Friday 23 December 2016

Lunch at Culinary Boutique, Dubai

Earlier this year, I visited family and friends in Dubai. It had been three years since I had last been to the UAE and I knew to expect some changes to the country, particularly to Dubai. However, I did not expect to see so many changes.

There are no words to describe just how fast Dubai has grown during the last couple of decades. Each time I am back in the city, I am almost overwhelmed by the latest developments and the number of new places to see. I find myself on the lookout for new shopping centres to explore, new hotels to visit and of course, exciting, new restaurants and cafes to dine at. The city is innovative, extravagant, and quite simply, larger than life.

One of my favourite things about Dubai is that it's rare, if not, impossible, to find two places that are similar. Every mall and hotel has it's own charm and style, and the same rings true for the city's dining scene. Culinary Boutique is one such place. After seeing a few pictures on social media, I knew that I had to visit this cafe in Jumeirah, a coastal residential area of Dubai.

The first thing you notice when you walk into Culinary Boutique is the decor. It's immaculate. The best way to describe it? Instagram-worthy. You are guaranteed a picture perfect shot from any angle of this cafe.

From the various shades of turquoise tiles along the side of the cafe to the patterned floors to the copper accents at the front counter ... the amount of detail involved is impressive. Whoever the creative mind behind Culinary Boutique is, they have put a lot of thought and effort into the design of this place and it immediately shows.

Every little nook has its own quirky design and detail, and whilst there seems to be a lot going on, the interior is not the slightest bit overpowering. If anything, the cafe is really modern, organised and tidy. The different colours and patterns work well together and I'm not ashamed to admit that I spent a good 5-10, maybe even 20 minutes just taking pictures of the interior.

Pastries are my weakness and I was pretty mesmerised by the different types of croissants and cakes they had on offer at the front counter. Our lunch at Culinary Boutique was really filling, so I made a mental note to return another time for a coffee and rose croissant.

We were seated in the cafe's upstairs area for lunch. I wish I had taken more shots because the rooftop is just as gorgeous as the cafe is on the main floor, with just as much attention to style and detail.

Although the rooftop is fairly spacious, I noticed that it quickly filled up for lunch as the afternoon went by.

My most favourite part? A section of the rooftop area that was cornered off behind glass windows with a number of kitchen workstations ... yes, the cafe offers private culinary classes too! How interesting!

Definitely something to sign up for the next time I am in Dubai. Especially after seeing the amazing menu at Culinary Boutique.

For a relatively casual cafe, both the food and drinks menu was really extensive with a variety of options available - to the point that we changed our minds a few times as to what to order, oops!

To start, we decided to order the grilled corn with red chilli and spicy lime butter, and for mains, we ordered the coconut prawn curry, the lobster pasta with saffron sauce, and the marinated baby chicken.

I'm not one to generally gravitate towards pasta when I go out, but Culinary Boutique's lobster pasta with saffron sauce was incredibly good. A main that I would happily order again.

For drinks, I went with one of Culinary Boutique's mocktails, the ritzy lychee - lychee, rose water, ginger beer and lime.

The marinated chicken was a little disappointing. It wasn't so much the meal that was disappointing but the fact that it was served almost half an hour after the other two mains. Hence why it's not pictured above.

I always find it strange when restaurants serve a table their mains at different times. Is it really that hard to prepare everyone's dish so that it's brought out at the same time and no one is just sitting around? Who knows, I rarely cook so who am I to talk, really.

Despite the wait, the marinated chicken turned out to be great ("scrumptious" as described by my brother, who ordered it). This wasn't all that surprising given how moreish the other meals were. It was the perfect meal for one, complete with roasted baby potatoes and carrots, rosemary, thyme and jus.

As you can imagine, the mains were so filling that none of us had room for a coffee, let alone dessert, which was a real shame as the dessert menu looked amazing. I guess that's something to look forward to the next time I am in Dubai because this cafe is definitely worth another visit.

Culinary Boutique is located at Villa 56 on Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1 in Dubai.

The cafe is open 8.00am to 11.00pm Monday to Wednesday, and 8.00am to midnight on Thursday to Saturday.

As always, thank you for reading. Let me know if you've been to Culinary Boutique and if so, what was the highlight of the cafe for you?

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