I think we’ve established I enjoy a lunch special, yes?
Cue the AED75 two course + drink offer at Surf Cafe (which I found out about via their Instagram account — the second time this week that IG marketing has alerted me to an event I’ve followed up on, social media mavens, take note). A short trip over Um Sequiem from the Circle, parking was easy (I suspect this might not always be the case on the weekend) and into the storefront I went. Once inside, I was informed there has recently been a switch to move the Origin coffee counter downstairs and the sushi counter upstairs. Not having visited previously, I think this makes a great deal of sense.
A look at the regular menu is a bit… Well, there’s a lot on offer. I won’t use the word intimidating, but I do think it’s best if you have a look online before going in. Do you want breakfast? They’ve got breakfast. Do you also want sushi? Sure enough, there are rolls. Do you want to pick out your own fish? You can do that too.
From the set lunch menu, I chose the chicken empanadas (vegetarian friends, the soup that would be an option for you). The pastries were light and flaky, served warm and (without me noticing) with green olives (I like almost everyone in food, just not olives). The accompanying salad added the right amount of texture. I would’ve perhaps added a dip or aioli to accompany the dish, but that’s mostly because I enjoy dipping things.
For my main course, I chose the prawn skewer (sort of healthy, right?). Again, to vegetarian diners, I think you could have modified the other option, a bagel, to be made without meat, should you have wanted to. Light and perfectly cooked, the shrimp were a perfect not too heavy option for a midday meal. The accompanying Greek salad was bright and fresh, and overall I was very satisfied with the amount of food and value for money.
While I was tempted by the dessert menu, I decided it would be best to come back for another visit.
The service was professional, polite and engaging. Given my experience the following day at Pierchic (review forthcoming), I would recommend my lunch at the Surf Cafe well above that of the ‘fancier’ restaurant. Also, given the location, there isn’t the hassle that are involved with Box Park or Citywalk.
I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to the Surf Cafe. I only wish they were licensed — it would be great to have a crisp glass of white wine or pint of beer to accompany the meal on a hot day.