Love at first bite

Huevos rancheros - Bystro

Huevos rancheros – an iphone snap with no filters 🙂

Dubai; Earlier this year I wrote about one dish worth the drive to Abu Dhabi, well I’ve now eaten one worth rolling out of bed, wherever you are in the world, Mexico included.

It’s goodbye to Baker & Spice’s shakshouka for now, even though you’ll always have a place in my tummy, and good morning huevos rancheros. Admittedly I scoff mine for a tardy Friday lunch at a new café in Al Manara (next to Jones The Grocer), Bystro – not to be confused with vegan pop-up Bestro at Lafayette Gourmet. More on that soon.

It’s a popular rural Mexican breakfast dish translating to ‘rancher’s eggs’ that comes in a few variations, but here it’s served in a skillet with a base of two soft tortillas, topped with a couple of fried eggs sunny side up, generous dollops of refried pinto beans made in-house, lashings of tomato salsa with a tinge of sweet chutney I think, and melted Monterey Jack cheese.

Looking at it you may be tempted to share as we do, but this dish is so deliciously good, so wonderfully moreish and oh so nourishing that had it not been for my pending salad I nearly order another one…just for me. And wait for this, it’s only AED26. Now surely that’s worth getting out of bed for.

Beetroot houmousCrispy confit duck salad

I can also vouch for the luscious beetroot houmous with crumbly, home-made focaccia (AED18) and a crispy confit duck salad tossed with roasted plums, water chestnuts, radishes and sweet chilli dressing (AED56) – the latter gluten-free of which the menu boasts quite a selection. The breakfast menu is extensive and on weekends available all day, sharing the limelight with some quirky burger and sandwich combos, plus mains. It’s more international than European. And if you have a sweet tooth, there’s a mammoth range of Tuscan pastries from the deli counter (the Australian owner’s wife is Italian). For a change, we have a café in Dubai that prides itself on offering a good selection of leaf teas (including white silver needle), not just coffee.

Bystro - DubaiThe décor is a tad utilitarian but a clever and impressive design of wooden slats shields the near-exposed ceiling. What it really needs though is more people to give it the buzz it deserves. In case you’re wondering as I do about the Y in the Bystro brand name – the story’s a little long-winded that I will leave the team to happily regale you with. But let’s just say, it’s partly inspired by a similar word in Russian which translates to ‘quickly’ – and quick the service is – as it is knowledgeable, authoritative yet relaxed. But my cover is blown so take that with a pinch of salt…or a portion of huevos rancheros.

How do you like your eggs?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

  • Al Manara, next to Jones The Grocer, off Sheikh Zayed, Dubai
  • +971 4 3378056
  • European, Italian, International
  • AED 75 per person
  • Open Sunday to Thursday 8am - 6pm and weekends 8.30am - 6pm
  • https://www.facebook.com/bystrodubai
Reserve with RoundMenu
  • Posted under
    Al Manara, Cafes, Dubai, European, International, Italian, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants

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21 Responses to “Love at first bite”

  1. Dave Reeder May 21, 2014 at 9:39 am

    A classic brunch staple – this looks like an excellent version at an impressive price point. I remember some great ones in Miami Beach with a few glasses of mimosa…

    As to the name, it used to be thought that the French bistro came via the Russian occupation of Paris in 1815, when Russian officers wanted feeding quickly – bystro! Now it seems that the word can’t be found in written French before the end of the 19th century. Smart linguist money now centers of an aperitif called a ‘bistrouille’. Go figure.

    • FooDiva May 21, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Incredibly good value Dave. It would cost more to buy the ingredients and make it at home! Agh you spoilt the surprise. I wanted to leave the owner to tell customers that story 😉

    • Josh May 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      Spot on Dave, on both accounts.. Josh from Bystro

  2. Reem Al Shamsi May 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    That looks yummy! I love eggs. I’d list all the ways I like them prepared, but it would take too long. My current favorite is eggs benedict, which sadly was nowhere on the menu. Still, lots of great options to choose from. Oh and the desserts were amazing. We tried the toffee pudding which, although unconventional, was delicious.
    I can also assure you that the service is knowledgeable and friendly as this guest diva was not recognized 😉

