I can’t believe I haven’t written a post on Common Grounds yet.
Situated in the Mall of the Emirates, Common Grounds was the first cafe we visited the day we arrived in Dubai. It has delivered us tasty comfort food ever since. Run by the ubiquitous Bull&Roo, a company well known throughout Dubai for its delicious dining experiences, Common Grounds is my favourite brunch spot. And when I say ‘brunch’, I mean the New Zealand or Australian brunch – eggs on toast – rather than the drink-your-weight-in-bubbles style favoured here in Dubai. Alongside the other Bull&Roo cafes and restaurants – the Brunswick, The Sum of Us and Tom & Serg – it is one of Dubai’s most popular casual hangouts. If you’re an ex-pat, you’ve definitely spent a long afternoon or evening in at least one of these locations.
The blokes behind Bull&Roo – Tom Arnel and Sergio Lopez, to be exact – have a passion for quality food and good coffee, and that’s reflected in their delicious menus and quality fare. That first time I wandered into Common Grounds, I felt like we were in a neighbourhood café in Melbourne. This was pretty on the mark – with Tom apparently hailing from there. The menu included the sorts of brunch-style foods we had come to expect as mainstays in Australia and New Zealand, but that weren’t always done well here. My favourite menu items are the Kashmiri Florentine – eggs on a hash of beetroot and sweet potato with kale – and their light and fresh take on Chicken Katsu. Their shakes and juices are also fantastic – with Glory being a favourite for those who can’t have dairy. They’ve even transported that unique Australia and New Zealand dilemma to Dubai – should we save for a house deposit, or buy some smashed avocado?
Actually, the entire menu is pretty fantastic for people with allergies. Allergens and ingredients are clearly marked. It is one of the few places we have found where everyone can find something to eat. They are also one of the few places that do a generous breakfast serving period – 9am-4pm, every day. There is nothing worse than showing up somewhere and requesting eggs just to be told they aren’t served after 12pm. Well… there are a few things worse. But as first world problems go, it’s right up there.
If you haven’t been to Common Grounds, you are seriously missing out. Get up tomorrow morning and take yourself down there. You won’t regret it!
Where: Level Two, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha. There is also a smaller branch at JBR The Walk.
Opening hours: The MOE branch is open 8am ’til late.
Delivery: Yes, through Deliveroo.
Platinum discount? Yes, 15%.