When I lived in Londontown, I had always fancied the early morning Duty Managing shifts at my gym. I’d eagerly get there at half past 5 in the mornings to open up the place and would work laboriously until 2 p.m. Why? Well simply because my afternoons were then somewhat free to catch the tube to Finchley Station to grab a cuppa coffee at this quaint little café which overlooked the hustle and bustle of said neighborhood. In the 4 years of me living in K-town, very few eateries here are capable of reminding me of my little lively anecdotes of London’s past. But fortunately for me, Urban Café is one of them.
In Kuwait City’s concrete jungle lies this charming little café. Situated at the corner of Ahmed Al Jaber Street in the Kirby Broker Building adjacent to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one cannot help but be drawn to this corner shop. Its big bay windows and chic décor are unabashedly inviting and its menu tantalizing to boot.
While I’m trying to decide my order, I can see that it’s definitely a hit with the city slickers who work around the Sharq area. Office workers are seen popping in, grabbing a coffee or some yummy gastronomical creation en route to their job location. Urban Café prides itself on bringing “the comfort of home cooked meals to the urban sophistication of the city.” Not surprisingly, there’s an array of healthy options amongst its appetizers, salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes if you’re strict with your food. My favorite dishes here were:
Maple Glazed Chicken
This dish was very moreish! We had a sizeable serving of roasted pieces of chicken breasts and thighs devoid of their skin (great call as it makes it less greasy!) that was marinated in this sweet maple sauce. A ranch dipping sauce is served on the side but I opted not to have it, as trust me, this dish is superbly yummy on its own. Did you also know that pure maple syrup is full of antioxidants and may prevent anti-inflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and osteoporosis?
Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal and derived from the spinach family. Looked upon as a “grain” high in protein, this salad at Urban Café featured a delicious blend of mixed salad leaves, fresh avocado and roasted pumpkin cubes, feta cheese and quinoa tossed in a honey lemon vinaigrette. Upon my request, the staff here were kind enough to omit the feta and added a generous serving of grilled chicken breast slices on top of my salad. They also served its dressing on the side, which was great as I was then personally able to moderate how much went on my food.
Watermelon Feta Salad
My hunky lunch date picked this appetizer to kick-start his brunchfest. Again, I noticed that the portions here are, in the wise words of Goldilocks, just right. Cubes of rosy-red watermelon pieces adorn this dish along with yummy bite-sized pieces of avocado and feta cheese before the whole lot is tossed in a honey-lemon vinaigrette and topped with a sprinkling of pistachio nuts. Interestingly, my date unfortunately suffers from a severe tree nut allergy and upon informing the staff, they were more than happy to modify this dish and serve it sans the pistachios. Nonetheless this dish is a great option to have as a mid-afternoon snack. The watermelon pieces are sweet enough to kill that craving one gets later in the day while the cubes of feta are a third less in calories and fat compared to standard cheeses, are high in calcium and will promote satiety as they are packed in protein (an ounce serving gives you 4g of protein).
Lime Chicken Sandwich
My partner in crime picked this as his main and I was lucky enough to sample a bite. This sandwich is full of fresh flavor without the greasy aftertaste! This sarnie features grilled lean chicken marinated in a lime concoction and served on toasted Ciabatta bread alongside fresh shreds of lettuce leaves, avocado and a mustard mayonnaise sauce (again you can omit this if you’re trying to cut down your fat intake).
Urban Café is most definitely worth visiting in Kuwait City. Their relaxing and airy ambience, chic decor combined with simple yet delicious dishes and their friendly staff will most certainly make you reminisce your food travel experiences abroad and put you in a happy, sated state. PS. It is worth noting that if you plan on visiting this fabulous eatery but do not work in the city, come via taxi as the parking lots in the surrounding area can be challenging at peak times.
Urban Café is located in the Kirby Broker Building on Ahmed Al Jaber Street in Sharq, Kuwait City. Telephone 2244 4432. Find them on Twitter and Instagram or you can visit their website: www.urbancafekw.com
Reshmi Revi is the Deputy General Manager for MultiWorks Personal Training. She is also an IFBB Bikini Competitor