Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com

Baker & Spice

Best Café Winner 22 Comments

© ITP Images

The deep orange and brown decor is welcoming and warm, and combines nicely with the back to basics, natural wood furniture at this London export. Fresh, organic salads entice you at the entrance – you can pick five as a starter if you’re dining in (however, the portion is tiny and barely enough for two) or pay by the weight if you’re taking away. The freshly baked bread is wholesome and flavour combinations are exciting. The pan roasted fillet of wild bass served with rocket mashed potato and parsley lime pesto awakens the taste buds – but is a touch too salty. Refreshingly, the linguine with wild prawns, mushrooms and a cream and nutmeg sauce isn’t too rich, instead the flavours are subtle and light. Staff are swift when it comes to taking your order and presenting your bill, but not so efficient with recommendations. But be warned, for a cafe, prices are on the high side, but with sustainable ingredients sourced locally, from farms and markets each day, with only seasonal produce used, this has got to be expected.
Open daily, 8am-11.30pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, bakerandspiceme.com (04 425 2240).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Orsolya on 24 Nov ' 14 at 19:17

Worst experience in the uae so far! Very bad attitude and the food is...i thought its a bad joke. Do not recommend by any means.

Posted by: Marwan on 03 Feb ' 13 at 06:12

I only had to write this review because I was very frustrated with the service. Specifically, the attitude of the waitress who served us. Even though the place was packed, I see no reason why she treats customers that way. I was even shocked when I heard her yell at her colleague "MOVE" in front of customers.

Posted by: Razena Schroeder on 13 Mar ' 12 at 13:28

I wish now that I had read the reviews here before my first and only visit to Baker & Spice at Souk Al Bahar. I went there one Friday morning in February, after going to the organic produce market that they arrange.

The omelette with mushrooms tasted as bland and uninspiring as it looked, alone on the plate without any adornment or salad leaf in sight. When I requested some tomato sauce or hot sauce, I was informed that they do not stock any outside products, but I was not offered any inhouse substitute to moisten the dry offering. The cafe latte was bitter and served to add to the awful breakfast experience.

The waitress was sullen and not very helpful or friendly and I have never had the slightest inclination to go back there.

Posted by: phillip on 30 May ' 11 at 09:13

hi with regards to my last comments , i wasnt happy with the food and was asking if a new chef is at baker and spice hence to nosedive in quality, sinking ship i think

Posted by: phillip on 27 May ' 11 at 10:51

Ive been to the new shop in al manzil but something as changed recently with the quality of the salads and main dishes?????? I think they have a new chef , does anyone know?

Posted by: Katie on 24 May ' 11 at 18:52

For a cafe that pretends to be high end, the food is mediocre. My husband ordered a salad that was drenched in oil and tasted far from fresh or flavorful. The chicken was dry and bland. The folks running the place needs to rethink their strategy and perhaps change management/chefs.

Posted by: Ray on 19 May ' 11 at 18:30

Food was bland and over priced. Not recommended.

Posted by: peter on 09 Apr ' 11 at 13:03
  • Best for: Brunch served

Horrible pricing, service and they completely give the RAW coffee they use a horrible name. And seriously 20 something for a cappuccino is horrible. The irony is that the same coffee made with the same beans at the RAW Coffee Company is Dhs. 12.00. Not going back here.

Posted by: dp on 16 Jan ' 11 at 08:06

Even though it's one of the few "green restaurants" in Dubai is extremely overpirced for what it offers and the portions are way too small. Service is terrible.

Posted by: Omar on 06 Dec ' 10 at 13:12
  • Best for: Family friendly

I've been in few restaurants in Dubai and I can easly say is one of the best in the city, been from a food background peoples needs to understand what's behind every plate of food served in front of you? one major point is to find out that Baker & Spice are green which means 100% of their ingredients comes from an organic or sustainable source which makes me happy to know that some peoples are indeed thinking about our planet. The food me and my wife had was tasty and good value for money and most importantly I was sure that I was eating real food made from real ingredients and this is significant in my views knowing what is served in most restaurants nowadays, so good luck B&S and I hope more people start following their example.

Posted by: Zoe on 04 Dec ' 10 at 12:28
  • Best for: Romantic

Best for visitors to Dubai/comfort food/dinner with friends or a breakfast treat.

