Dubai; I don’t know about you but I never bother to make new year’s resolutions anymore as I either forget or break them. When faced with Gourmet magazine’s editorial question for January ‘what will you be eating to keep healthy in the new year?’ – my response was a simple ‘exactly the same, just portion control’ – Mireille Giuliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat mantra. No doubt FooDiva will be breaking that one anyway. Anyhow, in the spirit of new year healthy eating, a café has sprung up in JBR by the name of Café Baroque ‘House of Soups & Deli’ run by a Maldivian and Madagascarn couple.
Hidden away at the back of the top ‘Plaza level’ in the first JBR tower, we opted for al fresco seating, which sadly is closed in by the myriad of concrete towers, making for a rather austere council estate feel. Inside, the decor lives up to the Baroque name – certainly a more quaint and atmospheric space.
The house speciality is soups as you can see from the piccie here with 20 concoctions on the menu – all lactose-free by the way – plus the odd daily special. My broccoli and blue cheese soup whilst smooth was a little lukewarm, whereas my friend’s tomato, lentil and coriander soup (a second choice as his initial request for dhal and spinach wasn’t available) was hot and bursting with flavour - a little like a punchy minestrone with different ingredients. FooDiva had food envy here for sure. A basket of warm, fresh bread rolls, the tomato in particular made for perfect dunking.
My goat cheese salad which the waiter announced was a firm favourite with the ladies, arrived beautifully presented as three generous slices of slightly warm oozing goat cheese on a bed of spinach and roasted plum tomatoes – drizzled with a honey vinaigrette dressing and pine nuts. Not a traditional salad, but oh my a great choice - quality, healthy ingredients and ever so filling. My friend’s Cafe Baroque special salad was another winner with chunky slices of chargrilled chicken breast, spinach leaves, slithers of avocado, green peas and a smattering of mint leaves in a light olive oil dressing – all fresh and crunchy.
Salads aside, if you’re after carbs, the menu also features a selection of sandwiches. Or a rather awesome carrot and walnut cake, not quite up to Lime Tree’s specialty, but moist and moreish. Certainly a smaller portion than LT’s but still good enough to share…after all let’s not forget that portion control. The desserts are not on the menu, so do ask for the daily specials. Juices and smoothies are a key menu component as well.
Service was a tad slow and erratic despite the quieter weekday lunchtime, but pleasant enough. For a highly reasonable AED 75 per head including tea, coffee and water, you can’t complain though given the high quality of the food. If you’re after a light, healthy meal for lunch, brekkie or dinner, then Café Baroque certainly makes a good pit stop…and a new year’s resolution.
Have you been? What’s your new year foodie resolutions, if any?
I’ll leave you with this teaser of how Dubai will be welcoming 2013. If I am not too champagned out, you will find me tweeting and instagramming photos of the Downtown Dubai show from Souk Al Bahar’s rooftop at midnight. Whatever you’re up to ce soir, here’s to a fabilicious food-filled year FooDiva Friends.
Café Baroque is located on JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) Walk at the top Plaza level of Murjan 5 building (above Boutique One). T; +971 4 3614252. E; firstname.lastname@example.org Open daily 8am to 10pm. Price per head AED 75. Delivery also available.