Dubai has a new chic café

Comptoir 102 Cafe terraceEvery now and again, Dubai surprises us with the opening of locally conceptualised eateries, and Comptoir 102 Café is just that, and more. The converted villa’s retro Scandinavian interior overlooks an ever so chic Arabian courtyard, whilst the wraparound terrace hides away the hustle and bustle of the beach road. We lunched there al fresco, but don’t fret with summer knocking on our door, inside with its bookshelf wallpaper, is just as pretty.

Comptoir 102 Cafe - daily changing menu


There’s a two-course daily changing menu, plus the option of dessert so what you see here is what we ate, but you won’t get the same combo another day. In addition, there’s a small selection of wraps. Juices and smoothies are made on the spot, evident in my rather tasty beetroot and apple purification juice. The menu has been developed by American chef Chris Clark (don’t worry I had to google him), a nutritionist and macrobiotic expert who specialises in low-temperature cooking, steaming, blending, and food combining. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced like the wonderful Baker & Spice, of which some are even grown in-house and others organic and gluten-free. Dishes are prepared with techniques designed to boost digestion and maximise nutrient assimilation.

Our food is certainly healthy yet filling. The tuna, egg and veggie spread with accompanying crudités are wholesome and moreish, whilst the rather unusual salad of crunchy green beans with julienne strips of refreshing, juicy and very seasonal mango makes for a hugely palatable combo. My only qualm is the two main courses (veggie stuffed tomatoes and steamed veggies) are a little lukewarm – not sure if this is intentional in spirit with the macrobiotic ethos, but I would have preferred them hot.

Our startersStuffed tomatoes mainSteamed green veggies with egg

Comptoir 102 CafeFor a weekday lunch, the place is busy, but then again there’s only a handful of tables. Service is prompt and pretty switched on. At AED 75 for two courses, Comptoir 102, named after the villa number, offers good value for money. But beware, the integrated lifestyle store it sits in, whilst housing some covetable and quirky home accessories, is ridiculously expensive. I may treat myself to the bird cage lamp though 😉

Comptoir 102 Café is located on Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite The Beach Centre mall. T; +971 4 3854555, E; Open daily 8.30am to 7pm. Two-course menu AED 75, plus AED 18 for dessert.

Fellow food blogger, Pear Tree Diaries’ review is here.

Have you been? What’s your take on it?

A bientôt!

FooDiva. x

P.S – if you fancy a Philips and Jamie Oliver steamer and hand blender, click here to enter the competition.

P.P.S – whilst on the subject of local ingredients, I have started penning a monthly column for Atlantis’ F&B customer newsletter – click here for my musings on seasonal produce.


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    Cafes, Dubai, International, Jumeirah, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants
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16 Responses to “Dubai has a new chic café”

  1. forkitoverdubai May 27, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I have heard of this place. Super excited to try home grown concepts any day. Love that the menu changes, and seems like its great value for money. Like it already.

    • FooDiva May 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      When it comes to cafes, home-grown concepts are gaining momentum – we just need more high end restaurants. I must admit I’ve not heard anything negative on Comptoir. Let me know how it fares for you.

  2. GA May 27, 2013 at 9:20 am

    What is it with all these little cafe type places that they think they can justify an arm and a leg for their kitchen accessories, Tavola and Lakeland are bad enough as it is 🙂

  3. Kelly May 27, 2013 at 9:59 am

    This looks good!!!!! I envy the many choices of cafes and restaurants you have in Dubai!!!

    • FooDiva May 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I wish these new openings would slow down so I can catch up reviewing them!!

  4. Melanie May 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

    A real gem of a place with exquisite style. Best veggie food I have had in Dubai. Loved the (out of my price range) shop too. The bird cage lamps were delightful.

    • FooDiva May 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      And thanks for accompanying me Mel 🙂

  5. Nadia El Adrou May 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I will definitely visit it this days before it gets hot!!!!

    • FooDiva May 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      You’d better go this week Nadia as it’s starting to get a little humid – we’ve had it good this year though! Having said that it’s just as pretty inside.

  6. alasdair May 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    love the design and atmosphere of the place – very NON dubai and probably the best integration of west meets east i’ve seen in a long while – chapeau!

    although i liked the concept of the food i was rather disappointed, possibly expecting more of a WOW effect induced by the surroundings. however the saturday brunch is delicious and a lovely alternative to the standard places in dubai.
    the owner is a gem – very friendly and eager to explain the concept and the stories behind some of the very tempting design pieces on sale. i definitely look forward to long afternoons in the courtyard after the summer heat has passed.

    • FooDiva May 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      The food is good wholesome fodder in keeping with the price point, but yes you’re right Alasdair no wow effect. So is there another brunch menu on Saturday? I went on a Sunday. Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  7. shy May 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for this Foodiva…was out ta couple of weekends ago and couldn’t for the life of me figure out where this was…
    Would love to check comptoir 102 soon…good to know they have healthy lunch option’s and a big YAY for sourcing local produce….

    • FooDiva May 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      So easy to find Shy…smack bang opposite Beach Centre, but do slow down as the signage is a little discreet and you may miss it. Appreciate the comment as always 🙂

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