Coffee Club: comfort food and a warm welcome
What often sets a place apart from others is not the design, the ambiance or even the food. It’s the staff. Our server, Jinky, was as sunny as the March morning we arrived. Knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging, she made us feel welcome at the Coffee Club outlet at Al Wasl Vita Mall.
The decor is all natural – wooden floors, leather seats, grey stone walls and a ceiling accented with wooden slats, creating a modern, urban, trendy feel. Plants delineate the dining area from the kitchen and counter.
Lunch is a fluid term here, with all day breakfast, brunch and all-day favourites on offer. There’s a few new things on the menu, which is why we came along.
Don’t be put off by the name. It’s not just coffee – although the coffee is good. Damn good. Drink it with aplomb, as it’s sustainable, grown according to the UTZ Certified Code of Conduct. As well as coffee, there’s a good range of tea, cold drinks, frappes (toffee coffee, anyone?) and a new range of terrifyingly calorific loaded shakes.
The extensive menu spans international cuisines, from Arabian to Asian, and via Europe to the US.
There’s a fairly extensive menu loaded with good stuff. All-day breakfasts include a ‘fry up’ with Cumberland sausages, veal bacon and ciabatta bread; omelettes with a large choice of fillings and a host of extras, brunch dishes including Spanish potato hash, chorizo baked hotpot and labnah eggs, as well as the obligatory pancakes, French toast and granola. A special Arabian brunch section – popular with the Jumeirah crowds the joint attracts – includes a healthy pomegranate and date salad, halloumi and pesto ciabatta and a veal cutlet with za’atar butter.
Special mention to Coffee Club for its dedicated page of pure veg options – including pizzas, a burger, noodles and pasta.
Yet more food – a list of all day favourites – read classics – includes fish and chips, a burger, chicken schnitzel (one of the few dishes to reveal Coffee Club’s Aussie roots), calamari and just before you shout that the ‘classics’, while tasty, are all seemingly unhealthy, there’s a page of classy salads you could opt for.
Sandwiches, wraps and burgers are a cut above usual coffee shop fayre, while the desserts are off the scale – more of which, later.
Finally, there’s a main courses section, which lists steaks, chicken, fish and pasta, but we’ll save these for dinner and report back to you!
There’s also a kid’s menu, featuring classic chicken nuggets, fish and chips, egg on toast and ice cream. Just keep them off the espresso.
We chose the sea bass and kale served on Arabic spiced passata. Served skin side up, the crispy kale felt like an addition to pull in the hipsters. The fish itself was well cooked and nicely flavoured. White fish goes well with a strong sauce, and this was no exception, a great balance between sweet tomato and Arabian spice, sitting perfectly somewhere between a soup and a salsa.
My beetroot goat cheese burger was chosen as it sounded unusual. It was, but it worked. A crisp-on-the-outside brioche bun was filled to the max with a dense, crisp, chewy mix of butternut squash, goat cheese and beetroot, topped with guacamole, tomato and rocket.
Dessert choice was easy. The Brownie fudge delight has its own page of the menu, and when ours arrived, it looked gratifyingly identical to its printed image.
This is a dessert for two, IMHO, with a layer of Oreo cookie smothered in rich, gooey triple chocolate brownie, topped with crumbled biscuits, a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and a thick chocolate sauce. Heaven!
Coffee Club, Al Wasl Road
Open 7.30am -11pm