Location, location, location – as much as I try not to let it bother me, where a restaurant is does inevitably affect my attitude towards it. Lately, I’ve found myself lamenting the location of various restaurants – places that would probably do a lot better if they weren’t where they are. Of course, this is a veiled way of me saying that I wish the place was a bit a closer to me, because as good as it might be, I’m still a bit miffed that I’ve had to sit in a taxi for 40 minutes to get there. Of course, while venue X might be on the other side of town for me, it’s right next door for a lot of other people, meaning that their attitude to it will be entirely different to mine – it’s nearby and convenient, and because of this, they can build a rapport with the staff. From then on, it thus becomes a firm favourite.

This, I’m sure, is true of Le Succès – a French bakery in Uptown Motorcity. A friend of mine had been waxing lyrical about the fresh bread at Le Succès, which is made onsite by – wait for it – real-life French chefs. Yes, French. In fact, she was so excited about the place that she said she went there especially to buy bread, despite living near DIFC. A bakery worth travelling for? I thought I’d better take a look.

But even before I reached Le Succès, I had concluded that my friend was quite bonkers. I’d been travelling in a taxi for nearly half an hour and no matter how good the bread was, I’d already made up my mind that it wasn’t worth travelling 40 minutes for. I don’t mind being wrong – I really don’t – and when my taxi eventually pulled up to Le Succès, I wish that the smell of freshly baked bread picked me up by the nostrils – cartoon-style – and carried me through the doors and into a veritable wonderland of baked goods. Instead, I found myself standing in front of a rather dark, lonely-looking café, in dusty Uptown Motorcity, with the roar of cars speeding around Dubai Autodrome in the distance and a very unimpressed date stood next to me.

‘The bread’s meant to be really good,’ I offered, feebly.

Proceedings marginally improved once we entered Le Succès. Although the air-conditioning was cranked up rather too high for our liking (that is to say it was rather chilly), it was difficult not to be impressed by the array of macaroons, éclairs, croissants, pain au chocolat, and countless other treats crammed into the display counters. What’s more, the friendly waitress that bounced around behind the counter was more than cheerful enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.

We were there for a late lunch and opted for a simple sandwich each – tuna for her, chicken for me – both served in a generously proportioned baguette. Peculiarly enough, while my chicken sandwich arrived with tomatoes, crisp iceberg and a generous slathering of mayonnaise, my date’s tuna mayonnaise baguette was just that – tuna mayonnaise and a baguette. Luckily, the staff at Success were happy enough to throw in some additional salad upon our tardy, special request.

There’s only so much you can say about a sandwich and in this particular instance it’s ‘not bad’. Not worth travelling across town for, no, but if we happened to live around the corner, I’d be pretty satisfied. We washed down our sandwiches with a couple of freshly squeezed fruit juices – orange and watermelon – and I followed it all up with a nicely made Illy coffee.

In the time it took for us to munch through our sandwiches and finish our drinks, at least four pram-wielding mums popped in to purchase armfuls of baguettes, a loaf or two of bread, or a bag of pain au chocolat. While I might not be willing to come all this way to buy bread, Le Succès is good at what it does and has a loyal, local following. For this it should be commended, and while it’s perhaps not worth the extended hike across the city, if you happen to live five minutes away, then, by all means, drop in next weekend.

The bill (for two)
1x Chicken sandwich
1x Tuna sandwich Dhs20
1x Orange juice Dhs18
1x Watermelon juice Dhs18
1x Americano Dhs14
1x English breakfast tea Dhs15
Total (excluding service) Dhs105