I took a break from my same ol’ same ol’ weekly breakfast routine to have something new (and completely different) this Friday weekend. I went to That Place Café in Karama to try their recently launched breakfast menu. Located next door to Bombay Chowpatty on Street 2 B behind the Park Regis Kris Kin Hotel, the restaurant’s interior very obviously has a woman (or a very sensitive man’s) touch to it with lots of pastel lilac and teal and pink flowers lining the walls and seats. It’s probably not the best place to come to with the lads after MMA practice. Instead, I know this group (of fellow bloggers actually) who could easily spend a whole afternoon here Instagram-ing themselves silly.
I loved the fact that I was offered to sync my phone with their little Bose speaker and play my own music while there – how cool is that? And just in case anyone is interested, I obliged by playing my Spotify playlist, Hodgepodge: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1DR6JUyBRLGHAc0kpqSEGb?si=S3s7EiebQWWjGbrJviaKtg.
That Place Café is similar in concept to a host of trendy (mostly) Karama-based restaurants such as Mumbai Hafta, The Bhukkad Café, Once Upon A Bite, Bol Gappa and The Mumbai Gully & Kulfiholic in Oud Metha, each of which presents their own take on modern Indian street food. Some express themselves through chaat, some through kababs – That Place Café does it with momos, noodles (Maggi of course), buns and now, also with breakfast. But before we get to breakfast, let me tell you that the momos at this unassuming little café are possibly the best I have had in Dubai. And before anybody says anything, I have tried my fair share of momos out here (and in Sharjah): Real Momos, Momos Magic, Yalla Momos, Momo & More, Momo House, Gorkha, Sayapatri, Everest, Himalayan, Kanchanjunga and Darjeeling Café – get the picture? That Place Café trumps them all, especially their chicken momos (which are simply insane when served with their Afghani sauce – triple oof!).
Their Maggi noodles are good too, but everybody’s doing Maggi noodles these days.
Not a lot of Indian restaurants in Dubai offer breakfast beyond the South Indian idli, vada, dosa, etc. (which I love by the way). In fact, of all the above restaurants I think only @thebhukkadcafe offers brekkie – and a fantastic one at that. The added advantage That Place Café has in this regard is that it is also a bakery and as such offers delicious freshly baked breakfast buns. And one of the best things to have with their buns is the Anda Ghotola, a hugely popular egg-based street food from Surat in the Gujrat which is gaining in popularity throughout India (and also Dubai). Anda Ghotola combines a curried tomato base with eggs three ways – fried, scrambled and boiled. Bucket list this immediately if you haven’t already tried it. Here’s a clip from the boys and girls at @tasty_street_food to show you what it’s all about: https://youtu.be/mSf-8hK4Nr4. There is a mastery of the egg evident at That Place that my friends at @rajuomlet should start getting worried about.
And now for a little balance – I found the service genuinely friendly but painfully slow. I’m told that’s because everything is made fresh. It helps (some) that your own playlist is playing the background, but the truth is this needs to change – they’ve got to get faster. More balance – I didn’t think much of my masala omelette.
But I’m happy to inform you that a new proper classic three-egg masala omelette with lightly fried chopped onion, tomato, green chilli, topped with fresh cilantro should be available on the menu by the time this review airs. Masala omelette and slow service aside, I really enjoyed my breakfast at this little place. Much of that had to with the opportunity I got to chat with owner, Arpita, herself an accomplished chef. I have a lot of respect for first time restaurateurs, especially ones struggling through these troubled times. Firstly (or should I say, lastly), this restaurant is 100% worth a visit but if you can’t visit – order: https://clip.chatfood.io/that-place-cafe.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.