Ah, Baking Tray. The quality of their food adds volumes of comfort to our mundane lives. Hearty soups and salads, sandwiches served up in artisanal homemade breads, oven-baked pastas oozing with cheesy and creamy goodness, and don’t forget to top it off with one of their famous cookies!
Baking Tray remains a loved mainstay for Kuwait’s local café/bistro palate, and is usually on the top of the list for ordering in. However, making the trek to visit its scenic location for social activity can’t be forgotten. As you’re reading this, your plans will start to change: this urban gem is THE ideal place to meet up for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and all sweet bites and sips in between.
The lovely thing about this café is that both its indoor and outdoor seating areas are nice enough to satisfy any ambiance that you crave. However, when given the opportunity to sit outside, do so without a second thought. Baking Tray’s vast patio can accommodate several parties, and offer lawn couches and comfortable chairs as well as traditional outdoor dining seats, all done in tasteful garden fashion of artful dark metal contrasting with light-stone colored cushions and huge umbrellas. The best thing about it? It offers the perfect up-close view of Ashekman’s Grendizer mural as its neighboring structure.
We also recommend that you never turn down a chance to try their refreshing drinks! Two that our tastebuds feel partial to are their Blueberry Smoothie, and a delightful concoction made from carrot, ginger and green apple by request.
Lest we forget the food: The Baking Tray menu is filled to the brim with all sorts of meals ranging in protein, vegetable and carbohydrate to fulfill your fantasies for any time of day. While their breakfast menu looked tantalizing (and is also served all day), we opted for classic lunch items to accompany our alfresco experience.
Pairing beautifully with our juices was the BT Salad – a chic mélange of spinach, heart of palm, sundried tomato and toasted pine nuts. Drizzled with their special, in-house balsamico dressing. Ultra tangy and fresh with a hint of sweetness, we highly recommend enjoying this salad with a slice (or two!) of deliciously fresh baked bread compliments of the table basket. Just don’t forget to slather on some house-mixed spiced butter!
A sandwich is almost mandatory at Baking Tray, especially because they’re quite known for their delicious, nutty breads. And the pillow-soft roll that housed the Chicken Semolina was no exception! However, the true victor in this sandwich was the mustard marinated grilled chicken breast accompanied with a mayo-basil spread. This symphony of flavor was so pleasing, the sandwich made the cut as part of a mental checklist of what to order during our next Baking Tray venture.
Another unanimously loved dish was the Lasagna Bolognese. Now, it is important to note that Baking Tray truly excels in their pasta making skills. Each pasta dish is reminiscent of a cozy day at home, where your dining counterpart is a cable knit blanket and your view is an icy window dripping with rain –igniting an ultimate feel of coziness oozing with decadence and warmth all at once. The lasagna, delivered all those homemade vibes perfectly, while adding eggplant to the dish for innovation and texture.
Completely satiated from our lovely meal, we wrapped it up with two espressos and some great conversation. However, every great Baking Tray experience must end with something sweet! Yes, we enjoyed a basket of fresh-from-the-oven traditional chocolate chip cookies to share, but we also had to pay a visit to the inside of the café just to watch other dessert options for fun.
Baking Tray’s interior is designed in the classic café style that allows you to pick bread, pastry and dessert items from a canister. The special thing about them though, is that their canister is counter-wide and displays goodies that you never even knew you wanted! From all their famous breads, to their gorgeously golden focaccias – croissandwiches (croissant/sandwich hybrids), regular croissants, and… are those cronuts we spy?! Rumor has it, they even offer a “cookie cup”, which is basically a genius invention of a cookie molded into a cylindrical cup shape and filled with milk, coffee or another enjoyable liquid to pair with the sweet crunch of chocolate chip cookie. But don’t get too excited, we haven’t seen this on their menu yet – it is, however, lurking within the confines of the display case!
All in all, Baking Tray is always producing new, exciting flavors and tastes while preserving delicious classics that we’ll always love. After our experience, our love for the café has been refreshed, and we know we’ll be brunching, lunching and exploring over there a lot more often!
Baking Tray is located in Dasman in Mishal Tower on Jaber Al Mubarak Street. Visit their website at www.bakingtraycafe.com, or find them on Instagram @bakingtray_kw. Photography by Muneera Alkhulaifi, @i9ora on Instagram.