|In a word: Oh-la-la!|
|Food: Raw in Dubai, what a treat! Super healthy options optimised to get the best nutritional value from the ingredients|
|Service: On the ball|
|Presentation: Sophisticated French classic rustic-style chic!|
|Ambience: Just nice and calm|
|Location: Perfect for Jumeirah Janes, not so good for Marina residents, but definitely worth the trek. The outdoor seating area next to the road doesn’t work for me.|
|Value for money: Raw and wholesome foods in Dubai without the hyped up prices|
|Worth a visit?: Get down there, especially now that they’re open on Fridays – ditch the brunch for something way healthier and far more sophisticated!|
So I did it, I finally ventured down to the other end of town with my healthy food loving amigo, Lady L, of the fabulous food/travel/wellbeing site Fit2fly, to checkout Café Comptoir 102. I have to say it was well worth the effort of an hours bus ride from the marina.
Inside the building fronting Jumeirah Beach Road, there’s a little shop full of delightful jewellery, fashiony stuff, homewares, and furniture together with the adjoining dinning space of Café Comptoir 102. The indoor area is complimented by an attractive looking outdoor space. Unfortunately, this lovely outdoor seating area lost it’s appeal when I realised it’s slap bang next to Beach Road and I for one don’t particularly want to chow down on beautiful healthy dishes whilst at the same time inhaling the contents of Dubai’s car engines or some divas’ secondhand cigarette smoke.
Café Comptoir 102 offers a small, but ever-changing menu with a focus on nutritious and wholefoods, with dishes designed by the inhouse chefs together with ‘Consultants Chefs’ from the food/health/wellness industries, an idea that I think helps make Café Comptoir 102 standout from the crowd, by involving local experts and offering very innovative dishes, especially that of raw cuisine, which is very rarely seen in Dubai, although things will change with the launch of BeStro by the lovely Hayley of Be Super Natural.
On the menu you’ll find raw, veggie, vegan and meat options for the health conscious consumer, including diary-free, gluten-free and processed sugar-free options. Café Comptoir 102’s menu de jour offers two courses for AED 85, just choose from the three starters, two mains and two desserts on offer that day. They also have the usual staples of tea, coffee, smoothies and some rather fantastic juices.
The Band of Brothers trio of dips includes a lush hummus, aubergine and chunky guacamole served in a lovely classic white and blue tin dish with delicious Baker & Spice-esq thick seeded bread. The sprig of parsley, bejewelled pomegranate and roasted pine nuts give the dish a little bit of understated style, so French.
Lady L opted for the Detox Delight soup, a chilled, unusual and very clean mix of cucumber, pineapple, macadamia nut, lime, chilli and coriander. It might sound and look a little like a smoothie in a bowl, but the balance of soupiness was just perfect.
London Calling – a nice big flat portobello mushroom peppered with a feta and sage mix, accompanied by lightly cooked sweet sweet potato fries and light green salad dressed. The food just tasted nourishing and clean. A simple combination of minimal ingredients for maximum flavour, the strong feta contrasting nicely with the earthiness of the mushroom, and sweet potato gets the thumbs up any day of the week, even more so when the ‘fries’ are lightly baked.
Lady L pumped for the, fabulously named, OMeGa! Tartare. A mix of smoked salmon, coriander and apple served on top of a blob of guacamole with a big leafy salad.
Vegan no cheese cake consisted of blueberries in a tart, juicy sauce over a vegan nut ‘cheese’ layer, perched on a coconut/nut/seed medley base. Firm, clean flavours and the perfect ending to a late lunch.
Presentation-wise I’m thinking boho-chic: classic white with a blue rim French tin serving bowls and plates, old-school metal table and seats set inside a sunny yellow dinning area, French-style windows opening up onto the seated patio area in front of the cafe.
Delightfully different and elegantly pulled together…man those Frenchies know how to rock it when it comes to simple elegance!
Service at Café Comptoir 102 is great; quick and attentive, always quick to suggest dessert or coffee! Due to the nature of the dishes being easy to preprepare, food is quick to come to the table…and then pretty quickly devoured!
Value for money:
Portion sizes are just right; enough to leave you satisfied from two courses on the menu de jour, although I’d highly recommend that you try and squeeze in the raw dessert.
At Café Comptoir 102 the daily specials menu offers a starter and main for AED 80. Add a green juice and a share in a dessert and you’ll shell out AED 120, of £20. Which is actually very good value for money considering you’re getting raw and high quality dishes in Dubai.
For raw, vegan and healthy options in rather chic surroundings, I think AED 120 is very reasonable, remembering the labour intensive production and higher quality of ingredient evident in these super freshness dishes.
Hats off to the team behind Café Comptoir 102: you’ve got a recipe for real success, in a very casual French laid back-sort a way.
If Café Comptoir 102 were to open a branch down to the Marina I’d say that B&S would have a fight on their hands to stay at the top of my eats list! I certainly know my sister-in-law would shop then dry!
102 Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 (0) 4385 4555
Everyday 8.30am to 6.30pm
Shop opening hours 10am to 7pm