A Groupon voucher bought two months back was reminding me again and again to try the new bakery called Nataly Bakery Book Café in JLT. Too lazy to cook our b’fast, Saloni and I finally went to see the café. Since we knew it’s a book café, we took our books along. A nice quiet place with lots of books was on our mind. Thank god we took along our books, since they had Iranian books mostly, the language alien to us, and a few English books which I wouldn’t ever lay my hands on (The typical self-help or children’s classics).
While we were finding this café, our olfactory perception led us to the doors of an Indian restaurant called Fusion. Must be really good, because we could smell the good food from afar. Anyway, we avoided the temptation and entered Nataly café. At first impression, it was just perfect. Lake view, neat setting, arty posters, blue walls, cozy ambience, a bookstand, the smell of pastries and cookies hanging low, and 70s classics playing thirty decibels lower! “Just our kinda place”, we sighed.
Ordering the sandwiches, we took some snaps of the place, tweeted about it and were happy (i was so happy that i already tweeted that it has got yum sandwich, purely on the grounds of smells that wafted from their kitchen), until the food came! It looked yummy no doubt, and we took more snaps before biting into it. Saloni’s Polaris sandwich had grilled green bean, corn & carrot, fresh vegetable, reduced fat butter with special nataly sauce in a ciabatta bread. Mine was Deneb that was stuffed with smoked turkey, reduced fat swiss cheese, thousand island dressing andolive oil in a ciabatta bread. But not all things that look great should taste great.
To start with, the breads were drier than they should have been. Maybe they weren’t fresh enough. Digging deeper, we found the sandwiches to be too simple! Yes, that’s where the issue is really. If it’s too simple, I could make it at home. Okay, they might say it’s homestyle cooking, but c’mon, people expect the sandwiches to be better than what they could easily make at home. To ruin the taste was abundant amount of parsley. It overpowered everything. Maybe they could have used rocket leaves, red chard or other leaves in combination, than heavily sprinkle the parsley.
Frankly speaking, it wasn’t too bad. But not great either. Maybe I can go to this place again, only for the ambience and try something else, since it would be wrong to judge a café by just two items off the menu. Though their fresh juices were really good. Orange especially. And cookies too were yum. Looks like they are very good at cakes and cookies. I’d suggest them to better their sandwiches, increase slightly the volumes (‘coz the music selection was good) and have english bestsellers on their bookstand. Otherwise the ambience complimented by the service is already a winner.
Anyway, this trip made me think how easy it is to make a tartine (open sandwich) or a grilled sandwich. It just needs creativity and passion when you are in the kitchen. Below is my ciabatta that I made few months back, but was any day better than what I had at Nataly café (Though it may not ‘look’ like).
All it has is mortadella, coleslaw, cheese slices, little dollops of peri peri and caesar, with the sprinkling of oregano and thyme. If you want a better one, instead of coleslaw you may add few leaves (red chard, lollo rosso lettuce, rocket and red oak lettuce). It may not be the best, but better than what I had there.