Total Salads’ verdict: Vogue Cafe is a calm haven hidden away in Dubai Mall’s Level Shoe District. The quality of the food is excellent and the presentation is worthy of a Vogue cover. Like the fashion world, Vogue Cafe plans on changing their menu every season. I tried their Winter 2014/2015 Menu and I was glad to see there are many healthy options to choose between. I love Vogue Cafe’s approach to Main Course salads this season, offering four types of salads plus the option to add some freshly grilled protein to create a balanced, filling and healthy meal. I really wish more restaurants did this. I would recommend Vogue Cafe to anyone who wants to eat well and is looking to escape the hectic crowds of Dubai Mall.
Restaurant: Vogue Cafe
Location: Shoe Level District, Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE
Price Range: The price range varies considerably depending on what you order. Portion sizes are generous and most of the ingredients are flown in from France, Spain or Italy and this is reflected in the price. Appetizers (AED56-AED98), Main Courses (AED58-AED185), Desserts (AED43-AED54). Vogue Cafe also serves High Tea (AED129) and Brunch (AED48-AED68).
Vogue Cafe is a calm haven in Dubai Mall. Discreetly tucked away in the Level Shoe District, it is a chic and relaxing place to recharge your energy after a shopping session at the world’s largest shopping mall. If you need some fashion inspiration while you eat, they have a selection of Vogue magazines at the front desk that you can have a look through at your table.
I was invited to try their recently launched Winter 2014/2015 Menu. The menu was devised by their new chef Vincent Poitevin, who has extensive international experience including working in a Michelin-star restaurant, so I knew I was in for a treat.
Like the fashion world, Vogue Cafe plans on changing their menu every season. For me, a restaurant which changes its menu every season is an exciting place to eat. It keeps the dishes fresh, new and most importantly seasonal.
For non-alcoholic drinks, you are spoiled for choice at Vogue Cafe. There are 6 Fresh Juices (AED27) and 16 Mocktails (from AED32-AED80) to choose between. While the fresh juices are the healthier option, I found myself drawn to two of the Mocktails in particular:
– Chanel No 6 (AED 48) which is non-alcoholic Prosecco poured over passion fruit caviar and finished with a red rose petal. It was light, refreshing and slightly fruity.
– Vogue Cafe Golden Lemonade (AED80) which is a citrus blend of fresh lemon juice mixed with Vogue Cafe’s 72-hour infused homemade golden syrup with flavors of honey and rosemary, sprinkled with 24-carat gold dust. The honey and rosemary work together to give the lemonade an exotic taste. Admittedly AED80 is expensive for a non-alcoholic drink, but it is made in front of you on a special golden cart and served on a lit-up coaster so there is a little extra drama to this drink. (NB: At the time of my visit, the golden cart had not yet arrived so I didn’t get to see what the complete experience is like.)
There is also a good selection of coffees (hot coffees, iced coffees) and teas (oolong, white tea, herbal infusions, green teas, black teas) which cost between AED21 and AED35.
Since Vogue Cafe is part of the Conde Nast Group, I expected the presentation of the food to be beautiful. But even then, my expectations were exceeded. The food is visually stunning, like something from the pages of, well… Vogue magazine.
Looking great is one thing, but what really keeps me coming back to a restaurant is how good the food tastes. Each dish I tried was well thought-out and, from the first bite, I could taste that the quality of the ingredients was excellent. Most of the ingredients Vogue Cafe uses are flown in from France, Spain or Italy. What came as a real surprise, however, was the portion size. I was expecting tiny two-bite dishes to match the average fashionista’s small appetite, but the portions are generous.
Before our Appetizers, we were brought an amuse-bouche and some bread with 3 types of butter (salted, garlic, and herb) as well as olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping.
For our Appetizers, we ordered the Beetroot and Goat Cheese Mousse (AED52) with lemon vinaigrette, petite cress and candied walnuts. The beetroot is lightly cooked so that it just gives under the weight of your fork and the soft goat’s cheese is a perfect accompaniment (yes, the flowers are edible).
We also tried the Smoked Salmon with Dill (AED68) with cream cheese, shaved pickled red onions and rye bread. The salmon was divine, and I was happy to learn that it was organic.
At Vogue Cafe, there are many healthy Main Courses on the menu, but I would really love to highlight their approach to their Main Course salads because it is something I wish more restaurants would do.
