Apr 4, 2013

Word on the Street is Book Munch Cafe

Located in the heart of Jumeirah, across from Safa Park and nestled into the sleek Wasl Square complex, Book Munch is a new addition to the cafe concepts of Dubai.  This cozy little literary cafe is the first if its kind and perfect place for a quite afternoon meal or snack.  Surrounded by colorful accents and books of every kind, one can't help but feel at home in this quaint neighborhood spot.  


Upon entering you are greated by a table of mini muffins, breads, and treats of all sorts inculding home-made granola and biscuits.  The menu and all the fine details regarding anything culinary have been created and developed by a fellow foodie friend, Fiona Archibold.  The beautiful finishing touches and gorgeous food display could only be done by a passioante individual and I'm glad Fiona was on the job!
Because of its startegic location Book Munch also offers up take-away options if you'd like to enjoy their menu items in the great outdoors, "The Perfect Package" is a delicious picnic which includes comfy rugs, and free passes for safa park! BookMunch’s picnic baskets contain beautiful food and fresh juices for every taste and age group. A myriad of goodies are included - fresh bread, gourmet sandwiches, a variety of cheeses, salads, fruit, and for after, chocolate pots and the café’s much loved carrot and courgette cake – all washed down with a choice of juice or take-away hot or cold beverage. 
For Lunch, there are many options, But when I saw Carrot and Pumpkin Soup on the menu, it was a no brainer.  It's one of my favorite combinations, and oh so comforting.  The consistency of the soup was good, and the natural colors of the vegetable along with artistic presentation made this an appetizing order.  Served nice and hot, this soup did have an earthy warm taste, but could have used the help of more seasoning to really bring it to the next level. 
With my soup, I also enjoyed a Pear, Gorgonzola, Almonds, and Spinach salad, a nice light lunch combination.  The toasted slivered alomnds were the perfect amount of crunch paired along with the pear and spinach.  I was however dissapointed with the waitstaff for not communicating the cheese substitution.  I was clearly served Brie instead of the Gorgonzola, which also works, but it should have been communicated to me by the wait staff.  Because the cafe is still on the newer side, I understand it takes time to train waitstaff, but it's the attention to detail that can win customer loyalty (even over the food)!
My friend ordered this hearty portion of Spaghetti and meatballs.  After seeing the presentation on this dish, I knew Fiona had a part in plate design here.  The heaping mound of pasta, topped with the medium sized meatballs  peaking out from under the chunky tomato sauce was picture perfect indeed.  It's a dish that is universally pleasing and simple to execute, but it really does come down to the plating.  The use of the deep bowl here added a lot to the aesthetic, and allowed the dish to really stand out as a winner.  My friend throughly enjoyed every last bite!
For dessert we heard great things about BookMunch's famous Carrot and Courgette Cake.  I have to admit, that even as a foodie, this was a first for me.  Carrot cake is one of my favorite flavor combinations, and courgette (Zuchinni) cake is something I enjoyed as a child when or neighbors would bring over freshly baked loaves made with there garden vegetables.  However the combination of carrot and courgette in a cake was a first for me, but not the last.  As you can see in the photo, the cake is quite dense, with no visible air bubbles, and moist as can be.  Topped with the cream cheese frosting and garnished with the cinnamon dusted birdie in the top left corner, my friend and I shared and gobbled up every last bite of the unique and wholesome flavor duo. 
Just to give you an idea of what the interior is like, check out the colorful accents and warm wood paneling that makes this cafe so inviting. The best part about a cafe like this, is that it's kid friendly, so for any Jumeirah Janes out there looking for an afterschool entertainment idea, bring the kids by for story time and enjoy a slice a cake with a cuppa tea for your own little afternoon treat. 
The colors are consistent throughout the restaurant as well as with their extensive dessert selection.  Macaroons galore, bread pudding, as well as the chocolate pots I have been hearing so much about make it difficult for anyone with a sweet tooth to resist.
If you happen to by driving by, or are looking for a fun weekend option, check out BookMunch in the Wasl complex.  They have many options and provde a comfortable environment to hang out and enjoy.   With the Safa Park picnic option, you really should make the most of the season before the hot summer months roll around and indulge in all the tasty treats made fresh from scratch at this lovely neighborhood cafe.  

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