Comptoir 102 – Cafe & Boutique in One

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Back in the day, before I stepped foot in a restaurant, I used to read all the reviews (like on Time Out, CitySearch, Yelp, Zomato, etc) so that I would know what to expect, what to order, what not to order. Especially for fine dining places where we can easily spend hundreds of dollars on just one meal and it would be a crying shame to waste it on a bad dish or experience.

But sometimes, just for a change, I like going places without reading any reviews and pretend that I’m going on a mini-adventure where I get to explore a whole new frontier of dining.

Okay, that previous sentence totally made me sound like a sad sad person with no life other than eating and living for the next eating experience. Which is true. Except for the sad part. Maybe.

Sooooo, upon arriving at Comptoir 102, I had no idea what to expect except perhaps the usual cafe setup of tables and chairs around some sort of pastry counter.

But instead, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Comptoir wasn’t just a restaurant but a boutique as well.

Entering the place, greeted with lots of yellow hues – my favorite color! – I instantly loved the place. So homey in a modern French farmhouse kind of way.

My friend and I dined on a quiet Wednesday morning. We started off with a Chai Latte which was nice, not too spicy, not too sweet. The teacup read, “Time For Tea” which we thought was cute.

Time for Tea!

Expecting the usual suspects of cafe breakfast items, I was surprised at how healthy the menu was. Maybe a little too healthy for this bacon loving foodaholic so I figured the best strategy was to order lots of food. I mean, I had to ask my friend what chia seeds were and if they were in any way related to Chia pets.

(You just did it, didn’t you? I know I did.  What did I do?  Hint: Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia. CHIA PETS!  What am I talking about?  For those who weren’t around for the Chia pet craze of the 80s: here’s a video).

I digress.

From the food menu, I was drawn to the Super-Sam’s salad (40 dhs) that consisted of pomegranates, mangosteen, and avocado topped with Goji berries.

It sounds delicious doesn’t it? (I don’t know about you but to me that sounds delicious.)

It also sounded small. Small in a way that if that was the only thing I ordered on the menu, I would for sure be leaving the restaurant and heading straight to a McDonald’s drive-through to order a Big Mac (not a wise nor healthy eating choice but one I have been known to make when my food-deprived brain starts making the decisions.

And my food-deprived brain should really not be making decisions. Because I really prefer Whoppers over Big Macs).

Anyway, I followed through on my strategy and I also ordered the organic NY-style bagel with blanched kale, cucumber and homemade vegan cheese. I don’t know what was in the vegan cheese but it was surprisingly delicious, absolutely scrumptious, and complimented the kale and cucumber very well.

My friend had the buckwheat pancakes which were moist and flavorful even without the maple syrup and the guacamole was spot on (you know, how guac should be – good-fatty-tasting and creamy!).

We sat in the conservatory in the rear of the restaurant. It was still too hot to sit outside. I really liked the indoor plant sacs filled with fresh herbs because it’s simplicity added to the homey country cottage feel.

In case anyone was wondering, the sacs are from Bacsac. I’m not sure if Comptoir sells these sacs in their store. I meant to but forgot to ask.

On our way out, we browsed through some of the items for sale. Besides the bigger ticket items like furniture and clothes, there were also cute trinkets and adorable toys and I even picked up a little photo book of images of an older Dubai.

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Comptoir 102: 102 Beach Road, Jumeirah 1. Opening hours: Cafe 7:30am – 9pm, Store 8:30am – 9pm.  Telephone: +971 04 3854555.

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  1. So is it a whole foods vegetarian restaurant? It’s interesting how so many health food options have been popping up in Dubai. I love the diversity and I certainly hope its sustained. That bagel sounded super yummy!