No. 57 Cafe in Abu Dhabi
I found this cafe via their Instagram feed and was quite intrigued by their European inspired plates, hint of luxe, and a place to capture an awesome Instagram photo.
…guys, the Instagramable spaces are abundant, probably one of the most Instagramable spaces in Abu Dhabi.
“Instagramable” is a word right?
Of course it is in the land of social media.
The ability to capture several Instagram shots was undeniable as the space is beautifully decorated.
Location: The cafe is located in the Al Marasay area. If going by taxi, ask to be taken to the Al Marasay Towers, by car it’s not too far away from ADIB Building just past the palace.
….still no addresses, such fun.
It’s a little walk into the complex on the right side towards to dock. There’s a cart to pick you up, but it’s really not needed, in my opinion.
The menu has several options depending on your mood. There are light plates, breakfast choices, selections for sharing, and main courses. Initially, I wanted a hearty meal, but after chatting with the servers, I went in a different direction.
Service and Experience
One of the great things about dining out in Abu Dhabi is the level of service. Most of my dining experiences in Abu Dhabi were pleasant and it was no different with No. 57 Cafe. I was greeted and sat promptly, had an attentive waiter who was patient when discussing meal options, and problem solving was swift when I expressed that one of the dishes wasn’t to my liking. The entire experience was packaged within a bright, pleasant environment including comfortable seating, accessibility, modern touches without compromising local culture.
Without hesitation, I usually start with Americano. It’s familiar and meets the coffee need without fail. However, my waiter introduced the charcoal items on the menu and explained that they’re pretty popular among patrons. Of course there was slight hesitation because I didn’t want a bad coffee experience. To my surprise, the charcoal coffee was not bitter as expected but benefited from one sugar packet.
So, in keeping with the charcoal theme, the waiter suggested the activated charcoal pancakes. Click the link for the review on the Activated Charcoal Pancakes.
I paired the pancakes with a side of potato cakes because I’m southern and this is what we do and the Huevos Rancheros because again, I’m southern and Tex-Mex is always right.
Prior to the arrival of the main dishes was a complementary “basket” of bread.
Back to the Huevos Rancheros Dish. I’d picked this out prior to coming as I do with most new dining experiences. I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with the Tex-Mex inspired flavors coupled with potato cakes. Oh but I missed the mark on the selection and the chef missed the mark on preparation. The main issue was that it was far too oily and too much sauce. The flavor leaned more to a sweet tomato variety than a traditional richness found in many Tex-Mex dishes. Needless to say, I was disappointed but I tried to make it work. I added an entire potato cake hoping that it would absorb some of the oil so that the real textures could make an appearance but that didn’t work. There was just far too much sauce and oil, so I asked to have another dish.
The waiter suggested the Black Bagel, again, keeping with the activated charcoal theme with the coffee and pancakes.
The Black Bagel saved the experience as it was slightly satisfying and offered a new taste with the activated charcoal bagel. The bagel’s texture was slightly tough but didn’t disturb the sandwich immensely. I finished most of the sandwich, pancakes, coffee, and all of the potato cakes.
I’m recommending No. 57 Cafe on experience not necessarily on the quality of food. I’m sure some of their more popular dishes are better plated and prepared, but the items I selected, Activated Charcoal Pancake, Black Bagel, and coffee were just average. Also, as I like to mention, there are vast differences among European inspired and American inspired dishes. I find European inspired dishes are short on flavor but higher on presentation. It’s simply a preference not a standard.
See No. 57 Cafe on Youtube: