A slight over-indulgence at Pantry Cafe
Located in the heart of the bustling Al Wasl Square, the prospect of having a late weekend brunch at The Pantry Café sounded rather appealing. Having driven past the restaurant many times, I was really excited to finally find the time to enjoy a long leisurely meal with my sister.
We arrived at the restaurant around 12:30 pm and choose to sit outside on the terrace as the weather was perfect and it was much livelier. Seconds later, a smiling waiter approached with the menu on an iPad. The e-menu had a lot of different sections, which made it quite inconvenient to navigate. However because everything was so visual and descriptive and there were a large number of vegetarian options, we ended up ordering a lot of food.
First things first, we needed our morning coffee dose. I choose a simple cappuccino while my sister was a little more adventurous and went with the dulce mocha. My cappuccino really hit the spot and my sister’s dulce mocha definitely succeeded in satisfying her chocolate craving as well as her need for a caffeine fix. Our only complaint was that the coffees were served a little too cold for our liking.
The first thing to come out was the pain au chocolat, which had a very nice crunch to it, definitely above average.
Next to be served was French toast on a soft French brioche along with a grilled vegetable sandwich served in a toasted olive ciabatta. This French toast was among the best I have ever tasted in Dubai, lightly toasted on the outside, with a perfectly moist center, a slice of heaven. However, maple syrup had only been used decoratively on the plate, and we didn't think the raspberry compote and mascarpone was good on its own. We knew more maple syrup was the answer and our request was quickly catered for – back to heaven.
The grilled vegetable sandwich was similar in look and presentation to a café-style Panini, but with bolder flavors. The combination of the peppers, caramelized onions, arugula, and buffalo mozzarella came together rather nicely.
The next dishes to come out were the grilled portabella mushrooms and the masala omelet. The portobello mushrooms were topped with spinach, corn, melted cheese, emmental crumbs, and surrounded by a warm spicy tomato sauce, overall, a definite winner. With every bite, the individual flavours came together and lingered harmoniously on the palate.
The egg-white masala omelet was cooked just right and the onions, tomatoes, chili, and herbs gave it a little kick, which was perfect for us because we love all things spice. Our only complaint was that the rustic bread served on the side was a bit too hard.
Our final dishes to come out were the organic eggs over a toasted English muffin (cooked medium) and fried green heirloom tomatoes on a toast topped with avocado and fresh buffalo mozzarella. The tomatoes were light and refreshing with an Italian lemony zing and the poached organic eggs were to die for. The latter was served on two small muffins drenched in hollandaise sauce with a side of sautéed potatoes. Again the eggs were cooked to perfection and the spinach added to its alluring presentation. This combination of the muffins, spinach, and eggs was delightful. Together with the sautéed potatoes, we both felt that this was a complete, wholesome, breakfast dish. One improvement could have been the Hollandaise sauce, which was a little bit on the thicker side.
With my newfound love for smoothies and superfood, I couldn’t resist ordering a tropical kale smoothie with pineapple and coconut milk, which was both refreshing and energizing. At this point my sister ordered another dulce mocha and thankfully it was much hotter this time around.
All in all, if you're craving great coffee and a truly satisfying breakfast or brunch for a reasonable price, then Pantry Café is the place! The service was great, and now that I have singled out my favorite dishes, I can’t wait to return for my dose of French toast, Portabella mushrooms and poached eggs. Bring on the weekend!!
Veggie Friendly: ✔ Vegan Friendly: X
Pros: Delicious vegetarian food. Courteous staff. Detailed menu, and extensive vegetarian selection. Easy to get a table.
Cons: Limited outdoor seating, a little quiet.
Price: $$ (50 - 200 AED)
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