On a quiet street in Sharq you’ll find a place with a green door. You can’t miss this green door. It stands out, it draws you in. There’s no sign above this green door and that makes it all the more intriguing. You’ll find yourself walking towards it and opening this green door just to see what’s behind it…
Who you’ll find behind the green door are Mohammad Sultan and Lama Al Fadala, the creative partnership behind that other cool Sharq hangout – 10.Oh.8. They’ve brought that same breezy, laid-back atmosphere to their new venture but stamped it with a unique identity that will have you torn between which of their places to hang out at.
What you’ll find behind the green door is a little piece of serenity amongst the hustle and bustle and skyscrapers in the surrounding areas of the city district. You feel instantly calm as you step inside Haus Café. It’s small in size, similar to 10.Oh.8, but that works to its advantage for me. I hate a place big enough to create echoes when I talk.
Haus Café is somewhere between a café and a small restaurant. The typical café style counter is not to be found, it’s more open-plan than that. The coffee machine is out on display in the café and not behind a counter as is the iconic SMEG fridge (a nice crossover touch from 10.Oh.8). This gives you the feeling of sitting in your own living room and makes you feel right at home. A serving hatch against the back wall allows you to see the cooks hard at work preparing your meal. Adding to the homely feel, one wall is covered in framed vinyl records from Bob Dylan’s debut album Bob Dylan to Miles Davis’ Porgy and Bess. Another wall is shelved and contains coffee table books on subjects from architecture to American diners. This place really makes you want to sit down, relax and settle in. Contrasting this homely feel, the walls are painted a distressed grey and the furniture is modern and surprisingly heavy. The floor is red brick in a herringbone pattern. This gives Haus Café a subtle, almost romantically industrial feel to it. The ample windows that surround that green door are given their own touch of romanticism through the addition of vintage net curtains.
There are no menus at Haus Café. A blackboard hangs over the serving hatch with the items handwritten on it. The wait staff is on hand to tell you what each item consists of and they really know their stuff. As I checked out Has Café during Ramadan I couldn’t get to fully appreciate their breakfast items – being a traditionalist I believe breakfast should be eaten in the mornings! But I’ll be heading back there right after Eid to sample some of their Pancakes Nutella (is there a better breakfast treat?) They also offer boiled, scrambled and sunny-side up eggs, so there’s plenty to choose from.
They also have a good, lengthy salad section, which is refreshing, with some items that stand out from the usual salads. Roasted Squash Salad or Creamy Potato Salad were two of these standout items on the salad menu at Haus Café.
Those looking for something heartier will be delighted with the sandwiches on offer at Haus Café. They are mostly wraps with the exception of the Grilled Halloom Sandwich and the Cheese & Pickle Sandwich. Steak & Mushroom, Chicken Mussakhan and the very interesting Lamb N’ Dates are the most interesting choices from the wrap part of the menu.
Hopefully you have a strong neck on your shoulders because looking up at that blackboard, trying to decide what to order can take a while. It’s not that there is too much to choose from, it’s more that everything sounds so appealing. I have a tendency to always order the same things from menus and so I was immediately drawn to the burgers up there on that blackboard. The Messy Burger is served with guacamole, onions, lettuce and tomato and they also serve their Hot Dog in this same ‘messy’ style too. Being that I’m a traditionalist though I opted for the Normal ‘Not Normal’ Cheeseburger. This couldn’t be a more apt description. It’s normal in the sense that it’s made up of the normal elements of a cheeseburger – bun, patty, cheese, sauce – but the way they put it together is what sets it apart and stops it from being merely normal. As always, I was delighted that it was served on a potato roll (the king of burger buns!) and upon taking a bite had no reservations about my unadventurous spirit when it comes to dining out. The burger is succulent and full of flavour that is enhanced by the topping of the Special Haus Sauce.
An order of French Fries comes with no fewer than three dips at Haus Café! Special Mustard, Chipotle, and Truffle. This trio of sauces will have you labouring your brain with every fry – which sauce should I go for this time? Not to worry though, the serving of fries is large enough to really decide which your favourite is.
I sucked down a Chocolate Milkshake alongside my food that was silky smooth and velvety soft. The quality of the ingredients shines through in all the food at Haus Café.
I finished it all off with a freshly made espresso and opted for the Chocolate Chip Cookie from the desserts. The cookie was dense, moist and incredibly tasty.
If you’re looking for great food in great surroundings or simply a cool place to hang out and have a great cup of coffee (and probably a cookie too) then Haus Café could end up being your home away from home.
Just look for the green door.
Haus Café is located in Sharq near the Dasman roundabout – opposite the Wataniya Building. They open from 8am – 11pm daily. More info can be found at Facebook:HausCafeKW and you can follow them on Twitter @HAUSCAFE_KW.