Comptoir 102 is wholly unpretentious in what it is, its not asking for the acceptance of all, it just wants to be what it is: an organic health café targeted for the #vegan, #sugarfree, #glutenfree, #everythingfree community and it works. To some this may be snobbish but no one raises an eyebrow when a restaurant is packed with fatty greasy, I can’t see anything fresh and green in sight options.
So if you’re not about this fitfoodie life, don’t bother but if you’re curious about the other side this is the perfect restaurant to quell all doubts.
The menu is small, consisting of a few staples with daily changing mains. I’ve never seen such a beautiful collection of whole foods in any restaurant in Dubai. Are there are more like this? Please, point me in that direction. The smoothies and juice list is so decadent, every super food you’ve ever heard, for every reason you ever wanted to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Skin glow: pomegranate, cucumber, apple, acai for beautiful glowing skin. Passion: papaya, lemon, pineapple, passion frit dates for healthy hair and weight loss. The list goes on and on with options to included more super foods. So I opted for the Skin glow with added Maca for mental and physical vitality.
When I go in to review a restaurant I always ask for recommendations because I want to know what the people behind the scenes think about the food they serve. The manager was lovely, she ran us through the menu and concept with pride in her voice, so on her bidding we started with the Seaweed Pesto with Raw Linseed Crackers and Guacamole.
I believe that when a dish is made with certain ingredients you can’t go wrong for example there is no wrong way to make guacamole once you have your ripe avocado unless you’re just a really terrible person. On the other hand, when your taste buds are given an unexpected treat from a dish they’ve tried and tasted over and over again, it’s a gorgeous experience. The crunch of the linseed crackers and slight saltiness of the seaweed paired with that gorgeous creamy blew my damn mind guacamole. It was simply brilliant.
We continued with a daily special, Miso Salmon, Cauliflower & Pea Puree with Bulgur. The bulgur really shined through, it was my first time eating it but cooked to tender perfection and so delicious, I was immediately won over. Throughout the meal, our service was effective and caring like you’d expect from a concept so dedicated to good living. The Tuna Green Salad is a favorite amongst Comptoir guests we were told and I could see why, more of that guacamole with tuna and fresh greens, it was gorgeous. The organic chicken spring rolls didn’t let us down either, wrapped in rice paper and coated with black and white sesame seeds and a beautiful sauce, it was a fiesta in my mouth.
My boyfriend and I ran through our meals bathing in the slithers of light that fell on our table from the bamboo curtains. The restaurant is partitioned with a large open-air terrace at the front, a dimly lit interior and a covered terrace at the back, which we opted for. The interiors were made from the barest of materials but yet the room felt so full. The bamboo chairs reminded me of an outdoor chair that we commonly use in Nigeria. The un-tiled concrete floors were dotted with woven raffia mats. The tables were made of solid unpolished wood and the air was infused the vibes of nature, even the serving dishes had that rustic feel, beautiful white metallic dishes with blue rims that were chipped in unassuming places, it felt like home.
As our meal came to an end, we indulged (Well if you can call eating more super foods an indulgence in the Chocolate Petit Pot and Apple tart. The flavors were clean, simple and fresh in what I’ve come to conclude is the “Comptoir 102 style”
Note: The portions are quite small, so I recommend at least 3 dishes and a smoothie in between two people.