant cous cous, pine nuts and a smattering of sultanas. The medley of slightly tangy taste of the tabbouleh, coupled with the neutral cous cous and the sweetness of the sultanas made this the star dish of my afternoon. And the cherry on top? The creamy tahini sauce.

This meal is fit for a king- that's how incredibly delicious it is. I would visit The Coffee Club primarily for the Tabbouleh Chicken. It's so good and I hope this becomes a permanent fixture on the menu (I hope the team at the cafe are reading this!). Kudos to the chef for coming up with this gem of a dish!

With the main course out of the way, we were ready for dessert. One thing you mustn't do while at The Coffee Club is leave without trying their famous pancakes. I know someone who loves pancakes so much that she'd happily have different versions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And if she ever happens to visit The Coffee Club (it will happen because I will drag her out for lunch next week), she is bound to find a favorite or two in the pancakes menu!

From the Berry Pancakes drizzled in Nutella to the Blueberry Crumble Pancakes and the French Toast with Maple Glazed Peaches, the pancakes selection is a mouth-watering one. Why not indulge? We ordered the Tiramisu and were recommended to give the Red Velvet Pancakes and Famous Coconut Hotcakes a whirl.

Let's start with the Tiramisu. This layered coffee based Italian dessert is perfect for those lazy afternoons and every spoonful of fresh cream with coffee soaked ladyfingers made it a moment of bliss. I've had tiramisu previously (who hasn't?) and the difference between this and the ones I've consumed is the light and airy factor as opposed to the heavy lashings of cream. We then moved on to the Red Velvet Pancakes.

Have you ever laid eyes on pancakes this perfect? Props to the chef for presentation. It was so beautiful, I didn't want to ruin it by poking my knife and fork. The pancakes were soft and fluffy, infused with raspberry mascarpone sauce, raspberry puree and crushed pistachio. I'm usually picky with what I eat and pancakes are no exception. Hence, it was such a delight eating something so different and having a burst of fruity flavor in my mouth. Loved every bite.

Although I was full, I had to try The Coffee Club's famous Coconut Hotcakes. This is one of their best sellers and it's not difficult to understand why. Made with coconut milk batter, the pancakes are served with perfectly caramalized bananas and cashew nuts. Gordon Ramsey would be proud. While the presentation hooked me, it was the spongey pancake and the saccharine bananas coupled with the nutty cashews that made me fall in love with pancakes. As I write this, I desperately want to drop everything and head to the cafe.

I mean, wouldn't you want a spoonful of this sinfully decadent dessert?

Repeat after me: I WILL try the pancakes when I'm at The Coffee Club, Leaving the cafe without trying the pancakes would be a food crime.

We had to wash all that down with a cup of joe. Being a tea person, I quite appreciated the coffee that was served. I never understood regular java drinkers who said, "This is such good coffee" and always wondered what makes one coffee cup better than the other. I'll say this: you have to taste good coffee to know the difference. And this particular Australian cafe, makes a darn good cup of it! You may roll your eyes since a tea person is claiming this bit but hey, if I loved the cup I had, that must mean something, right?

If you aren't into coffee, try one of their milkshakes or the frappes (Chocolate Brownie Frappe, thank me later). A meal for two costs about AED 150 (drinks included).

Having said (and eaten + drank) that, all I will say is that you must pay The Coffee Club a visit. You won't have any trouble with parking (ample designated parking area), the ambience is brilliant, the service is 5/5 stars and the food is exceptional. Be prepared to savor some of the delights of Australia right here in Dubai.

I've been to this place a second time post my 2017 visit and took a friend along. She was quite sceptical because she didn't believe a "coffee place would have good food". Throughout the drive, I tried to convince her otherwise. We had the Creme Brulee milkshake, Vegetable Singapore Noodles and the Date & Pomegranate Salad. It got annoying during the meal, because every 5 minutes, my friend kept saying (in between of mouthfuls), "This is SO good". By the end of the meal, I managed to get a Coffee Club fan and we've already planned our next visit with an additional group of friends! I'm not exaggerating when I rave about the food.

The Coffee Club is located in Al Wasl Vita-  Jumeirah, Times Square Mall, Golden Mile- Palm Jumierah, Qusais and Riverland Dubai.

I can't wait to pay another visit this Thursday and try out something new! Perhaps the Loaded Chocolate Shake or the Chicken Schnitzel. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

The Coffee Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Khulood said...

Reading this made me soooo hungry. Love the pictures and i cant wait to try brownie frappe and red velvet pancakesss!!!!!

Tala said...

How did I not know abt this place? The pictures in itlsef are so good and made my mouth water. I have found my new breakfast spot :-)

Catherine said...

Sounds refreshing. You have made a believer out of me. I will be visiting Coffee Club this week.

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