There are four different salads to choose between and you have the option to add a freshly grilled protein of your choice to the salad. I think it’s such a wonderful way to make your salad a healthy filling meal. At restaurants, I have often been torn between a ordering a salad and a cooked main course because I want the freshness of a large salad but I also need some nice freshly grilled protein on the side. I love love love that Vogue Cafe allows people to get that balance on one plate.
The four salads on the menu are:
– Late Summer Salad (AED56) has mixed baby leaves, green mango, papaya, watermelon, pomegranate, strawberry and hazelnut dressing
– Burrata Cheese and Heirloom Tomato (AED74) with aged balsamic, micro basil and extra virgin olive oil
– Blue Crab Salad (AED68) with celery and apple remoulade and light curried mayonnaise
– Caesar Salad (AED58) with baby romaine leaves, garlic herb croutons, homemade dressing and shaved parmesan cheese
You can add a grilled protein of your choice to your salad:
– Grilled Chicken (AED24)
– Grilled Angus Beef Tenderloin (AED30)
– Grilled Tiger Prawns (AED32)
– Grilled Salmon (AED32)
– Grilled Seared Yellowfin Tuna (AED35)
I decided to go for a Caesar Salad with Grilled Salmon. While the Caesar Salad looked good, compared to the Appetizers we had just eaten and our other Main Course (Grilled Black Angus Beef Tenderloin), it seemed to lack the visual ‘wow’ factor. After the Appetizers, my expectations were sky-high and I was expecting some kind of architectural parmesan crisp to accompany my Caesar Salad and possibly a more creative crouton (something like a crispy thinly sliced piece of seasoned bread rather than small cubed croutons). Still the grilled salmon was gorgeous and the salad was delicious although I prefer a stronger anchovy taste in the dressing. I know that anchovy is not to most people’s taste so rather than add more anchovy to the dressing, it might be an idea to offer the option of a few anchovy fillets on the salad to give that really savoury flavor I am after when I order a Caesar Salad. For my next visit (yes, there will be a next visit), I plan to try the Late Summer Salad with Grilled Tiger Prawns.
Our other Main Course was Grilled Black Angus Beef Tenderloin (AED185) with potato and truffle gnocchi, wild mushroom, jus and argan oil. On the side we ordered a Baby Green Salad (AED29). The beef was juicy and perfectly cooked, the gnocchi was full of truffly flavor, and the side salad we ordered lightened what might otherwise have been a delicious but heavy wintery dish.
One of Vogue Cafe’s most popular desserts is Chocolate Implosion (AED54) which is a white chocolate sphere, crunchy mint ice cream and warm Valhrona milk chocolate. It sounded tempting but I decided to save that dessert for my next visit and instead try a couple of other desserts.
For those who love a creamy dessert, Mille Feuille (AED48) with Vanilla chiboust cream, rhubarb marmalade, and cardamom ice cream will fit the bill. The layers of pastry and cream are simple and delicious although I would have liked to have a little more rhubarb marmalade.
A healthier dessert option is Pineapple Carpaccio (AED42) with berries and mint lemon sorbet. I really love it when restaurants go out of their way to make a healthy fruit dessert which is more than simply tossed fruit salad. This dessert takes fruit to a new level with well thought out tastes and textures.
We finished off our meal with Moroccan Mint Tea and English Breakfast Tea, which came with chocolates to round off a wonderful lunch.
Total Salads’ verdict
Vogue Cafe is a calm haven hidden away in Dubai Mall’s Level Shoe District. The quality of the food is excellent and the presentation is worthy of a Vogue cover. Like the fashion world, Vogue Cafe plans on changing their menu every season. I tried their Winter 2014/2015 Menu and I was glad to see there are many healthy options to choose between. I love Vogue Cafe’s approach to Main Course salads this season, offering four types of salads plus the option to add some freshly grilled protein to create a balanced, filling and healthy meal. I really wish more restaurants did this. I would recommend Vogue Cafe to anyone who wants to eat well and is looking to escape the hectic crowds of Dubai Mall.
Full Disclosure: I was invited along with a guest to try Vogue Cafe’s Winter Menu. All content reflects my honest opinion.
All images were taken by me except for Late Summer Salad, Blue Crab Salad, and Garden Vegetable Parpadelle which were provided to me by Vogue Cafe.