Café 302

There’s a new hangout in town that could lead the way Discuss this article

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Farewell City Café and hello to Café 302, a hangout that oozes a hipster-ish vibe in stark contrast to the previous tenant.

As we take our seat we’re brought a bread basket and a little jar of cream cheese topped with a herb and olive mix. Now usually we would skip the bread, but the focaccia is an absolute delight – soft, herby and with a lovely tang. As for the cheese spread? Let’s just say we would have taken it home with us, if we’d had any left.
Our soup, the Moroccan tomato and onion offering, certainly doesn’t skimp on the main ingredient. Its consistency is almost purée-like, and has a lasting tomato flavour. The texture might not be what most will expect, but we love it. Meanwhile, the chicken “lollipops” are sticky, sweet and have a mild, spicy zing all at the same time.

On to the mains and our eyes widen as the burger arrives. The thick patty lacks a touch of seasoning, but is cooked well and drips with juice as we bite in. The lettuce lets out a crunch as we do so, signalling it is fresh and hasn’t been lying around. It comes with herbed, crisp fries and a beet, tomato and quinoa salad that we can’t seem to get enough of. It is light, moist and makes us feel better for our choice. The lamb ragu with penne is a classic take on the dish and we can’t complain about its execution.

However, it’s with the desserts that we stumble. The sweets run on for two counters; we opt for a brownie. It is not served warm or with ice cream, and we feel both would enhance its gooey flavour.

The service throughout is warm but the team of waiters seem confused about who in fact is tending to our table and take hurried turns. But we’ll just put that down to newbie nerves.

The bottom line
A cosy café with friendly staff, tasty food and a delicious cheese spread.

The Bill (for two)
1x Moroccan tomato soup Dhs17
1x Sticky chicken wings Dhs33
1x Beef burger Dhs66
1x Lamb ragu with penne Dhs68
1x Double chocolate brownie Dhs17
1x Local water Dhs10
Total (including taxes) Dhs253

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
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.

Details

  • Location: Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 610 6666
  • Travel: Hamdan Street
  • Cuisine: Cafés
  • Times: Open Sun-Thu 6am-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 6am-11pm
  • Price: Dhs200-350

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