Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Australian café chain The Coffee Club has seen demand spike for its culinary offerings especially among Emirati residents. The local community has a great appreciation for the quality of international brands such as The Coffee Club, which has more than 390 cafes across nine countries. The café’s all day breakfast concept as well as emphasis on top notch service has won it fans, as Emiratis love the idea of a café that offers a great ambience complemented by excellent service and great food.
This trend was seen recently when the internationally popular café brand teamed up with popular Emirati food blogger and culinary art director Shaikha Al Ali. The collaboration happened during the Holy Month of Ramadan to create an Emirati-inspired Iftar dish called Balaleet, a vermicelli and egg creation served for breakfast, or as a dessert. Shaikha Al Ali added a contemporary twist to this popular traditional dish. The result: Balaleet Brioche Delight, a scrumptious creation comprising cinnamon, honey and a butter-rubbed brioche filled with sugared cheese and topped with an aromatic cinnamon balaleet enhanced by the characteristic taste of chopped walnuts. Its salted caramel topping found perfect balance with the addition of fresh raspberries.
“Food is a central element of Emirati culture as is the focus on hospitality and service. We introduced the Balaleet-inspired dish to acknowledge our close connection to this country and emphasize how important the tastes and preferences of our Emirati patrons are to us,” said Mr. Michael Chick, General Manager, Liwa Minor Food and Beverages LLC.
This innovative take on the Balaleet was a big hit during the months of June and July across all of The Coffee Club outlets in UAE. “At least 10% of those who visited the store during these two months have ordered the delightful dish,” he added.
“I am extremely thrilled to be associated with a dish that is so dear to the hearts of the Emiratis and to me in particular. To be able to revamp it and add my own touch to it is even a greater pleasure. The collaboration with The Coffee Club was great and I am extremely satisfied with the results and that it was loved by many,” said Emirati Culinary Director Shaikha Al Ali.
Mr. Chick added, “We are very excited with the response to the introduction of this Emirati-influenced dish at all our outlets. Food blogger Shaikha Al Ali created a dish that combined everything that appeals to the local community including traditional cuisine and a willingness to experiment with international culinary trends. This is precisely why the UAE has attracted a slew of international F&B brands; our local patrons look for service and a good product – all of which The Coffee Club exemplifies.”