The weather was so pleasant in Dubai yesterday, it was almost magical. Now I know it has been raining and drizzling on and off all of last month, but the drizzle yesterday just felt like a blessing. A cool breeze and cloudy skies are a rare treat in Dubai and simply must be celebrated by crowding the outdoors, and so we decided to head to one of our favorite spots: Cafe Bateel in Jumeirah Town Center.
What I love about the Cafe Bateel in JTC is that it’s got ample seating both indoors and outdoors, in addition to a bakery, and ample gift options from their retail store which is a regular go-to place for me to pick out last minute presents. Additionally, the outdoor seating is semi covered with a glass roof, so we got to sit outdoors but not get drenched in the rain. It just couldn’t get better than that.
Bateel is our favorite place for some dessert and Arabic Gahwa (coffee). This gahwa is the closest thing we can find to the Hijazi gahwa M and I grew up guzzling and loving. That, and the Sticky Toffee Date Pudding paired with yogurt ice cream is seriously our kyrptonite and keeps pulling us back for more.
Yesterday, however, we decided to have lunch there too, because for once we hadn’t already eaten and it wasn’t just our sugar and caffeine craving that lured us there. Their seasonal menu for spring had some good looking options, so M and I decided to share an Asparagus Soup, some Burrata, Braised Beef Cheek, and a serving of Norwegian Grilled Salmon– all comforting dishes in the chilly weather.
The asparagus soup was smooth, creamy, hearty and had well-balanced flavors.
The Burrata was not the best I’ve had, it was quite tasteless. I did enjoy the warm artichoke, fava bean, asparagus and lemon confit with it though.
The braised beef cheek came with a hearty stew of potatoes, glazed carrots, and turkey bacon in a rich beefy gravy. It was well cooked and tender, but do bear in mind that beef cheek is a fatty cut. Minus the fat, M enjoyed this a lot. He said it reminded him of a home cooked meal his mom would make.
The Norwegian grilled salmon I went for was well cooked, and I liked that it didn’t have any skin but instead a nice crust. It was placed atop a light quinoa risotto with asparagus, peas, fresh coriander, zucchini and Iranian dry zaatar and lemon sauce. This was easily the best form of quinoa I’ve ever had. I usually loathe quinoa, especially when it’s in the form of a cold salad, but this was rich and flavorful (even though I really didn’t pick up on zaatar or dry lemon), and reminded me of my mom’s pea and rice pilaf.
I don’t know if you picked up on it, but I love asparagus like it’s nobody’s business and am so happy it’s in season, yay for Spring!
Dessert was naturally one order of sticky toffee pudding with yogurt ice cream, and although I knew M won’t share it with me at all, I decided to try the Kohlas Pecan Pie. As the name suggests, it was a date and pecan pie and was absolutely delicious but towards the end of it, I realized it would have been better if it was paired with some yogurt ice cream too. Also, you might have to ask your server to warm it up, if like me that’s how you prefer it.
The Sticky toffee pudding needs no introduction nor elaboration, but man oh man, I could write a love song for how perfect this dessert is. Is it the perfect texture and well-balanced sweetness? Is it the slightly tart yogurt ice cream on top that gives the umami? Or is it the candied pecans that give the textural contrast in the form of a pleasant crunch? I have trouble deciding if I like this version better, or the one at Seven Sands, I don’t know. I just can’t decide. I mean, come on, who can ever pick which child of theirs to save, right? I’m just so grateful to God that both these places exist in a land that I live in. Haha.
I don’t even need to assure you I’ll be going back for more, this is one of my frequently visited spots.