I am amazed by all the negtive reviews on here. I have been to Baker & Spice 3 x now, for breakfast and twice for dinner. I use it as my default Fountain View restaurant for friends and visitors as it is the best food/view/value of the many waterfront restaurants in Souk Al Bahar. Yes, it is a little pricey but for 'real' food as opposed to the 'rubber'esque offerings in some of its neighbours think the price is reasonable. The atmosphere is like mum's kitchen meets North London cafes - surprisingly non-pretentious, good, fresh cooked food and friendly service.

I love the roast chicken - great seasoned chicken with a crispy skin and oven cooked roast - simply delicious!! And the eggs benedict breakfast/french toast breakfast is spot on.

Posted by: Ranjit Jayanandhan on 18 Nov ' 10 at 07:09

I went to baker and spice this morning at the Dukkan Manzil because it looked nice and seemed like a fun place to try out. I was surprised when my mediocre looking cappuccino arrived and was Dhs. 22 (USD 6.0). After having lived in the US for the last 10 years, this kind of price for a cappuccino is RIDICULOUS. Even in NYC, the priciest cuppa I have had is close to 5 dollars but it was made on a machine by an award winning barista. Upon enquiry as to the high prices, I was informed that the barista had no control and I had to take it up with management, which I am going to. Highly disappointed in this place.

Posted by: Bruno on 16 Oct ' 10 at 16:38

I've been wanting to go since I read an article about this restaurant, I had a visitor from the US and we went for dinner. Was very dissapointed with the service, in fact, there is no service. We were asked what we wanted in the most unprofessional way, they brought our food then the check when we asked. It felt like we just ate at a fast food restaurant.
The place is nice, and the location next to the fountain is great. But will never go back.

Posted by: GaelleL on 03 Aug ' 10 at 15:40

I have heard so much about this chain yet our experience was very disappointing. The staff were unfriendly, clueless, and for every question asked they had to revert back to the chef.

The only enjoyable part of our lunch was the seating outside and the fountains playing.

Posted by: Anna on 01 Jul ' 10 at 07:41
  • Best for: Brunch served

I went to this restaurant a few months ago (for the first time) with a friend who raved about their eggs benedict. Unfortunately we didn't make it in time for brunch, but upon hearing our disappointment, the manager/owner came out and went over their new menu for the winter season. It was a truly unique selection, and the more adventuresome the order, the better the food was. While some dishes are familiar and standard, many are seasonal specialties on a menu that is updated several times a year. Ask a manager for menu recommendations, and order the ones that the chef has added to the menu specifically for that season- you won't be disappointed.

Posted by: John on 08 May ' 10 at 16:47

My wife and I went to try their Afternoon Tea - Dhs.145 'per couple'. Expecting to receive a selection of cakes, sandwiches and scones for two, we were extremely disappointed to see that there was only 1 type of each (except for the doughnuts which came as a pair). Baffled as to how this selection could be shared by two, we lodged our complaint with the waiter.
A few minutes later, the Business Manager of Baker & Spice came to our table and his attitude left a lot to be desired. Not only were we told that 'we didn't have to eat there if we were not happy with the food' but that if we wanted to share, we should simply 'cut the pastries and sandwiches in half'!! Obviously they failed to define that 'per couple' meant that everything had to be cut in half and shared!
When we pointed out that Afternoon Tea at the Raffles Hotel costs Dh.120 per person with a vast selection of sweet & savoury pastries, scones, sandwiches and chocolates (good enough for 2-3 people to share) we were then told that the Raffles was merely 'a hotel' and that we did not understand the philosophy of Baker & Spice which revolved around organic and home-grown produce.
As Londoners, my wife and I frequent the Baker & Spice in Belgravia. However, this was our first visit to its Dubai counterpart and we are totally astounded by their absolute lack of customer service and disdainful attitude towards our complaint. With all the 'rules' they have (salad portion 'rules' etc), they should definitely make it a 'rule' to listen to clients' complaints without being rude!!
I'd like to point out we are regulars at all the top restaurants in Dubai and London and our custom is much welcomed and appreciated by all of them. Baker & Spice in Dubai doesn't get any of our votes, and we certainly won't be stepping in there ever again!

