Shakespeare & Co. - Abu Dhabi

Kitchy cafe with fun decor and good food in Guardian Towers
  • 4

Time Out Says

Ah Shakespeare and Co. If you haven’t seen the décor here, you haven’t lived. It’s so overwhelmingly kitsch to the point of self-imposed hilarity. Some may question how tongue-in-cheek the Grandma’s house theme really is, but it’s what gives this chain an identity in the overcrowded café landscape of Abu Dhabi.

We tread carefully into the explosion of lace and frills, to take our place at our table.

The menu boasts a sizeable variety, with saj, salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas all available. We peruse the menu for a while, overwhelmed by the choice. In the end we opt for the Mediterranean salad and scaloppini al limone. It’s a matter of mere minutes before the dishes are placed in front of us, which does raise an eyebrow…how did they cook a beef dish in less than ten minutes?

The salad is a hearty mix of lettuce, halloumi cheese, cucumber, croutons, tomato and dressing. The dressing is similar to the flavour of a fattoush, which we love. It’s a good size portion, which we struggle to finish. The lettuce is crunchy, the dressing is just the right amount, and the halloumi is grilled to perfection.

The scaloppini is unusual, the lemon sauce seems a little bland, and we couldn’t help but wonder if some quality had been sacrificed for speed. The scallops of beef are drizzled in the sauce but we aren’t overly impressed. The beef is draped around a shredded potato rosti, which looks and tastes like a fancy hash brown if we are being honest. Overall, it’s probably the low point of the meal.

For dessert, we fancy a ‘flowering tea’ so we try the two jasmine tea options and the fondant au chocolat. The staff advise us that the fondant will take around 20 to 25 minutes, which we don’t mind (we do appreciate the warning though) – although we had to wonder how a steak could possibly be dished up faster than a dessert.

The teas come out with a little tea-light burner to keep them warm. The glass teapots have a large plant species in them, which we assume (and hope) is jasmine. The flavour takes a little while to infuse, but we enjoy the idea and the tea-light candles give off a nice ambience.

The chocolate fondant comes out after the teas, and the smell hits us before anything else. We pick up the spoon to take a bit of the chocolate cake and as we pierce the cake, an overwhelming fudgy chocolate sauce oozes onto our spoon and the place. Add to that, a little taste of the homemade pistachio ice-cream and we nearly become as gooey as the inside of the dessert. The cake is soft and moist and the sauce drizzled on the plate gives it an extra kick. This is one of the best desserts we have had in the city and definitely concludes the meal on a high note.

The bill (for two)
Scaloppini Al Limone Dhs75
Mediterranean Salad Dhs47
Jasmine Lotus tea Dhs30
Jasmine fairies tea Dhs30
Fondant Au Chocolate Dhs34
The total (excluding service) Dhs216

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff  | 14 Jan 2014

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Dress CodeCasuals
Show number +971 2 491 7673
Abu Dhabi, Danet Abu Dhabi, Street 31, Muroor Road

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