The dark café has garnered quite some praise for its offering of sweet delicacies and specialty Charcoal Ice-Cream—unavailable from any other, but what most people overlook about the café is that their serving menu is more than fit to satiate a great deal of cravings, and it’s not just for frozen or sweet treats.
For Ramadan, this café offers fasters a choice of 3 menus all for the same price. The first menu has a focus on chicken, with no beef options, with the second having more beef options than chicken, and the third menu has a mix of both beef and chicken.
I was greeted by all the servers with my first foot inside, and I was happy to find short eats and a plate of dates in front me, alongside a glass of falooda, watermelon juice, and passion fruit juice, already as I sat down. Breaking my fast with three dates, I started with the big (not so) spicy potato balls, which were oozing with cheese, and the spring rolls which were very light with minced chicken. Both tasted amazing dipped in the provided sauces. The sweet watermelon juice served as sort of a palate cleanser afterwards.
As soon as we were done with our starters, one of the waiters quickly made his way to clear our table for the main course. A buffet on a plate arrived, filled with two beef kofta kebabs, a portion of garlic rice, some roshi with a bowl of chicken curry, and spaghetti with chicken meat balls. Quickly digging into the kebab and rice, I found there to be more kebab than rice, so I had the sweet and sour kebabs with roshi as well. The spaghetti found itself to be my next target, and the red sauce had the bright sweetness of tomato, and proved itself to be a little herby with each bite. To counter, I drank the passion fruit juice, which I found to be thick and so sweet. Devouring the last meatball, I was full—with only enough space for dessert!
An arrangement of cut up fruits (papaya, pineapple, watermelon, and oranges) between a ramekin of creme brûlée and another with a sticky date pudding arrived in a long plate, while my falooda turned baby pink with each stir. I was smitten with my first spoonful of the creme brûlée—amazing, one of the (if not THE) best creme brûlée this side of Malé. The caramelised top cracked with ease and contrasted well with the custard’s soft and smoothness. The cut piece of strawberry was a nice touch as well. The pudding was very light, but firm with a date syrup all over it. We helped ourselves to some of the fruits and I finished with some water after the falooda.
With the dining experience at an end, the only thing I disliked was that they served individual plastic bottles of water per person (with a paper cup to pour it in), with a straw for the falooda. The scrumptious food, along with the ambience and attentiveness of the waiters, makes this café a great venue to break your fast.
The Charcoal Café strayed away from your over-indulgent buffet options for breakfast, and from 3 of their set menus, I’m sure anyone can find themselves enjoying a hearty breakfast without waste.
Words by Ifaz
Featured photo by Taste
Photos by The Charcoal Café