Warm delights and chocolate brownies
Published on September 21, 2015
On a bright Wednesday afternoon, we head to Al Wasl road in Jumeirah to try out Pantry Café, a barely visible and unremarkable jewel from the outside. However, when we’re inside, we are pleasantly surprised. Out in the back, there is a spacious alfresco dining area. It is just perfect for the daylight hours with sofas, tables and chairs to enjoy breakfast, lunch or some afternoon tea in the fresh air.
The menus are quite detailed on Ipads with great photos and descriptions. Cuisine-wise it’s international including dishes with a peculiar twist. Easy to say, you’ll definitely find something that you’d want to try.
My experience at Pantry Café must be started from the dessert. I will probably be dreaming about their chocolate brownie for the next couple of days. Not too gooey but baked to perfection, it is served in a skillet with Vanilla ice cream on top, pecan nuts and some caramel sauce. Might seem ordinary, but the taste is mind-blowing. Soft with melting ice cream and a crunch of nuts, it was a sensational chocolate taste with a caramel aftermath. My dieting friend, who firmly rejected any dessert, couldn’t resist trying when he saw my face as I savoured the first spoon. Next thing we realised the brownie was gone. Later I discovered that the secret to the marvellous chocolate taste was that it was made from the French Valrhona chocolate. Apparently, this premium French magic is produced in a small wine growing district of a small town near Lyon. Dessert lovers will be loyal forever. Along with the brownie we ordered a green tea with a tropical infusion and got TWG’s Silver Moon. It was a fragrant mix of grand berries and a vanilla bouquet with a hint of spice, which had a suave and mildly sweet flavour. The tea came in clay pots and cups which gave it a home feel and a special flavour. They say the true taste of tea unwraps up only in clay china.
Rewinding back to the rest of the lunch, we were quite delighted with our food. For starters we ordered a quinoa and avocado salad and Gambas Al Pil Pil which are shrimps. The salad was light yet very nutritious – a good alternative to the typical Cesar’s or Greek. Pretty decent in size, the mix of ingredients created a delightful combination. Fluffy quinoa, fresh avocado, meaty prawns, lettuce, juicy pomelos, red chillies were under citrus vinaigrette dressing tasting just right between sweet and sour. Spanish Gambas Al Pil Pil tasted as good as they looked. Brought on a skillet and beautifully seasoned, the shrimps were with a touch of chilli and garlic served with some crusty bread. A small but very delicious starter — a definite must try for seafood lovers.
For the main course I ordered the tandoori salmon with spinach rice, suggested by our server. Let’s say I don’t regret following the recommendation, even though there were many tempting dishes on the menu. In essence a simple dish but with a special twist. The tandoori salmon was cooked to impeccable tenderness, so compliments to the chef. In combination with the yogurt based Indian sauce, the fish had a delicate and creamy taste. The side of spinach rice blended well with the flavourful salmon. For a tasty and healthy option, the grilled organic salmon is a dish to be savoured with great pleasure. A soft bite of fish with a mild sauce and spices, it is an interesting collusion of taste.
My friend ordered the heritage Angus Rib eye steak. The steak was around 300 grams, lightly seasoned and grilled to his preference. For the sides you get to choose from sautéed wild mushrooms, garlic mash potatoes or creamy spinach. Plus you get a sauce: Béarnaise, mushroom or green pepper. Compared to the spiced prawns, we weren’t very impressed by the steak. Being a simple dish, the steak tasted fairly good with the mushroom sauce.
The service was on a high level; the staff knew the menu and were quite helpful. From freshly squeezed watermelon juice, to the organic salmon, to the French chocolate brownie – Pantry Café uses fine ingredients, which make the dishes quite delectable. All in all, the place has positive vibes; the outdoor terrace is a cool chilling spot while the interior with its modern rustic twist is better after sunset. The menu tops it off with really great food, so it’s a definite must try.