I was first introduced to Bay Square during the opening of Circle Café. Noticeable there is a stretch of café and restaurants starting to sprout like wild mushrooms, which slowly makes Bay Square another haven of gastronomic adventures in Dubai.
The latest addition to this haven of good eats is Pantry Café’s new branch located in Bay Square at the ground floor of Building 6, which Cherry and I got to try.
We were invited to the menu tasting of Panty Café one fine Saturday afternoon.
The café has four dining sections: the open kitchen area, the elevated dining area where Cherry and I were seated,
The café exhibits a contemporary industrial vibe with its brick walls, exposed high ceiling, glass windows, wooden floors, lights which consist of huge glass light bulbs, mason jars, and steel accents; and ceiling and wall accents made from Voss glass bottles in plastic crates.
Our degustation started off with an assortment of Pantry Café's breakfast sandwiches. I usually love my waffles with fruits and sweets, and I kind of find the veggie-waffle-vinegar combination a bit off when I saw it, but the Savoury Mushroom Waffle turned out to be the star among the three!
The sweetness of the waffle base complemented the tangy balsamic reduction, while and the savory creamy mushroom and semi-dried tomato gave an interesting combination of texture. The rockets gave the dish that distinct nutty flavor.
Next personal favorite is the Smokey Tomato Scramble which has an irresistible kick from the spicy chipotle that got my palates excited. But I must admit that the spiciness gradually increases in every bite. The chunky Mexican beans and creme fraiche gave a contrast in texture with the crunchy toasted multi-seed bread.
Although the Open Eggplant Sandwich was also good, it was the least of my favorites mainly because I found the roasted eggplant a little bitter. As with the Smokey Tomato Scramble, this one also plays with texture with its crunchy toasted multi-seed bread, sriracha, ricotta, roasted red pepper and tomato, and rockets.
Our drinks were served along with the breakfast sandwiches. Cherry had Strawberry Cheesecake Shake while I opted for the Mango Shake. Cherry's choice was good and had the perfect consistency, not to sweet and the ground fresh strawberries were evident. Mine on the other hand was too thick and rich that I thought I was having baby food.
We were served next with Pantry Café’s best-seller. Shakshouka is an organic egg with spicy tomato sauce, topped with crumbled feta and jalapeños and is eaten with freshly-baked pita. I loved how the spiciness was tolerable for my palates and was toned down by the runny yolk and pita. The feta also added a hint of saltiness to the spicy, tangy, and savory dish. Now I understand why it's a best-seller!
I loved this dish so much that I almost finished everything, which somehow made me forget that we haven't even gone halfway of the menu. :p
Green Tea Noodles with Smoked Salmon together with Kataifi Prawns were served next.
While Cherry loved the noodle dish, it just wasn't the case for me. It was an eye candy and the green tea noodles kind of tickled my fancy, but I just don't like cold noodles and its mildly sour taste and that fishy taste from the smoked salmon.
We both agreed though that the Kataifi Prawns were a hit! Just with the looks of it, I already knew that it won't disappoint. And I was right. The crispy fried string-like coating has a nice texture which makes a good introduction to the succulent sweet prawn inside. It was already good as is but it was made more delectable with the sweet and sour dip that came with it. I'll definitely come back to Pantry Café for this! :D
I love cheese so I was all giddy when the Baked Brie was served. I loved how the cheese had its chewy crust and gooey core, although I found it a bit salty. Good thing the sour and savory red pepper and tomato chutney plus the semi-sweet spiced pecan nuts not just added texture but also balanced out the saltiness of the cheese. The crostini was a perfect addition too.
We were served with Mexican Chicken after. The grilled chicken fillet was rolled and laid in humita sauce with avocado salsa. The chicken was juicy and I love the charred taste that came with it. It was seasoned well and I can vividly taste the oregano and paprika. The creamy humita sauce with its sweet corn taste and the avocado salsa somehow balanced out the spiciness. It was too spicy for my liking but it was so good! I guess I really have to train my palates to handle spicy dishes! :D
I can still feel the burn in my mouth so we ordered for another set of drinks. Cherry opted for some Cappuccino while I had the Mixed Berries with Sparkling Water. Both looked good, but both were unfortunately not something to rave about. We thought the cappuccino lacked that strong kick from the espresso and the mixed berries were too sour that even the sparkling water wasn't able to tone it down. I also didn't like how I'd always have to spit out the seeds and grains when I drink.
Sliders were served next. Both plates had Wagyu Slider and Quinoa Slider each. The first one was just like any other normal wagyu burger while the latter, though a healthier option, didn't quite appeal to my palates. The texture was just unusual for my liking.
We were so full that we had to beg off when we were served with Pizza for sharing.
I'd like to beg off too when the Dessert Sampler arrived, but tell me, how can you resist these? :D
The Cheesecake and Churros were the stars of the plate for me. The taste and texture of the Cheesecake were just perfect! I loved the crunchy yet chewy Churros and the chocolate sauce made it even more delicious! The Chocolate Cake was like any ordinary moist chocolate cake, while the Pecan Nut Tart got some interesting combination of textures. The Lemon Curd Short bread had a nice sweet and sour combination, which reminded me of Circle Café's Lemon Tart Meringue.
Aside from the good food, which are all eye candies, if I may add, and pleasant ambience, the staff were commendable too. We were taken good care during our visit. I'd definitely go back and bring Mark here!
PANTRY CAFÉ, Bay Square
Business Bay, Bay Square Building 6, Ground Floor
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel No: +971 4 558 7161
8:00am – 5:00pm Sundays – Thursdays
9:00am – 6:00pm Fridays, Saturdays and Public Holidays
Nearest Metro Station: Business Bay (Red Line)
We were guests at Pantry Café and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.