    • FooDiva May 21, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      I think they are trying to be a bit different with the menu Reem, steering away from the usual staples and hence dishes like huevos rancheros instead of eggs benedict. Must admit am a sucker for the latter too – in fact give me a runny egg, any day, in any form! Glad to know the service is consistently good 🙂

  3. Anon May 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Good, quick review – first 2 paragraphs roped me in to the finish (a rarity for me since I am a skimmer). I passed by this place after 10PM the other day but it was closed, so ended up buying ridiculously expensive Honduran coffee from the Australian next door…On the assumption that the food is as good as you say, I find the fact that the bistro is facing a highway, rather than a green or a beach, a little off putting…but I’ll get there eventually…

    • FooDiva May 21, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks Mr Anon 🙂 I too am a skimmer if that helps, but then again who isn’t! They did open for dinner to begin with but I think it was pretty quiet so they decided to close early. We need to get more people there. Shame there isn’t much of a view, but then again that would come with a higher rent and possibly higher menu prices. I do like the fact that Al Manara is becoming a bit of a foodie strip though.

  4. noreen - the vanilla bean dream May 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I have to come back for breakfast. We went for dinner right when they had opened, great service. Loved the duck confit salad and the haddock fish cake was fab. I love that they serve JING tea as well. Hope they do well!

    • FooDiva May 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      It looks like they now close early (6pm) which is a shame Noreen. I spotted the haddock fish cake for next time 🙂 I should have mentioned the tea was Jing so thanks for bringing that up. We do need more cafe concepts so I hope it will get busier.

      • Josh May 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

        Hi Foodiva. We are just closing at 6pm at the moment to really concentrate on our breakfast and lunch trade until after the summer/ramadan is over, then it will be back to 10pm on the evenings. Josh from Bystro

        • FooDiva May 23, 2014 at 8:33 am

          Great Josh. I sent a couple of friends there on Sunday before I realised you had changed your opening hours so it’s good to know you will open for dinner. Out of interest, will you have a license to open for lunch during Ramadan? I will be running a post on independent restaurants open for lunch.

          • Josh May 23, 2014 at 11:32 am

            Just in the process of finalizing Ramadan. I will let you know on Monday after a little trip to municipality..

  5. Christophe September 19, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I went today after hearing few comments about it and I have to say we were (6 friends) very disappointed with the food. The place is cool, no doubt about that and the staff is very friendly (even though a bit slow for the food to come – it was busy, I give them that) but the lunch food is far from good. Beetroot Hummous is great, no problem there. Then we had: Fish and Chips (Chips good, Fish no taste), Veal Milanese (Poor meat and cooked in old oil/butter – at least both plate we had on the table), Burger (what’s with the patty? Looked and tasted like processed meat – half of it went straight to the trash), Camembert Roti (I was really hoping to find the same taste as when I eat it back in Paris, it was not melted enough/low quality cheese).

    Price was very promising indeed (AED 95 with drinks), but with such low food quality, none of us is going back. Luckily enough for the dessert, Crumbs Tropezienne was 10 metres away. YUM!

    • FooDiva September 21, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Oh no sorry to hear that Christophe and I don’t blame you for not wanting to return. Did you raise those issues with the waiter? I’d be interested to hear how they respond to it. Thanks for commenting here.

  6. Nadia May 27, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Lovely review Foodiva, Bystro has become my home away from home .. their play area is amazing (could be a little bigger) and its actually the only place I can enjoy my breakfast without my kids pulling my arm every minute for attention. As a mother of 2 its nice to feel welcomed by the staff rather than people rolling their eyes when u enter. Staff interacts with the kids and they even remember their names.
    I love their new menu and I am addicted to their Turkish eggs right now. I feel the quality of the food has seriously improved, if you compare it to last year because I used to only love their breakfast. Now I have tried various other dishes from the main menu and was pleased with all of them (except the nasi goring).

    • FooDiva May 31, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks Nadia. If there weren’t so many new cafes to try out, I would return more often to Bystro for both breakfast and lunch. I must try their Turkish eggs next time. Thanks for stopping by with a comment.

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