A homegrown cafe from the capital lands in Dubai…

Walk into THAT Concept Store at Mall of the Emirates for food and you have quite a stroll before you reach the tables of No. FiftySeven Boutique Café at the back of the enormous new department store.

Before sitting to eat, we passed a beauty section, an area filled with wacky home décor, a sneaker zone, a wrapping station, and a counter offering customised T-shirts. What’s that in the distance? Oh yes, the restaurant. Nearly there.

In stark contrast to THAT’s brash, dazzling white and neon-speckled store, No. FiftySeven Boutique Café is a calming space, with big beautiful arches and neutral tones. Abu Dhabi residents will be all too familiar with the café name. Founded by entrepreneurs – and previous supperclubbers – Buthaina Al Mazrui and Alamira Noor Bani Hashim, its original restaurant has been serving a roaring trade in Al Bateen for a while now, so we’re very happy to see it here in Dubai.

We started with a pestle and mortar filled with delicious, zesty guacamole (Dhs65), which arrived alongside a huge paper bag filled with nachos. The boneless buffalo wings (Dhs55) were tasty with a nice tangy sting but admittedly looked a lot more like chicken tenders.

Salads and sandwiches dominate the main courses. Among the salads, the chargrilled eggplant grain salad (Dhs62) with a fan of pumpkin hummus was very good and elegantly presented. The lobster roll (Dhs125), meanwhile, was a lot of roll without much lobster. For an excellent lobster roll, the lobster must be substantial, the flesh juicy and pink, and the mayo subtle. This was not quite that. The shoestring fries were terrific, though.

No. FiftySeven Boutique Café has a lovely soothing feel and we liked the thoughtful menu and friendly service. You’ll work up quite an appetite to reach it, but it’s well worth seeking out.

THAT Concept Store, Mall of the Emirates, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight. @no57cafe

Images: Supplied