Posted by: hamad tarek on 14 Mar ' 10 at 10:51
  • Best for: Brunch served

i was quite disappointed with the quality of the granola with yoghurt that i ordered for two reasons:

- it was extremely sweet feeling like a pot of honey was dumped all over the decent sized portion i was served.
- le pain quotidien's granola is much more balanced with a more natural, rustic authentic feel. its like the difference between a supermarket baguette and a real boulangerie if i were to compare the two.
- why can't restaurants stick to the common types of water (perrier, pellegrino, evian, masafi, etc) or at least make sure they are options?
- definitely NOT the place for those on a budget. i think i paid 50 dirhams for that plate of granola and yoghurt! (that's about $15)

Posted by: AD on 09 Mar ' 10 at 09:04

I agree with Skipson's review. This place has waiters that have absolutely no clue about service. I ordered a soup as appetizer and a quiche while my friend ordered a salad. All the food was brought out at the same time (as is the case in most restaurants in Dubai!). And the "salad rules" were inversely proportionate wih the little variety the salad bar offered...

Posted by: Sam on 20 Jan ' 10 at 10:40
  • Best for: Business lunch

What a wonderful place to find in this country that loves it's food to be fast, full of calories, pesticide ridded, carbon foot print inducing and utterly tasteless....!!
Having brunch at Baker & Spice is s true treat, the food is not only good but the people who run it clearly have done so much research into how the flavors all go together you really do not have to think that hard about what to order. Genius.
As the review says, yes the portions are a good size, but over priced they are not. I would pay twice this in London and happily as all of us that come from there know how hard it is to find good soul food.

Posted by: pends on 14 Jan ' 10 at 14:26

This place has potential, but doesn't quite pull it off. Some of the food, such as the salads and the croissants, is really good. Other stuff, like the eggs, just okay. Very disappointing coffee which at AED 22 is unforgivable. It's over the road for me so I'll persist - hope the kinks are ironed out as Dubai needs concepts such as this.

Posted by: Skipson on 08 Nov ' 09 at 09:57
  • Best for: Brunch served

After examining the menu left on a table outside the restaurant, we were intrigued by the omlettes. On inquiry, we were told that omlettes were served but could not be customized, no choosing ingredients. What's on the menu is what you can have. While not ideal, we decided that the gruyere omlette and the spinach and feta omlette listed on the menu would do fine. Thus, we took a table outside overlooking the Dubai Fountain. When presented with menus outside, however, omlettes were nowhere to be found. Apparently, after 1:00pm on Saturday, the brunch menu is no longer offered. We protested that we had only moments ago been told that omlettes could be ordered and even given the "omletter rules". After fifteen minutes and conversations with two waiters, we were told that the chef would be consulted. Finally, we were granted our order. The omlettes turned out to be not worth the negotiations. One was barely cooked and neither came with any salad or bread. We were told that salad was available, but only from the front counter and that we would have to walk to the front counter to order the salad. At the front counter we were informed that salads could be ordered only in fours, no single salads available. If we didn't want four salads, they would be happy to put all four on one plate. The "salad rules" turned out to be too much, so we decided against salad. The gentleman was kind enough to use his bare hands to slice us off a couple of bread slices though. Overall, the restaurant has a very enticing look, and we wanted to like it. The "rules", however, make the experience somewhat trying.

Posted by: COLIN on 24 Jul ' 09 at 15:34
  • Best for: Brunch served

Found myself back in the Souk al Bahar again, under different circumstances this time - catching up with some girlfriends for an early, non-boozy brunch - sometimes difficult to find in a Dubai drenched in 'bubbly'-pouring, glitzy hotel brunches.
Greeted at the door, and enticed by the bright display of various salads and pastries in a deli-type area, we were lead down into the cafe-type area with large, light wooden tables arranged around a long central Wagamama-type sharing table down the middle.
A lengthy menu chock-full of choice got tummies rumbling with anticipation - there is a plethora of choice for anyone, with local, british and american staples all in evidence, some imaginative choices and everything we had was done well.
In the end, we went traditional - beautiful, fluffy omelettes; the best blueberry pancakes this side of San Diego, juices squeezed to order, (instead of the 'fresh' bottles juices found elsewhere), and la piece de resistance - a rich, unctuous smoky, spicy Mexican hot chocolate on recommendation from our waiter. And to make my friend happy, Musetti coffee.
Quite possibly the best brunch I have had in some time. Yum.