Tom & Serg, Dubai
We finally made it to the newly opened urban ‘hip-ster’ cafe located in Dubai’s suburbans – Al Quoz.
We heard so much about the place since it opened and today felt like it was a day of new discoveries. We parked at the overflow parking of Ace, as many others seemed to as well, it was just around the corner and for free, and actually planned to shop there after filling up our stomachs with healthy food.
Once we came closer to Tom & Serg, we saw people standing outside the entrance already, waiting for a table. It was 2:30 pm and the place was full. It reminded of us of Jones the Grocer, and we were scared that we had to wait forever to be seated. A friendly, blond, Eastern European lady approached us to take down our name and to inform us that we only had to wait 10 minutes for a table. Our stomachs were empty and growling and we decided to have faith in her words, took a seat at the bar and waited.
It seems to be an upcoming trend to open these kind of urban style, organic food, steel framed restaurants or bistros lately in Dubai. We have seen quite a few of them now and still, while they all have a very similar concept in common, each and everyone is unique and different again. Not only in their style and food that is offered, they all differ in their service.
The lady at the entrance, approached us again and informed us that her colleague was just about to clear the table right in the center for us. It did actually take less then 10 minutes to be seated, and what can we say, we were really pleased – our empty stomachs were as well.
Once we sat down, a young lady from the Philippines welcomes us at Tom & Serg, offered us the menu and asked if we already knew what drinks we would like to have. We ordered fresh orange juice and a bottle of Orange Fentimans, a brand which is also seen more and more over Dubai. I guess that goes along quite well with the idea of organic food and new healthy products sold at a quite reasonable price.
While she took down the order we skimmed though the menu. It was very simple, just like the design of the restaurant itself. Simple on the first glance but very tempting on the second one.
Besides creative salad mixes and the usual sandwiches and burgers we also discovered risotto dishes, soups and delicious chicken dishes on the small two sided, card board menu. We decided to try the Tom & Serg burger and the chicken served on coconut rice with gravy and sweet potato chips.
While waiting for the food, as usual we observed the happening. The clientele of Tom & Serg, is just like the place itself, a mix of urban style young families, entrepreneurs, artists or those who go along with trend and dress like those real ‘urbans’ who live in cities like Amsterdam, London, Paris or Berlin. All in all a funny mix and quite the same people one would meet at Jones the Grocer, More Cafe or the Pantry on a weekend. The waiters however were hard to be recognized, as there was no real uniform or sign of ‘being dressed like being at work’, anyone just seemed to wear what ever was comfortable and that’s it. On one hand that goes absolutely brilliant with the concept of the place, on the other side, when waiters wear woolen hats, military shorts and others’ trousers hang down that they would nearly touch the ground (and I do not talk about the trousers’ leg), then you start to wonder.
Never the less, once the food arrived all attention was paid to the deliciously looking chicken and… the small, tiny, mini burger. The burger was indeed really small. The taste however was great. A little more of something so tasty would have been amazing. The chicken was fantastic, as the combination of coconut flavored rice with gravy and sweet potatoes was a wonderful combination and a real satisfaction for our palate.
The food can only be recommended. While we enjoyed our lunch we heard the chefs scream and shout to each other from time to time, which reminded us to the fish market in Seattle, where the fish mongers shout out an order, others repeat the same even louder and let their voices go a full bent. Fantastic, as it looked like all of them really had fun preparing a whole lot of fantastic dishes for their guests. Curious of how they might work and who it was that had so much fun, we went over to have a closer look at the open show kitchen. Impressed by the flames, spices and aroma in the air, and the vibe that came from the chefs, we asked if we could take a picture: ‘Sure you can. Will only cost you 5000 AED!’, one of them replied and turned around. Not the answer we expected to be very honest, but definitely an answer of a person with a lot of self – confidence.
We took the picture and went back to our table, were we had a cup of espresso and asked for the bill. Overall a culinary experience with a touch of a bit over the top self – confident chefs. The lady who served us however, had a very kind and genuine way of interacting with guests and her smile was one of a kind. Unfortunately we do not know her name, as he was not wearing a name tag.
One of the new in – places and town and one, that will definitely be revisited in a couple of months time again.
We hope you had a great weekend.