Downtown Cafe (DTC) got me really excited and curious at the same time when an invitation to try them out was sent to my email. With its namesake, I initially thought that a Burj Khalifa view or a Downtown Dubai view might be part of what the restaurant has to offer.
But when I checked online, it's actually located at Al Karama, in Old Dubai. The restaurant also has a relatively high rating on Zomato and has been Zomato's Best Cafe in Dubai in 2018, I learned. These piqued my excitement and curiosity even more, so I accepted the invitation. And over the last weekend, Mark and I had an early dinner at DTC.
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It took us less than a 10-minute taxi ride from our house to DTC (which is near the Dubai Snooker Club). DTC may not have the views of Burj Khalifa or Downtown Dubai, but its overall vibe was as lively.
The restaurant has rustic interiors with warm lights, a mini library, and a bustling ambience. On one side there's a family setting up for their little girl's birthday celebration, and on the other, a group of friends gathered for some snacks and board games.
Mark chose a nook near the mini library, where he comfortably read a book while waiting for our food. Speaking of food, DTC has quite an extensive menu of Italian cuisine so there's surely something for everyone here. We were spared with the task of having to choose what to have, as the chef has already prepared something for us.
Our dinner started with sausages and drinks. We rarely get to eat processed food in our household, so the Chicken Sausage Platter was a total treat for me. It came in bite-sized cuts of chicken sausages on a bed of fresh lettuce, drizzled with a sweet and tangy sauce, with sides of steamed veggies, fries, and toasted bread.
Mark found the veggies a bit off from the bunch, but it actually worked for me. I guess they were just added to somehow lessen the guilt from ingesting all the 'bad' stuff. :p
Our drinks were distinctly delicious on their own, the Passion Fruit Mojito was light and refreshing, and had that sweet and sour kick; while the DT Special Shake was on the heavier side, with mangoes being the dominant flavor with hints strawberries and dried fruits.
Next we were served with Pasta Escalope, Mac and Chicken Bake, and Dynamite Fries. The aroma of cheese, red sauce, and tomatoes were evident when these 3 dishes were served.
The Dynamite Fries came in a mini pot and inside was a generous serving of fries layered with minced chicken in red sauce, jalapenos, and melted mozzarella. This was really good but Mark and I had to beg off after a spoonful because we just couldn't handle such heat.
Penne pasta in pink sauce topped with chicken escalope doused in melted mozzarella is what the Pasta Escalope is all about. The chicken was delicious but the pasta was on the spicy side; I can taste hints of chili and paprika in it. The heat from this dish was a lot more bearable for my palates, which I liked.
The Mac and Chicken Bake tasted identical with the Pasta Escalope, minus the spiciness. Mark and I loved this one to bits! The tomato sauce had a well balanced sweetness and tartness, oh and the cheese! Yum! Mark enjoyed eating it with the escalope.
We ended our meal with Avocado Cheesecake for dessert. I like cheesecakes but not as much as Mark does, because they tend to be heavy; but this Avocado Cheesecake from is an exception.
It's actually my first time having avocado on a cheesecake and didn't imagine it to be so good. It's light, mildly sweet, and utterly delicious! Oh, I can have this all day!
Serving time is not really an issue or we just probably didn't notice since we were enjoying our chit chat, because of their No WIFI policy (and yes it felt good to be on social media detox even just for a while).
Service is also commendable here. Sijo, the one who attended to us that day, was polite and very keen with familiarizing us with the dishes that he's serving. I also loved his gesture of walking us out to the restaurant and even holding the door for us. :)
Aside from the good food and service, I guess what made it the best cafe is its being family friendly. I don't know, but I just felt like I was home during our stay at DT. The place may tend to be a bit noisy though, especially with diners enjoying some card or board games, so I suggest coming in during non-peak hours if you wish to have some quiet time while reading a book and sipping a cup of coffee.
Ground Floor, Umm Hurair Building
Al Karama, Dubai, UAE
We were invited to try Downtown Cafe and our meal was complimentary, but this post is not influenced nor paid for. Opinions on this blog post are my own.