Avec

This new Dubai Media City dining spot, named Avec (which means ‘with’ in French) is the latest in a long line of eateries inspired by a sense of media connectivity. Inside this absolutely huge venue, you’ll find a sectioned-off smoking area where shisha is available. There is an equally large non-smoking dining section, inside which is an open kitchen counter and a salad bar (diners can opt to help themselves for Dhs49). In the centre of the room is a massive communal table. Right at the back is the light and airy ‘library’ with a workspace-style bank of desks for those looking to use laptops. The space feels bright, modern and fun, with shelves of books and magazines everywhere, cartoony-posters in primary colours, hashtags and (actually, slightly naff) inspirational slogans-galore on the walls. Service is present but pretty ordinary. On entering the café and asking for a table for two, the server waved casually across the room as if to say ‘wherever, pick one’. While food arrives very swiftly, it feels as if servers are unlikely to grace your table unless flagged down. Help on the menu is not especially insightful: asking for a recommendation, when the signature dish of falafel crusted salmon was off the menu, prompted the response ‘these are the main courses on the menu’. The list itself is large and varied, although much of it (marked with ‘!!’ instead of prices) is actually not available. Still, between the unavailable items are some breakfast dishes, a few Arabic recipes, flatbreads, sandwiches and an international choice of main courses that spans burgers and fish and chips, to chicken taouk. Nevertheless, once you’ve found an order that is actually available, the food that arrives is generally of a very high standard. A crunchy flatbread topped with generous amounts of goat’s cheese, softly caramelised chunks of red onion, pine and plenty of pesto was an excellent start to the meal. The appetiser of ‘crispy prawns’ were fat and meaty specimens, tightly wrapped in very fine and crunchy vermicelli (teamed with a slightly sharp and spicy mayonnaise). Of the main courses, the chicken taouk (served on Arabic bread, with a bucket of fries) was tender and flavoursome. The club sandwich was crammed with slightly stringy but sweet and smoky beef bacon, fried egg and slices of chicken breast with a herb crammed coating, that provided a little crunch. The bread was lightly toasted and fluffy, with the crust removed, which was quite a clever step to make this large sandwich feel a little lighter when eating. It was also served with fries but these were, however, bland and anaemic. Overall, Avec offers enjoyable food of a good standard, making it worth a try during lunch hour for Media City’s many office workers. The bill (for two) 1x goat’s cheese flatbread Dhs36 1x crispy prawns Dhs32 1x club sandwich Dhs40 1x chicken taouk Dhs42 2x juice Dhs52 Total (excluding service) Dhs202

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