Review: Pantry Cafe

The quintessential neighbourhood café taking up residence in Wasl Square serves organic treats in an alfresco setting.

by Laura Coughlin

In a nutshell: Less than a year ago, the most interesting thing at the tangled intersection of Al Wasl Road and Al Hadiqa Street was Choithrams and a teeny McDonalds. Now, it’s hordes of Safa Park revellers and Jumeria residents indulging in gourmet cafes and boutique spa joints. The Pantry Cafe is in the centre of this new development and is a stylish yet relaxed San Francisco-style eatery inside with a spacious adjoining patio that’s perfect for whiling away the time on the weekends. To accompany this oh-so-healthy outdoor lifestyle, the menu reads as an organic retreat where breakfast options range from toasted muesli to a full-English breakfast.

Atmosphere: The star of the new spot is undoubtedly the outdoor patio that abuts Safa Park and sits nestled between Al Wasl Road and the new Tim Hortons. Inside, it’s a modern-style deli complete with bare-brick walls, exposed ceilings, creative writing on the walls and windows, and beautifully presented cheese and bakery counters. The whole set up is young, fresh, hip and happy. 

To accompany the alfresco ambiance is a moderate but relatively pricey selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. Explorer headed specifically for a breakfast treat sampling the Eggs Benedict (Dhs.36) served traditionally and simply with Wagyu pastrami and a Full English (Dhs.60) complete with eggs, chicken sausages, beans and bread and butter (Dhs.60). Note: Bacon is sold separately. It’s good, clean plates of food, all presented creatively and served nice and hot and the Full English is a sure-fire hit with thick slabs of bread and delicious organic eggs. Call it Benedictine snobbery but the Eggs Benedict falls just a little short of the mark – the bun could be toastier, the pastrami a little crisper but full marks to a runny poached egg and tasty hollandaise sauce. It’s almost there and under the watchful eye of the courteous manager, The Pantry Cafe's food is sure to be a hit once the team iron out a few teething problems.

Clientele: The Jumeira crew, either post-morning workout, or early lunch gathering. That, or people who wake up on a Saturday afternoon with a newfound appreciation of just how much a full English breakfast in the sunshine can do for them.

Breakfast price guide (for two people): Under Dhs.150.

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