“No One is Born a Great Cook, One Learns by Doing.” Julia Child
Blink and you might drive straight past Culinary Boutique on the Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai, one of the many palatial properties located in amongst the mass of health and beauty clinics along the lengthy busy road. This modern gourmet cafe-meets-cookery school is housed inside a large converted villa and the minute you step inside you feel like you have entered into the perfect Instagram photo or the pages of a glossy magazine.
The interior is simply stunning; beautiful aqua wall tiles and constrasting copper accessories catch your eye immediately, you can’t help take a photo of your feet on the patterned floor (#Ihaveathingwithfloors) but the piece de resistance is the wave patterned ceiling, an architectural triumph. The contemporary cafe has indoor seating, an outdoor dining space with an additional rooftop terrace and dedicated cooking school on the second floor.
Opened in December 2015, Culinary Boutique is not just a cafe but a culinary experience that was established by Emirati entrepreneur Hessa al Qassim after she noticed a gap in the market for foodies who love to eat and cook. A hundred different cooking classes and hands-on workshops are taught by the chefs in two state of the art kitchens. The classes are designed for everyone regardless of age and ability from complete beginner to masterchef, summer afternoon cooking camps for children are running from next month for those looking for entertainment for their offspring. Culinary Boutique is also a multifunctional venue that can be booked for intimate events, private parties and corporate functions.
While some people may visit for its insta worthiness (just me? whoops) the creditability of any establishment is obviously in the quality of its food, drinks and service and I can confirm all of which were really good. The menu is varied with lots of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dedicated kids menu. Breakfast is served daily until noon (1pm on weekends) offering a wide selection of dishes from pancakes with Halva ice cream to the more indulgent scrambled eggs with Iranian caviar and pretty much everything in between.
We visited for lunch and were impressed by the sizable international menu offering starters, soups, salads, mains, sandwiches and burgers. My dining companion ordered homemade lobster pasta with saffron sauce and I chose a grilled goats cheese salad with balsamic red onions, both dishes were tasty and as insta worthy as the cafe itself. The menu caters for dietary requirements with vegetarian dishes as well as nut, dairy and gluten free options too. While the salads are reasonable priced the mains are more expensive starting at AED 90 for a risotto, rising to AED 295 for a wagyu sirloin steak and pasta dishes are all priced over AED 100 each. Those with a sweet tooth can choose from fifteen desserts including the signature lavender milk cake, lavender creme brulee and the popular lotus biscuit flavoured milk cake.
Lavender is a key ingredient at Culinary Boutique, not only does it feature in the cakes, desserts and decor but also in the drinks menu with the popular signature lavender-infused cappuccino and lavender hot chocolate. UAE homegrown coffee brand Seven Fortunes coffee are the beans of choice offered along with teas, smoothies, mocktails, milkshakes and juices. There’s a whole range of cakes and desserts baked on the premises available for dine-in and takeaway, the retail section offers hampers, olive oils, local honey and of course lavender syrup for purchase.
Culinary Boutique is a delightful place to while away a couple of hours with friends and family enjoying the flavoursome homemade food but equally an ideal spot to pop in for a coffee or meet for a business lunch in the heart of Jumeirah. If you are looking to hone your knife skills, impress a loved one with your culinary prowess or teach your kids to cook be sure to check out the cookery school options.
Location: Villa 56, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Duabi
Telephone: 04 345 0023
Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 8:00 am – 11:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday 8:00 am – midnight
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All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.