Baker & Spice…and all things nice
Dubai; Officially happy 2011 FooDiva friends! I hope you managed to contain your new year bubbles consumption, unlike me. It’s been a busy first week, so much so, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to try out a new venue in town.
I’ve been meaning to pop by the latest Baker & Spice café at Al Manzil souk in the Old Town for a little while now, so with friend in tow we settled on lunch earlier today. Set in the corner as you come up the escalators from the parking, it is teeny in comparison to the flagship Souk Al Bahar location, but cute and cosy all the same with a scattering of tables outside the café-come-shop. Yes it’s not just a café, this Baker & Spice labels itself a ‘Central Kitchen Shop’ as well, with freshly baked artisan breads, scrumptious cakes, the famous salads and cold cuts selection, together with all sorts of condiments for sale. Mind you so is the Souk Al Bahar outlet.
The menu is smaller than the original location, but still offers plenty of choice. We ordered the ‘shakshouka’ for two to share; now like me you’re probably wondered what on earth is that…well Yael Mejia, the CEO and ‘patron’ as I’d like to call her labels the dish ‘soul food from Libya’. Four eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce with red peppers, garlic, chilli and olive oil – presented in the saucepan with a whole loaf of freshly baked bread to soak up the moorish sauce. Gosh it’s divine, true comfort food, and if you’re famished like I was, it certainly fills you up. So much so, that we decided to save dessert for B&S’ Souk Al Bahar café and walk it off. By the way, it’s one of the few spots in town that sells Lapsang Souchong black tea, a FooDiva favourite.
The farmers market was still going strong, but I urge you to pop by on Friday morning before the best goods disappear. Dessert for me was lemon passion meringue sponge cake, and for my friend an unusual chocolate crepe cake flavoured with rose water and pistachios. The lemon meringue was certainly passionately tasty and huge, but a tad too much sponge for my liking; I’d much prefer a traditional lemon meringue tart. My friend scored her choice very highly as it quickly disappeared off her plate.
FooDiva does love the Baker & Spice concept of bringing home-grown produce to the table, so I hope we see a few more locations spring up around town and across the region.
Lunch including our main course, tea, cappucino and cake; AED 85 per person. Baker & Spice (both locations) are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tel: +971 4 4279856.
A bientôt et bonne année a tout!