Café Rider is a big boy’s wet dream. How else would you describe a warehouse full of exotic motorbikes, a full size food truck, a wardrobe of biker gear including jackets, leathers, tees and helmets (but surprisingly no leather masks or whips), a coffee roasting station and a lounging area in the middle of it all with those lazy, laid back sofas you never want to get out of? Hmm? Suddenly, I know what I want to do when I grow up.
On the culinary side, coffee is quite obviously Café Rider’s main strength. You kinda get that as soon as you walk in; there’s a hard-to-miss, industrial grade coffee roaster sitting in one corner of the warehouse, and a full counter dedicated to brewing just in-front of it. The other give away is when your order is being taken; they literally offer you choice of bean down to the goat which peed, on the bush beside, the village in Ethiopia from where it was harvested.
FF to when order is finally placed and my coffee arrives; so I look at my friendly waiter and ask, Jack – where’s the sugar? Dear-o-dear, the huffing and puffing and eye rolling I got, you’d think I’d said something about his teenage sister. ‘We don’t normally serve sugar with our coffee’ he says miffed. And I’m like, Jack – coffee is bitter and I’m a puss – get me some sugar, please! But he won’t. Instead he convinces me to try my coffee without sugar. Yeah, of course I tried (he was bigger than me). And you know what? It was excellent, really, really. And this became the second time in a week that I had the most amazing-coffee-in-my-life experience. The other was at the Kaffa Beans Café in Silicone Oasis.
The food, best described as British street food, comes compliments of the Ghaf Kitchen, which is set up in all its glory in a fully restored ‘60’s Citroën food truck at the far end of the warehouse. I’m still not sure what British street food means; my friend and I were there for breakfast and only got to sample standard fare; poached eggs (instead of scrambled), beans on toast, etc. And herein lies the first of my excuses to go back…if for no other reason than to sample the rest of the menu. FYI, Ghaf is run by a pretty Scottish lass by the name of Caroline. They also do events and parties an’ stuff. Write to her on email@example.com if interested.
The truth is, I could list a dozen reasons to go back. Café Rider is just one of those places which takes you in and makes you feel at home almost instantly. And even if you’re not an active biker or an old dog like me, with only scars and aches to show for his two wheeled escapades past, you’ll still be welcome…for the amazing coffee, the food, just to lounge around…or even to buy an exotic bike. Café Rider has shot straight into my top 10 favourite places in Dubai. Give it a try. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and if any of the butch waiters give you any trouble about ordering sugar with your coffee, speak to cool supervisor dude, Anwar – he’ll sort you out.