Walking into this new café and miniature boutique on Al Wasl Square, I found a vision of rose pink and white, all delicate and cute, like the icing on a cake. Unfortunately, the waitress at the door shattered my hopes no sooner as I walked into the venue, when she explained that there was no savoury dishes on offer, only cakes and pastries. But feeling like a cup of coffee and a slice of cake wouldn’t be such a bad thing, I diligently headed inside.
Two walls of the café are lined with attractive, bijou (but fairly expensive) items from manicure sets and gift cards to evening gowns and kaftans. Along the window sat a table display that included a small selection of pastries, which all looked appetising, and the last wall was occupied with a patisserie counter stuffed with various sweet treats from mini cookies to a trifle in a jar.
On request, the waiter guided me through the various slices of cake on offer, with some hesitation and not entirely complete descriptions.
For example, it wasn’t until an enthusiastic lady in chef whites took over the helm that I learnt that the coconut cake was in fact coconut and the pineapple and blueberry cake was lemon and blueberry.
I opted for a slice of the lemon and blueberry cake and an Americano coffee, and a seat on the sofa at the back. Between myself and the other occupied table (by two young women), I noticed that the waitress started to take the cake to their table instead. But once again, ‘Chef Sid’ (in the chef’s whites) was on it, directing her back. As for the cake, it had a nicely fresh and home-made quality to it, with softly sour and aromatic lemon flavours, supremely fluffy sponge and a few little pockets of blueberry syrup inside to add a little interest to the experience. After my coffee, I decided to try the karak chai, a signature offering of the café, which came with a choice of house-made cookies.
As I tried to get the waitress’ attention, Chef Sid’s mother suddenly appeared and swiftly had the waitress come over. Sadly, she was rather vague about the variety of cookies on offer, and the Nutella option I chose didn’t appeal, and consisted of two messily conceived rounds of shortbread with the chocolate spread. The karak chai (although bizarrely served in a polystyrene cup), was very nice.
Spontiphoria is a cute concept, and, as it turns out, a family run business. Although a pleasant environment, with a very friendly mother and daughter behind it, there needs to be more attention to detail, and a slicker edge of professionalism when it comes to what should be expected of its staff.
The bill (for one) 1x coffee Dhs14 1x carrot cake Dhs15 1x chai karak Dhs5 Total (excluding service) Dhs34