Right opposite the Al Reef Lebanese Bakery on Al Wasl Road and below the Wasl Square apartments is a quaint little literary café called BookMunch. The concept of the café is simple: Read while you Feed. There is a clear demarcation of adult and children’s books and customers of all age and size have the option to grab one (and subsequently purchase) as they sip on coffee or enjoy their meal, while strictly following the Munch Etiquette, posted clearly on several pillars around. Our family of 3 was invited to their weekend brunch on a Friday afternoon. The place was buzzing with people, and the little visitors in particular, seemed to love the colorful Reading Den set up in the middle. Post the initial meet and greet, the Manager explained how the brunch comprised a half-and-half menu; everything on the ‘buffet’ being unlimited with the choice of ordering 1 additional item from the ‘a la carte’ menu; coffee, tea and juices included. One look around and I thought: that is a lot of food! (FYI: The weekend brunch is priced at AED 95 per adult, half price for kids aged 6-12, free for kids under 6)
Without further ado, we got down to business. The buffet was an elaborate spread of all kinds of breakfast items: assorted croissants, bagels, breads, frittatas, cheese platter, dips, salad cups, granola parfaits, mini pancakes, tartlets, banoffee pies and cake. To wash down the solids, there was lemonade, fresh juices and the all-time favorite combo of milk-n-cookies. Everything was beautifully presented in bite-sized portions; however, we realized soon enough how a couple of items put together made for a very substantial meal.
In between all the eating and reading (and hoping that our digestive juices were in top form), it was time to shift focus to the a la carte menu. I opted for the famous Chicken Avocado salad, my husband went in for the Spanish Omelette and the little one played it safe with nuggets and fries. The salad was a simple concoction of chicken, avocado and baby spinach but the surprise element came in the form of the BookMunch dressing, almost justifying its position as a favorite menu item.
While we were full to the brim, who could possibly say no to desserts? The lemon drizzle cake was light and fluffy and the tartlets were all about the velvety custard in them. However, the clear winner was the banoffee, a traditional English pie made from bananas, cream and toffee carefully contained in a base of flaky pastry. Very well executed, indeed.
The place ticks on a couple of counts. It combines food with a love of books making it a perfect little joint to spend a leisurely afternoon in, either by yourself or with the family. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the brunch menu is extensive enough to satisfy the hunger pangs of a LARGE eater. For a tiny place, it has a lot of staff who are both friendly and helpful. Besides being a café cum bookstore, BookMunch is also known for the ‘extras’ it provides. With the great weather upon us, it is happy to serve picnic hampers containing a myriad of goodies for every taste and age group. Should you have an event that requires catering, their food can be delivered right to your doorstep with service staff and table arranging facilities thrown in.
They are even hosting a spook-tacular lunch for children at their branches in Al Wasl Square and Bay Square, in keeping with the Halloween spirit. If you would like to savor some witch hair, monster eyeballs and mummy sausages with ghost mash, go to their FB page and confirm your attendance asap.
Note: While I was invited to review the weekend brunch at BookMunch, all views and opinions expressed are honest and solely my own.