Dubai Garden Center has a Cafe. They seem to be generally expanding their wares from plants and dirt into garden sculpture, furniture, cute indoor and outdoor housewares, used bookstore, a deli and best of all, a cafe.
Now, Dubai has lots and lots of cafes. Some I've even wanted to review, but couldn't get waited on. Some that are too pretentious or delicious but too expensive to visit regularly. There's also the problem of weird or just plain horrible service, which given enough of it, does ultimately ruin the pleasure of going out to eat.
All of these Dubai style cafe problems are nearly completely solved at the Dubai Garden Center's cafe.
The food is delicious. On our first visit we had a turkey-ham and cheese croissant which was flaky and perfectly toasted, not microwaved so it wasn't soggy! Hooray! A mushroom quiche was excellent, full of woodsy mushroom flavor but with plenty of cheese and egg. We split a chocolate muffin that was moist and not too sweet. Coffee drinks were prepared EXACTLY as we ordered them. A latte was a perfect balance of coffee and milk, and American style brewed coffee tasted great! instead of like dishwater.
Our second visit was for sandwiches. We had turkey and cheese and a mozzarella and tomato one. Both were fresh and delicious. Drinks were cold, chips were crispy.
The service is normal. There is no snob factor, whatsoever. Even better, there doesn't seem to be any of the 'Yes M'am, Sirrrr!!!' meaning 'No'. The staff is genuinely friendly, not obsequious. Most importantly, when the wrong sandwich was accidentally delivered to us, the waiter removed it with a simple, 'I'm sorry, I'll get the correct one!' and then did so, in under 3 minutes! not with 20 minutes of consultation with colleagues or a desperate need to make us admit we had ordered the wrong thing! Coffees were served promptly and hot. BUT, not so scorching they couldn't be consumed! Change was correct and counted back to us.
The prices are fair! Our first breakfast cost around 60dhs and lunch was about 100dhs. The cafe is not cheap, but for the excellent quality and great service, I think the prices are perfectly set. I cannot think of a western-style cafe in this town that is more reasonably priced for comparably great service and fresh food.
I would eat at the cafe happily, regardless of weather I need anything else on sale at the Garden Center. Also check out their deli offerings, lots of Italian gourmet foodstuffs, plus the Ripe market on weekends. The Garden Center is becoming a food destination in an excellent way!