21 Grams – The hidden Balkan Cafe

When they talk about hidden gems I never thought it would be that hard to find the entry to this Balkan Cafe. I got dropped off by taxi and walked passed the hotel entrance assuming the cafe had it’s own entrance only to not find one and walk back inside the hotel to then find the entrance to the right as i entered. Oops. Lucky I was early so my friend didn’t witness my clumsiness.

Located inside the Park Regis Boutique this cute & cozy cafe serves up some of the best coffee I’ve had in Dubai. So good I was tempted to order another one immediately but it was already 8pm and I didn’t want to hinder my chance of sleeping that eve.

I was there to try a new set menu they had introduced with my friend. The 4 course set menu had a few options for each and we alternated between each so we could maximize our tasting experience.

The spanakopita salad was an usual spin with the crispy phyllo pastry adding that extra crunch.

The stuffed vine leaves with minced beef served on a bed of mash potato and a dollop of yoghurt was apart of the second course and was my preference over the Istrian fusi; a hand-rolled pasta dish complete with mixed mushrooms and aged cheese.

By the time the mains arrive I’m already getting full but push through as I’m eager to try some meat. The lamb shank is off the bone and the tender meat is atop some purple cabbage and garnished with herbs. The marination is subtle and I don’t notice the horseradish sauce. The other main, Pljeskavica which is the national dish of Serbia, is a mince wagyu beef patty stuffed with bacon and cheese and served on top of a flatbread which has a chopped tomato sauce. An interesting dish but I wasn’t quite sure on how to eat it. Was I suppose to make a wrap or eat each item separately?

Last but not least the desserts. We tried the Krem Pita and Tufahija. The former make use of that phyllo pastry again with layers of it between soft cream cheese and topped with berries and fruit sauce. The latter was walnut stuffed poached pears served with a vanilla sauce.

Overall it was an interesting tasting menu though I’m more inclined to come back for their delicious coffee and to try their burek. Especially if I wanted a quiet cafe to get some work done without any interruptions.

Ah-Maiz-ing Tacos @ Maiz

Here’s another example of a successful food truck turned restaurant with Maiz Tacos. The restaurant located in Dar Al Wasl Mall started out doing the rounds in Dubai events and is now also a cute space with a brightly painted feature wall and witty art.

Their menu is straight forward and they also allow you to mix and match tacos which is fab as I like variety.

They didn’t even need to upsell the Big Dipper to us as my friend already wanted it. It’s a starter that comes with a generous portion of round corn chips, two salsas as well as their famous queso cheese dip. If you love cheese, this is a must order. Eat it whilst it’s hot!

The fresh agua of the day was a hibiscus special with a hint of orange and lemon which was deep red in color and served without straws. (You all know how much I hate plastic straws)

The tacos albeit a little on the expensive side, each with its own distinct taste, surely will give Maria Bonita (One of Dubai’s oldest Mexican restaurants) a run for it’s money.

Between the fish taco (el dorado), the 6 hour slow cooked pulled beef (El Jefe) and the vegetarian taco (calabaza) we had a hard time choosing our favorite. The lightly battered crunchy piece of fish on the el dorado barely fit inside the soft taco shell and the combination of chipolte mayo, red onions & mixed bell peppers was just heavenly.

I’ve tried their churro ice cream sandwich before which’s is a tad hard to eat although next time I’ll definitely opt for the plain churros with the chocolate dipping sauce (If room permits).

Definitely check out this semi hidden gem if you haven’t already. I know I’ll be back soon rather than later.

Location: Dar Al Wasl Mall, Al Safa, Dubai

Maiz Tacos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Re-live your childhood @ Cereal Killer Cafe

Ahhh the 80’s. What a time to be alive. Namco had captured our hearts with Pacman arcade machines and Cabbage Patch Dolls were the cutest collectible babies around. Don’t forget troll dolls. What about all the cartoons you used to wake up early to watch like The Jetsons or Tom & Jerry. My personal favorite was the Dinosaurs.

Cereal Killer Cafe in Dubai Mall is a nostalgic hangout for the big kids and a cool place for the little kids too. It originates from London with the Dubai Mall branch opening back on Feb 9th 2017. It’s by no means a place for a healthy breakfast or snack but more a fun and relaxed corner cafe to try over 100 different cereals, with 20 different flavored milk options including crazy flavors like bubble gum and creme brûlée. To this you can add over 30 different toppings ranging from candy to fresh fruit, ice cream or nuts or my foodie friends fav, marshmallow fluff.

If you want a combination of cereal they have combos to choose from in their cereal cocktails list. We tried the Unicorn Poop 🦄 💩 as well as the Shooty Shooty Bang Bang 🔫 although the latter was missing the popping candy. ☹️ I barely got through the regular bowl because it comes with a white chocolate flavored milk, Nutella, Milky Way stars as well as hazelnut and milk chocolate krave cereal pieces so if you’re not used to a sweet and sugary breakfast then this might not be for you.

Or perhaps it’s because I started with a strawberry fruity ice cream before my cereal. Who knows. 🤷🏼‍♀️

We also tried some of their hot food options like the Cheerios Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich 🥪 which comes with two different cheeses inside and Cheerios stuck to the outside. The outside was a little dry but would of been nicer if they buttered the outside bread. Their new addition to the menu is Cornflakes chicken strips. 4 pieces of deep fried chicken strips that are coated in crushed cornflakes. They are so crunchy and crispy that I dare you to find a tastier chicken strip in Dubai.

They also serve stacked hot chocolates, malt shakes, sodas & juices and every American kids favorite; pop tarts! Just ask the staff for which flavor is available when you visit.

This grammable cafe is located right next to the waterfall on Level 1 of Dubai Mall and also next to the Village and close to Nespresso. You won’t be able to miss it’s colorful and quirky design complete with kids beds as the seating.

It’s also available to order from Deliveroo, Zomato, Carriage and Talabat.

Phone: 04 347 7279

Cereal Killer Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato