The What’s On Awards are out! The Oscars of the Restaurant World in Dubai.
Cell phone in one hand, to gossip about the results and tea in the other, to contemplate the results, I race to my computer to retrieve the list of winners.
A finger dance on the keyboard, double click on the mouse and there they are, the results, I bend in closer and take it all in.
Running my curser across the categories and winners, I think, that’s expected, good for them, not sure if I agree, expected, expected, until I reach the Best Café Category. I stop and highlight the winner‘s name, Sophie’s Café, and wonder why I haven’t heard of them before?
Intrigued, I grab my phone and rather than gossip, I speed dial a friend to secure a date for Sophie’s café.
Driving up to Shoreline Apartments on the Palm, I waive over a dashing security guard and ask where Sophie’s café is.
Pointing to an underground parking, my guard replies, “It’s at the end of the parking.”
Confused I respond, “No, I know where to park, where is the café?”
“Straight to the end” he reaffirms.
Parking my car at the end of the parking, lo and behold, I see the entrance of Sophie’s Café. Convenient… I guess…
Walking into the Sophie’s the overpowering grey of the parking lot is abolished by the fresh green accents of the café interior.
We approach the counter and are welcomed by a large blackboard menu – one of my favorite things! The knowledgeable and excited staff explained that a main and two sides is the deal.
Roasted chicken, beetroot salad and penne pasta for me and chicken cacciat, quinoa and pumpkin salad for my date.
As we make our juice selection, our sides are carefully placed on serving plates while our mains are forced into a microwave / miniature oven for reheating.
I’m guessing the previous dinner guests had salmon because reheated salmon is an odor my sensitive nose can catch from a mile away.
Taking our seats, the rustic and generous portion of food welcomes us. I go through my beetroot salad like a rabbit on speed. The citrus of the dressing and the earthiness of the beetroot make a beautiful combination. Alas the reheating of the microwave / miniature oven has taken its toll on my roasted chicken, dry and a tad chicken-y, I leave it to the side and continue feasting on my date’s plate.
My fresh juice cocktail arrives and it’s a beautiful rhubarb red. Taking in the juice and waiting to be deeply refreshed, my lips are greeted with not room temperature but warm juice. Similar to spending a good hour on a Dubai beach, mid July mind you, and running into the water in a hopeless and laughable bid to cool down.
The chicken cacciat proves to be a better chicken option as the country red sauce retains the juiciness of the chicken. As for the pumpkin feta salad, I do wish the pumpkins were roasted a touch longer to really bring out the caramelized, roasted flavors of the pumpkin.
We finally end our meal with a pleasant banana cake.
Approaching the counter to pay my bill, there it is, the What’s On award, Sophie’s Café for the Best Café in Dubai. Hmmm….
A homegrown concept with knowledgeable staff, which I commend, Sophie’s is a quintessential Since Your in the Area Restaurant that tailors to the Shoreline resident’s quick fix healthy needs.