FACT visits BurJuman’s latest neighbourhood cafe.
If you’ve been to Abu Dhabi in recent years, the chances are you may have heard of Café 302, a signature concept for the homegrown Rotana brand that has been making waves in the capital. The neighbourhood cafe concept has recently opened in the heart of Dubai’s busy BurJuman district, offering quality coffee and a menu of international dishes at reasonable prices.
Ideally located at a juncture between BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana, BurJuman Mall and the BurJuman Business Tower, Café 302 is much bigger than its counterpart in the capital and is buzzing with footfall on the lunchtime that we visit.
Walking into Café 302, we’re astounded by the restaurant’s expanse, which wouldn’t feel out of place in New York’s Soho or London’s trendy Shoreditch. The space is inviting and we immediately feel at home due to the warm staff and Instagrammable decor that is aesthetically pleasing. The concept has cleverly utilized the space, to provide a modern, bright and boutique feel unique for the location.
The beauty of Café 302 is the venues transitional nature and with the progression of the day, the menu and space adapt accordingly. As a day-to-night venue, Café 302 caters to not only the hotel guests who may get breakfast as part of their room rate but to the passing trade from the office workers and mall-goers in the vicinity. A glance at the menu shows similarities to Abu Dhabi with its artisanal approach to dishes and ingredients, although prices are visibly lower in Dubai.
We’re impressed by the breakfast menu of golden waffles, eggs Benedict, stuffed paratha and coffee, but guests in the know can opt for an unlimited breakfast served from 6:30am daily for just AED 50 per person.
At lunchtime, the menu transitions to provide health-conscious salads, soups, wraps and sandwiches that are very appealing. We can thoroughly recommend the Superfood Bowl (AED 48) bursting with fresh kale, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sweetcorn and edamame that can be topped with salmon, chicken, tuna or shrimp. The Crispy Shrimp Tempura (AED 25) served with Asian slaw and soy sauce are another delight, offering huge shrimp that are lightly battered and undeniably moreish.
The varied menu also offers pizzas, pasta, kababs, burgers and curries, with specific pages dedicated to various vegan and vegetarian options.
Desserts also impress. Both the light and fluffy Raspberry White Choco Cheese Brulee (AED 29) and the Potted Banana Cream Pie (AED 39) are generously portioned and more than enough for two people, ensuring a sweet finale to a casual and relaxed meal that is best enjoyed with one of Café 302’s hot beverages.
Keeping things interesting, Café 302 offers several exciting promotions, including a healthy lunch every day between 12pm and 3:30pm with prices starting from AED 24. If you’re visiting later in the day, happy hour runs from 4pm to 7pm, meaning you can tuck into a drink and a sandwich or burger for only AED 21. Finally, Thursday evenings bring the ultimate Filipino Food Festival with a selection of authentic food from the 7,641 islands of the Philippines, available in combos and individual dishes starting from AED 16.
Café 302 already appears to be making its mark! It’s not just the appealing decor, artisanal baked bread, large portions of healthy food, or the signature coffees. Café 302 is new, it’s unique and best of all, it’s good.
GO: Call (0)4 352 4444 for reservations and more information.