Books and food, 2 of life’s greatest pleasures and absolute essentials that any mama wants to ensure her little ones are getting enough of. BookMunch café in the Wasl Square development, just next to Safa Park, is the perfect combination of both, with cosy interiors, book-lined shelves and a seriously good menu – this lovely little place is Sassy Mama Dubai’s adopted workspace and favourite daytime hangout. Already hugely impressed with this café, we didn’t need much persuasion to round up the tots and put the BookMunch kids menu to the Sassy Mama test.
What’s On The Menu?
The BookMunch menu has been created by food stylist, chef and epicurean Fiona Archibold together with the café owner Dareen Charafeddine and it’s very obvious that a lot of love and thought has gone into every dish. From breakfast to dinner, we want to try it all! The chicken salad is out of this world, a mix of avocado, marinated chicken, a pile of crunchy greens and a warm salad dressing to die for, it’s almost impossible to order anything else.
A refreshing change from the deep fried options found on most children’s menus, the BookMunch kids options have been created around characters and ideas from some of the best children’s stories around and are guaranteed to inspire. The dr. Seuss green eggs & ham (omlette with spinach) and humpty dumpty boiled egg with soldiers would make breakfast a real treat and if you’re popping in for a post-school snack the ‘give the mouse a muffin’ served with a glass of milk sounds like the perfect thing. Our hungry rugrats wanted everything we proposed – from cloudy with a chance of meatballs spaghetti with tomato sauce to Charlie & Lola fish nibbles with cloud fluff and moon squirters. Even the ‘enchanted broccoli forest with kofta and green bean elves climbing a potato mountain’ got a thumbs up but was eventually rejected on the basis that broccoli was involved (how will we ever get them to eat it?!)
3 of the 4 boys opted for ‘burger boy’ mini burgers with cheese which arrived looking beautiful, the homemade fries (a mix of potato, sweet potato and even a couple of beetroot slices) served in a colourful little paper cone and 2 mini burgers small enough to get little teeth into but big enough to fill up the tums – completely delicious and a big hit with the kids. Our 4th little one was far more adventurous, choosing fusilli carbonara served in a parcel – quite possibly the best carbonara we have ever tasted, mama was delighted when there was a teeny bit leftover to tuck into and proceeded to unashamedly finish it off.
Everything we’ve had the pleasure of tasting from the menu – including the kids options – has been totally delicious, well thought out and presented beautifully. Portions are decent too so there’s no chance of you going hungry even after a soup or salad. More thumbs up for the staff who couldn’t be more accommodating, reading books to the kids and generally being full of smiles and cheer even when clearing up after 4 messy eaters. BookMunch regularly host events for children and adults alike, from poetry readings to guest chefs – and there’s a Saturday kids story time each week at 12.30.
We really can’t find much to be negative about here – only thing we would say is that BookMunch is better suited to slightly older kids who don’t feel the urge to touch everything with sticky fingers or pull at the many books on sale. Ours got a little over curious by the end of the visit and the chess board and ‘mad hatters table’ at the café entrance, a display of gorgeous things to buy, became too much of a temptation and caused a swift exit.
Yes, the café is small but they’re very happy for mamas to come in with strollers and will do everything to help you find space. Being on the ground floor means it’s super easy to wheel in and out.
Yes some really nifty folding ones – we’d love to know where they’re from!
Yes, one of the best we’ve seen in Dubai!
Reasonable. Soups start at AED 38, main course salads at AED 40 and more substantial main courses at AED 42. The kids menu choices start at AED 14 for eggs, our mini burgers and pasta were AED 22 each.
9am – 11pm daily
Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road, next to Safa Park and opposite the Lebanese Bakery
Tel: (+971) (0)4-3884006