I’ve always associated fine-dining with The Palm Jumeirah. Driving through on a busy work day, I made a pit-stop at Sophie’s Cafe Dubai and was highly impressed with this casual chic gem of a restaurant tucked away inside the Riva Beach Club.
Sophie’s is a small, laid-back cafe located on the lower ground floor of Riva Beach Club (Building 8, Shoreline Apartments, Palm Jumeirah – Dubai).
Free parking is available right outside Shoreline Apartments, but as the number of spaces are limited, a better bet would be to use the free parking at the basement level of Riva Beach Club.
Despite being quite hidden from view at the lower ground level, Sophie’s has a large number of devoted fans and the quaint little cafe was bustling with activity when we got there mid-week.
The cafe reinforces its stance for fresh, organic produce in it interior design. The wallpaper uses extensively across the cafe features clean, green images of forests and waterfalls, and even a closeup of dewdrops on a leaf. The furniture is white-washed cafe-style practical wood, and a replica of a rustic log at the far corner doubles up as a lunch bench for a bigger group of diners.
I was craving a light yet nutritious option that would fuel me through the working day, and an early lunch at Sophie’s proved to be an excellent choice.
Sophie’s caters to the ever-expanding demand for high-quality organic dishes, and offers 20 mains and 120 salads on a rotational basis.
The cafe follows the casual, self-serve mantra of the West (not surprising given the creator of the Sophie’s brand hails from the States). Patrons order at the counter, and are served at the table. The service is both quick and friendly, making it ideal for work-lunches.
When we got there, they had 11 main dishes to choose from (4 of which were vegetarian). The dishes change on a daily basis, so there’s always something new to look forward to at Sophie’s.
Every main dish comes with a choice of 2 salads from the salad counter.
Below is my plate. I went for the Poached Salmon, and had the Beetroot and Feta Cheese Salad and the Garlic Bean Salad on the side.
The salmon was poached to perfection, and I especially enjoyed the crisp, salted skin on the fillet.
I am a huge fan of beetroot, and the Beetroot and Feta Cheese Salad at Sophie’s is to die for. The beetroot is not from out of a can (infact, nothing at Sophie’s is out of a can!). These are freshly sourced organic beetroots that have been cooked in-house, and the salty decadence of flaked feta mixed in makes for a delicious side.
The Garlic Bean Salad were crisp and crunchy, and tossed with an exotic mix of sesame and garlic taking the taste-buds on a Far Eastern journey.
Isn’t it lovely when you really, really enjoy a meal and can also rest assured it is actually good for you too? The food at Sophie’s is fresh, organic, simple and fuss-free yet manages to satiate a cynical foodie who usually opts for indulgence.
And here is what my colleague had on his plate:
For mains, he had the Mushroom Chicken, and his salads were the Bokchoi Salad and the Mediterranean Chicken Salad.
Being a fan of mushrooms, he really enjoyed his main dish. The chicken was marinated in a rich broth-like gravy accentuated with the robust earthiness of mushrooms. However, from the three dishes on his plate, he enjoyed the Bokchoi Salad best.
For a man who loves his meaty non-veg dishes to proclaim the salad on his plate was the star dish, Sophie’s really creates magic when creating delicious dishes that are also appetizingly nutritious.
Sophie’s offers a number of smoothies that marry together interesting combinations of fresh, organic ingredients.
My colleague went for the Morning Glory, a rather thick and filling blend of banana, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, gluten-free oats and almond milk.
Sophie’s also has an array of made-to-order fresh juices and wheatgrass shots. Perhaps a lighter juice would have been a better choice, as these smoothies really fill you up!
Despite being rather full, my sweet-tooth wouldn’t allow me to skip dessert.
I went for the Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. Made with fresh organic yogurt, this is a dense, moreish slice that is all at once chocaholic yet subdued on its sweetness quotient.
My colleague had Sophie’s Carrot Cake. This is one of their best-selling desserts, and it is easy to see why. The cake was moist and delicious, and the hint of cinnamon takes the senses back to Christmas. The cream cheese icing on this slice is simply divine.
The staff tell us their most popular dessert is their gluten-free, dairy-free Zucchini Chocolate Brownie which is only served on Thursdays and Fridays. I will have to make a trip back to Sophie’s next weekend!
Sophie’s serves breakfast between 9 to 12 noon, and are open daily for lunch till 4 pm. For more information, visit their website.