La Postreria Dessert Studio and Lounge

The sweet themed Spanish chain offers mixed results The concept behind this Spanish chain is, as the name suggest, orientated around all things sweet. The back wall of the restaurant plays testament to this, given over to a patisserie counter, with pretty looking little cakes and bowls of lollipops, cookies and more besides on display. Aside from this sweet-draw, the space felt much like a night club, from the loungey ambience, to the dark, glittering (and slightly ostentatious) design and blaring music in the background. While it seemed great care had been taken to give the venue an exclusive feel, from the caramel tones through to the Philippe Starck style plastic chairs, I found it mismatched and a little tacky. Nevertheless, the menu itself was unpretentious and reasonably priced. In addition to those desserts and breakfast dishes, Spanish tapas and main courses were also available. While service was friendly, polite and well meaning, staff had a very limited knowledge of the menu and struggled to explain much of it or to make any recommendations. I opted for the Gallician style scallops (from the tapas selection) to start and the olive crusted lamb chops with rosemary potatoes as a main course. The scallops arrived, nicely presented on a large black lacquer plate and in their shells. They had an oddly meaty taste and texture to them and were solidly cooked through, so that they were by no means ruined, but a little chewy. Sitting on a bed of julienne bell peppers and veal bacon, this mixture was dominantly sweet and a little watery. Nevertheless, the dish was not unpleasant, and not bad for Dhs34. The lamb arrived as an attractive but intimidatingly large portion of four cutlets. The first lamb chop was desperately rare and bloody, and while wondering if this was simply the chef’s chosen way, I began cutting into each chop to find out. All four were cooked through to an entirely different degree, from well done to what was effectively blue. Despite this kitchen faux pas, the meat itself (on each chop) was actually still flavoursome and moist and the olive, herb and breadcrumb crust was decent. The little cubes of rosemary roast potatoes that came with the lamb were very enjoyable. Realising, as I sat in the icy, empty, noisy interior dining space, that the majority of La Postreria’s customers were braving the evening heat outside, I decided to join them for coffee and dessert. The air was filled with the sweet apple and strawberry scents of shisha. The mismatching furniture worked to a more successful and edgier effect outside, even if the space was unnecessarily badly lit. The service outside was also noticeably better, while the attitude was just as willing and friendly, it had a slicker, more professional edge, which made me wonder if the staff outside were simply getting more practice. The waitress offered some unprompted but welcome advice on dessert choices, inviting me back inside to examine the patisserie counter. Eventually I opted for the fruitopia. It was a pretty little fruit mille feuille, with colour, height and layering that made it interesting to dig into. Between three layers of pastry, deceasing in size to a point at the top, sat a mixture of fresh, minutely diced fruit and crème patisserie, a bouffant of whipped cream, high and fluffy like an Marie Antoinette powdered wig and lined with a few fresh strawberries, with a physalis at the summit as a final touch. The creation was simple yet playful, light, fresh and very enjoyable to eat. For the sweet toothed and those that can face the al fresco heat, La Postreria is certainly worth dipping into as a laid-back coffee and cake spot, although I suggest dinner elsewhere first. The bill (for one) 1x scallops Dhs34 1x lamb chops Dhs89 1x fruitopia dessert Dhs34 1x small water Dhs8 1x mocktail Dhs28 1x coffee Dhs16 Total (excluding service) Dhs209

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