The more I add content to my little food website, the more I realize that it’s far, far more entertaining to write (and from the viewers experience, read) about bad food experiences than good ones. The bad reviews are the ones that get shared, spark discussion, drive traffic and although the good ones provide valuable insight and suggestions for where to eat, they’re just a little bit boring.
WARNING. This may be a boring review. Go read about Asia Asia or Il Borro if you want some action.
Anyways, La Farine. The quaint little licensed cafe at the foot of the JW is a place you’ll often find me when I either have someone to meet, have had an awful day and need a drink or maybe have a meeting with my boss to have a work-related “debate” (translation: “FULL BLOWN ROW”) away from the prying ears of the office. The interiors are comfortable, the coffee is strong and the food I’ve had in the past has been good.
I got the call at 11:45am that my wife was in my neck of the woods, so I agreed to meet her for lunch and amazingly, La Farine was where I chose.
I walked over from work and was led to a window-side table by the smiley host. She asked me what was my room number and whilst explaining that I was just visiting the cafe and wasn’t a guest, she turned her back to me and walked off – me mid-sentence? Odd.
Another gentleman came over with a little more insight into the rules of basic human interaction and I ordered a strong French press coffee. Now, I feel I need to justify this choice as the levels of pretension surrounding hipster coffee have reached boiling point. The revile seen in certain places if you don’t order cat-shit coffee beans (no really, people actually drink coffee that’s made from cat-shit. Google “luwak coffee”.), prepared in a complex system that wouldn’t look out of place churning out the finest grade crystal meth is staggering. I’ve tried the whole range of chemex, filters, aeropress, V60s but nobody has managed to make me a cup yet with the cojones of a good old French press. Yeah, you get a big of sediment at the bottom, but what of it.
The wife arrived and we were presented with a basket of freshly prepared bread and a delicious, creamy butter and an olive tapenade. My regular readers will know my thoughts on olives, but the wife loved it. The bread itself was pure perfection, delightfully crunchy with a sumptuously-soft center.
We both ordered salads as per my recommendation (as I’ve had them before and they’re awesome) and they both arrived within around 10 minutes. I’d selected the crab salad, the wife the duck one.
It’s very rare that I order a salad as I usually find them really boring, La Farine though takes real care ensuring that each salad is dressed appropriately (ie. not dry as a bone or swimming in mayonnaise). They also pack the plates out with a wide variety of different tastes and textures, my crab salad was extremely fresh with blood orange segments providing the tang, the walnuts and lettuce the crunch, the cherry tomatoes the pop – it all just worked harmoniously. The sentiment was shared by my wife who also enjoy hers, the duck juicy and well cooked and the variety of ingredients inside meaning no mouthful was the same.
As we had to go back to work, both of us finished our salads, the bread and left extremely satisfied after paying – even more happier that they accepted the Entertainer voucher for the salad, meaning a pretty thrifty lunch being had.
FOOD: 13/15 – Delicious salad and bread!
SERVICE: 11/15 – The rude greeter aside, the food came quickly and the staff were efficient.
DRINKS SELECTION: 2.5/5 – Average selection from an alcohol perspective. They just sell the basics, no interesting beers or gins. Good coffee though.
AMBIANCE: 4/5 – It wasn’t really busy throughout, but as we had window seats it was pleasant having the sunlight beaming in and it’s a good environment for discussion. For a cafe, it all works well.
DESIGN: 3.5/5 – Nothing really bad about it, just nothing really spectacular about it or memorable either.
VALUE: 3/5 – 65 / 70 AED for both salads is reasonable for the good quality and they accept the Entertainer. 30 AED is expensive for a small French press coffee though.
CONCLUSION: An enjoyable lunch was had! A few improvements on their drinks selection wouldn’t go amiss, but the food is good the coffee is strong and it’s somewhere I’ll keep going back to.