‘We’ll eat you up–we love you so’
Where the Wild Things Are
RIP Maurice Sendak: For vowing to never ‘sugar coat’ life for a child.
After spending two days trying to find the Circle Cafe, yesterday proved successful. I had been tipped by our Residence Guide Book that this was the place to go for ‘good bagels, healthy food and a bit of gossip’. They weren’t kidding either. The sign on front reads ‘Circle Cafe: Gossip Hub’. It attracts mostly Jumeirah Janes with a sprinkling of professionals. I found the location a bit odd, as it wasn’t a solo standing cafe, but instead in the middle of a rather quiet shopping mall. At first I was a bit apprehensive, but was quickly reassured when it was finally located. I was immediately greeted with a smile by the head waiter and offered the option to choose my seat. The decor and over all atmosphere is delightful. Light, airy, and soft, the chairs and walls looked as though they have been white washed and then decorated by a French boutique owner. To add to the quirkiness, they had music playing in the background, ranging from Bowie to The Boss. A massive “two thumbs” up in my book.
The menu is presented the form of a newspaper called the ‘Circle News’. On the front they offer an explanation of the spices used in their dishes, along with history of why they’re used, followed by a a weekly recipe. This week, it was their 7 layer chocolate cake. Pure decadence. Prices rang from 30-80dhr for mains, drinks 8-20, and desserts 25-30. Bagels, wraps, and salads the menu is surprisingly extensive and healthy. I ordered an iced coffee, skim with no sugar, and shrimp and avocado on a whole wheat wrap with a light pink sauce, hold the Cajun spices (I was in the mood for something to match the atmosphere).
The food didn’t take long to arrive. Thoughtfully placed, I first noticed the size. One of my main complaints about the food in Dubai are the portion sizes–they rival those found in America and as I’ve become accustomed to the sizes found in the UK, I’ve been finding it difficult to finish what’s typically put in front of me. So I was delighted to find that the size of the meal was far more to my liking. The wrap wasn’t stuffed with ingredients to the point of bursting, but rather filled just enough that you’re able to appreciate every flavour. The meal was garnished with a small bed of spinach and lettuce leaves with a smattering of olive oil and accompanied with four homemade bagel chips. A culinary flashback to my childhood. Only these were seasoned, quite heavily might I add, with olive oil and Zaatar (a ME spice that has a thyme and oregano taste). My one and only complaint was that the chef went rather heavy on the sauce, causing a good deal of the
ingredients to fall out of the wrap and onto my plate and making it very difficult to eat. Regardless of this minor setback, the main was delicious. I never thought I’d enjoy the mix of shrimp and avocado together, but it really does work.
I decided that, as this was all in the name of research, I should look at the dessert menu. With six options to choose from, I finally settled on the flowerless chocolate cake. Sounds unappealing to most of you, but let me just say how delicious and moist this was. It came, once again, presented in a thoughtful manner, drizzled with chocolate sauce. I must admit that I was defeated about half way through my final course. As delicious as the cake was, in all it’s chocolatey goodness, it was also incredibly rich in flavour.
My experience of Circle Cafe, on a whole, was great.The service was attentive and friendly, the food wholesome and delicious, and
the decor fun and something a bit different. I wouldn’t necessarily make it a local hangout as it’s a bit on the expensive side, but I certainly will be returning once in a while or on special occasions. Also, it should be noted that internet access is not offered. That said, if you are visiting Dubai in the near future, I highly suggest checking out Circle. You will not be disappointed.
I will be putting up more photos in the Photos. section from my experience at Circle Cafe.
I’ve now exceeded the 400 hit mark after only five posts. This is a huge success for me, so thank you to everyone out there taking the time to read my blog. If you’d like to read about anything in particular during my time out here, feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line through Facebook, Twitter or email.