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Smell the coffee... MBCo now serves great meals.

Dubai: The trendy Montreal Bread Company or MBCo - as their outlets are known the world over - have been in the UAE since 2007, popular for their brand of coffees and smoothies.

However they don't just stop there anymore. In fact, if you were dropping by for a cup of latte, you may end up staying for a full-blown meal.

Trying out some of the new items is worth your while, as I found out recently.

"It's definitely time to change people's perception about us," explained Allan Buenafe, 40, the Filipino manager of MBCo at Mirdif City Centre. "We are no longer just a coffee shop serving snacks. We are also a restaurant capable of serving some amazing items."

He was right on the money.

The chicken quesadilla (Dh37) he ordered for us more than proved his point. Served with aioli, a traditional mayonnaise-like French sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and usually egg yolks, it was replete with fresh strips of roasted chicken, spinach and onions topped with caper salsa. It may only be a starter on their menu, but it was both a filling and a gastronomically-fulfilling affair. This super-sub could give some of Dubai's best club or pub sandwiches a run for their money.

Captain of the crew Egyptian Ahmad Drazz got my partner a pineapple and mint smoothie (Dh33) made of pineapple juice, fresh fruit, mint and leaves with low-fat milk and lots of crushed ice, while I ordered a good old cafe hazelnut latte (Dh18). The smoothie had a perfectly balanced taste - neither sour nor overtly sweet and was 'refreshing to the bit', I was told. The coffee was a chocolate lover's delight!

Just as we were finishing up on the quesadillas, along came a gorgeous-looking egg benedict (Dh34). A relatively new addition to MBCo's menu, it comprises two poached eggs on a brioche bread served with Hollandaise sauce, white cheddar and sauteed mushrooms and spinach on the side. If you know your egg benedict well, you may perhaps not like the brioches as much, but because it is still somewhat of a rarity among restaurants here, it's worth a try.

Next in line was a Pave de Saumon (Dh69) -- a couple of thick-cut salmon steaks served with sauteed asparagus and roasted tomatoes in olive oil. The cuts, thick, meaty and very firm, tasted very fresh, the flavour of the garnishes intact -- a must for all fish lovers!

If fish doesn't quite grab your fancy, you could try their 'roast beef and caramelised onions on French baguette' (Dh39). Served hot with a cheddar brulee and a dipping sauce of 'lamb stock au jus' (French for with [its own] juice), it was a real treat for a meat lover, more so due to the distinct flavour of caramelised onions. The salad, dipped in balsamic vinegar, was the perfect accompaniment.

Finally it was time for dessert. We had a rich array of chocolate pastries and eclairs waiting for us, but decided to move away from the tradition, settling for a strawberry tart (Dh18). It could have all gone horribly wrong as I have never particularly been a fan of the fruit, but the amazing fresh baked pastry base made all the difference. The cream, light and not sinful, was the true icing while the fresh strawberries, arranged delightfully, took the cake!

Details:

Meal for two: Dh250

Location: Central Gallery, Mirdif City Centre

Dinner: 9am to 11pm (till 1am on weekends)

Call: 04-284 3807

We Recommend: Cafe Hazelnut Latte , chicken Quesadilla, Roast Beef on French Baguette, Strawberry Tart

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Publication:XPRESS (United Arab Emirates)
Article Type:Recipe
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 20, 2014
Words:609
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