Celebrating the action of giving back and contributing to the notion of ‘the greater good’ by encouraging one to indulge in a delicious menu is an offer that is simply hard to resist. How could giving back taste so good? That’s the beauty of dining at 10.Oh.8.
Cozily situated near the Dasman roundabout in Sharq is a little haven, 10.Oh.8, simply named after its street address. Nonetheless, the café and diner concept serves up a menu that is beyond simple, where the ‘comfort food’ invites you to eat for a cause, as a percentage of all proceeds at 10.Oh.8 go to a brand new charity every three months. Choosing to sponsor causes relevant to the local and international community, 10.Oh.8 brings an inventive style of dining to the market. With tempting boasts of an all-day breakfast menu and pink hummus sandwiches, combined with our talent for weakly succumbing to Nutella-laden delicacies, we readily head over to try the theory of “charitable food really tastes better”.
Arriving promptly in time for breakfast, we enter through the bright red door and are greeted by owners Lama AlFadala and Mohammad Sultan. A dynamic team, we could immediately tell that we are in the presence of two outright foodies, as their efforts at explaining the different menu offerings leave us drooling.
Glancing around the small and cozy space, we’re immediately relaxed by the kitschy design. The vintage neon-lit ‘Nirvana’ sign first catches the eye, followed by a towering construction of jars of Nutella leaving us salivating; where the various knick knacks on display, like nifty cookie cutters, are actually for sale. Lama redirects our attention towards a bare space on the opposing wall, explaining how this space will serve to inform their local customers about how ‘eating well’ leads to wonderful opportunities for many others. Commenting on their move of installing an all-day breakfast menu into their concept, Lama adds, “It’s interesting to see people’s reactions, where nowadays there’s no such thing as eggs for breakfast. We had a customer in here the other day who tweeted about having our pizza for breakfast!” We will definitely be trying that!
From the tempting banana walnut loaf bread, to the seductive fried eggs sandwich with a secret candied topping, we are completely taken by surprise at how simple, yet artful, the breakfast options are. We notice that the recipes are personal, bred out of love; memories of a time where a peanut butter and banana sandwich was much more than just a snack consumed in a rush. Prepared with freshly baked cinnamon-coated bread, the Pb&b (peanut butter and banana) immediately won our hearts. Ordering a cup of tea has a special meaning when it is sweetened with condensed milk, a habit we were sadly forced to leave behind when growing up. After the succulent banana walnut loaf bread and scrumptious carrot cake, we’re told by Mohammad that we our palates are being teased in preparation for better things to come.
‘Better things to come’ are manifested in the form of simplistic, heartwarming choices like the famous 10.Oh.8 Egg N Cheese sandwich, where the scrambled eggs are playfully light and fluffy, especially when complimented by the addictive homemade crisped chips, as well as the Egg Benedict. Our favorite so far, we’re blown away by the expertly prepared Hollandaise sauce and perfectly poached eggs, nestled atop a slice of sweet bread with crispy bacon. Our salad choice is a welcome break from the usual; warm wedges of smooth and creamy Brie cheese drizzled in a delightful, honeyed dressing balanced with spinach leaves and salted green apples. To top it all off, we’re presented with the Sweet Dessert Panini, a devilish sandwich construction filled with a tantalizing hazelnut spread coated with melted soft marshmallows and powdered sugar.
Taking up the profound dare of having pizza for breakfast, our two choices, Margherita and Bianca, swiftly arrive. Tasting the thin-crusted, hand-crafted pizzas, slightly crispy on the sides, we now understand why these pizzas are being ordered for breakfast. Created with different kinds of white cheeses, topped with crunchy aragula leaves; the pizza Bianca presents an edgy taste with the mild goats cheese.
Gulping down sips of hot coffee in a failed attempt to signal our stomachs to refuse dessert, we’re offered the healthy option of the Tropical Mango Passion, an offering to which we gladly oblige. Delivering an unforgettable burst of flavors, the whipped slices of fresh mangoes and passion fruit are served frozen. For those who dare, we also recommend the Chocolate Bread Pudding, where this concoction of fresh bread is submerged in a hot, thick chocolate sauce and is served with a side of vanilla ice cream.
It’s easy to forget that simple creations can trigger greater actions. Until recently, our food culture remained rather self-aware by being completely engrossed with only consuming the latest culinary creations, and trying the best cut of steak. Refusing to submit to integrating processed flavors, the food philosophy at 10.Oh.8 is an inviting break from the commercial aspect present at many quick diners nowadays. Tastes are familiar, local flavors are a matter of pride, and recipes appear as almost familial.
The act of eating is a pleasure on its own, so why not harness your favorite social experience for a good cause? Start at 10.Oh.8, a small space that is able to partially fulfill a big dream. According to Lama and Mohammed, the greater dream is to inspire others, and live in a community where people help one another.
Located near the Dasman Roundabout in Sharq, 10.Oh.8 is open from 9 am to 11 pm, Sundays to Saturdays. For more information please call 2247 9371 or visit www.10oh8.com.