Shakespeare and Co
Reliably good coffee but some disappointing dishes Discuss this article
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We’re big fans of the Shakespeare and Co at Souk Central Market and so were naturally thrilled to hear another bigger branch had opened up on the opposite side of town. The new location’s décor is equally wacky – for those of you who haven’t been before, this means an abundance of lacy, pastel cushions and Victorian tea room style furnishings. But in spite of the arguably very girly décor, both branches seem to be most popular with men, whiling away whole afternoons on the frilly chairs and getting through cup after cup of Shakespeare’s coffee (which, incidentally, is terrific).
Shakespeare has a great atmosphere and the service is infinitely better here than at other similar cafes – swift, friendly and completely on the ball. The counter of colourful macarons, cakes, pastries and marshmallows is enormously tempting and so, as a coffee shop, Shakespeare and Co is about as good as it gets in Abu Dhabi. As a restaurant it’s almost there but not quite. The dishes range from pizza to Thai curry via Arabic snacks and, as a result, some of it is much better than others. We ordered a blue cheese and pear salad that was a tongue-tingling combination of spicy walnuts, sweet pomegranate seeds, tangy cheese, salad leaves and pear, that simply couldn’t have been improved upon. Chicken satay was equally good with tender chunks of meat and a creamy sauce. By contrast, cordon bleu with beef was far too heavy and a Caesar salad with prawns was light on all ingredients except lettuce – both were a real disappointment. Our advice? Become a regular customer at the new Shakespeare and Co if you live in that neck of the woods. Drink the coffee, eat the cakes and stick to a few dishes on the menu you know you like – then you’re guaranteed a top notch visit.
The bill (for two)
Prawn Caesar salad Dhs49
Beef cordon bleu Dhs69
Chicken satay Dhs36
Blue cheese and pear salad Dhs45
Total (excluding service) Dhs199
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.