Although Jumeirah Lake Towers area is a mish mash of roads and more confusing roads with building lay-outs that add more to that confusion ensalada, I believe SCAFA is worth the effort.
My passion for food made me walk in Manhattan streets at 2:30 in the morning just to eat Grey Papaya's hotdogs (made famous by the movie Fools Rush In). Yes, New York City streets, wee hours with my boy...
I met another lost foodie (who later on I found out is Samantha of FooDiva) in the lobby of the building next door. We trek our way and found out it was located on the lake level of the building next to Silver Tower in I cluster. Yes, sounds very complicated but when you get there, you know there'll be many more visits and you won't be lost again.
So let me walk you through our tour of SCAFA.
Alisha, who owns and manages the business with her parents (Zaigham and Deena) gave us a warm welcome. It is a little wearing to welcome foodies (critics mostly) to your kitchen and strike a balance between keeping foodies entertained without going over-the-top. And too business-like that will make the whole experience as cold as turkey. For someone who came from a totally different field, and I speak for Zaigham and Deena as well, the family has warmth that breaks down barriers which I think made them great for this business.
One by one, we were shown SCAFA's lay-out and were given some information about the area.
SCAFE Bistro has tables and wide open space where you can see everything from where you are sitting. The place is brightly lit, having huge floor to ceiling glass windows that welcomes happy sunshine with open arms. It's just really cheerful, the ultimate Dubai way.
Bistro will be the focal point of SCAFA. Chef Haroon is the dedicated Chef for the Bistro. Now and again, students of SCAFA will have the pleasure and advantage of serving their very own prepared dishes in the Bistro. It will be a fantastic avenue to give students that little push they need to face the F&B world, a chance to interact with customers. The right amount of encouragement and challenge.
We were shown where student's changing rooms, pantry, and even online resource room were going to be. Then my most awaited pit stop of it all, SCAFA's kitchen, where the magic will all happen. It was brilliantly space and of course I went all dreamy looking at their heavy duty gadgets, cooking ranges, their collection of shiny pots and pans, the convection ovens, the marble work top where pastries will be kneaded, rolled, cut, shaped, and bless me, at that moment covered with scrumptious pastries that were just drool-inducing. Alas! the great wonders of cooking and baking, definitely mesmerizing.
With Chef Audrey, an accomplished chef in both Belgium & Bahrain and Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef Jyotika as Instructors, students are definitely in good hands.
Food arrived and I met the delectable Tapas Trio.
Next to carrots was a well rounded texture and flavour, what with it having eggplants, pine nuts, olives and roasted tomatoes. It's a pleasure to eat it. The third one is a mixture of tuna, red bell pepper and to give you that subtle kick, jalapeño. It wasn't overpowering at all! It's so subtle and chic.
I plunged my spoon scooped up Vanilla Raspberry Panacotta. The light panacotta was delicately presented. Vanilla bits visible at the bottom (which only means business) and raspberry coulis adorning the top. The balance of flavour was pure delight. Not too sweet, not too tart.... just sublime and the texture? velvety smooth... muy perfecto! Two more for me por favor and three to go? Uno para cada hijo y otro para mi esposo! :P
Next, Cheesecake, berries on top and crust at the bottom. A sophisticated version of the classic one is the way to go for this bistro. If you're in a hurry, this cheesecake is the bomb! Not a huge chunk-o-slice of thick crust with heavy cream cheese but a perfect portion for the waistline conscious of the peeps of today. I, on the other hand have no problem gaining weight and so when I come back, I don't mind ordering two. Like the panacotta, it was made with such finesse, that the only way it will end up is a dainty one.
A bonus if you may, was presented on a taster spoon. Ginger and pear crumble. Whipped up just few moments before dessert was served. It was all because Chef Audrey hates to waste excess ingredients and what better way to utilize them than create delish treats. A true mark of a great chef, she made a marriage of flavour with ginger and pear and made a glowing finish to an enjoyable food tasting. An ace skill if I say so myself, which I hope their student will learn and hone.
I guess for now they are sourcing their pastries from France but will eventually make their own breads and pastries, given that they'll be teaching students all about them in successions.
Alisha, Deena and Zaigham have done an incredible job building this business from concept to reality. There are still a lot to do but they will get there because this family is focus and happy with what they do. F&B establishment should start a partnership with SCAFA as they have very good potential to produce homegrown talent.
They are located at Unit 16, Lake Level, Cluster I, Jumeirah Lake Towers.
Bistro opens from 8 AM to 6 PM. Breakfast is served between 8 AM to 11 AM, Lunch at 11:30 AM with last order at 2:30 PM. Coffee and pastries available until 6 PM. Bistro and School are closed on Fridays.
For more information about SCAFA, their courses (Children, Enthusiast, Home Pro or Professional Cooking Program), bistro, location, please visit: www.scafa.ae
Connect with them via their FB Page and their Twitter Account
Enjoy few more of the photos I've taken at SCAFA.
Happy Eating! - AcousticChef, cookin' one tune at a time!