Having heard so many good things about this establishment, and being in the vicinity of Masdar City this past weekend – we decided that it was about time that Out & About UAE visited Jim’s Kitchen Table. So after a quick trip on the driver-less cars (which you can read more about here), we were in the heart of futuristic Masdar city, attempting to find the restaurant with much difficulty – it would seem that signage and maps are a rarity in the future…
The restaurant is located in the Siemens building, and the simplest way to get there from the PRT (driver-less cars) is by exiting the station at the top of the spiral staircase, pass through the glass doors and turn right, then immediately left. Follow the steps downwards and you will see the sign boards for Jim’s Kitchen Table on your right. We arrived early evening on a Saturday evening and were surprised to see how few customers there were, considering it is such a great place with such positive word of mouth from its dedicated patrons.
Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted warmly by the staff and shown to our seats. The restaurant is a split level affair with separate areas for more formal dining and a more informal relaxing cafe space – the designated dining area has large wooden tables and chairs reminiscent of a country farm house where you would expect families to gather for their evening meal. Whilst the cafe area is more for lounging over a coffee and cake, with its large comfy sofas. Huge windows run down the entirety of the left wall letting lots of natural light into the premises and (more importantly) illuminating the cake displays!
We were even more excited to discover that there is also a small shop incorporated into the venues open-plan design. The produce on sale includes everything from balsamic vinegar, to speciality olive oil, bread sticks, pasta, and a fantastic selection of homemade jams and chutneys – the watermelon, mint, green tomato and chilli flavours all caught our eye. The pinnacle of our browsing experience was the bakery, as sometimes in the UAE it can be very difficult to find fresh home cooked bread that tastes great. We could barely contain our excitement at the sight of sour-dough, rye and more, all loaded into baskets on the counter. The elation continued when we saw the prices, as these loaves cost just a dirham or two more than that mass-produced bread you would get from the supermarket (and we can now see ourselves making regular trip out to Madar just to purchase bread!).
The decor of the building contains some industrial touches, such as the large metal lamps that adorn the ceiling, you can envision these being used in a cattle farm or factory setting and the wooden floors really add a rustic charm. Jim’s also contains a small play area for children, allowing them to burn off some steam whilst parents have the opportunity to watch their children in a safe environment and relax at the same time. This is an excellent addition, and something that we really hope to see more of throughout the UAE, as we know just how stressful going out to eat with children can be at times.
Before taking our order the staff were kind enough to take us on a tour of the venue and explain to us the items available in the display cases. There was an extensive choice on offer from luxury sandwiches and salads, to cakes, macaroons and more – all of which is made fresh daily on site and looked absolutely scrumtuous.
The concept of Jim’s is ‘just great food’ and that is exactly what they are offering. The menu is international cuisine, but with a firm focus on South African dishes. This is mainly due to the fact that the restaurant is co-owned by UK & South African entrepreneurs. It was a pleasure to see that children were well catered for with a variety of healthy dishes. Though we ourselves really struggled to narrow down our food choices as the options were not only overwhelming, but each and every dish seemed very appealing. The fantastic menu includes items that you are unlikely to find on any other menu in the capital. We eventually settled on the slow cooked beef brisket and the grilled salmon with wasabi mashed potato and streamed vegetables.
Our menu choices turned out to be exactly what was required, with the beef brisket so tender due to its 24 hour cooking time. The meat was melt in the mouth soft and smothered in a stunning bbq sauce that should be commended. The salmon on the other hand was a more subtle affair, lightly grilled to really enhance the flavours. It is immediately evident upon sampling the food that Jim’s uses only the finest and freshest ingredients, and this really shines through in the taste of the dishes. The wasabi mashed potato was not overpowering, and the flavour combination was certainly something that we will be trying ourselves at home.
Despite all of the decedent dessert offerings on show in the display cabinets (especially that banoffee pie), we opted to sample the traditional South African desert of choice – malva pudding. If you have never heard of malva pudding before, it is a sweet baked desert of Cape Dutch origin that uses a combination of caramel and apricot jam to create a smooth texture. The malva served at Jim’s was really delicious, served with custard and a sugar tuile – this pudding alone is worth a visit.
Overall we had an exceptional dining experience at Jim’s Kitchen Table. It is nice to find somewhere that serves freshly produced, great tasting and healthy food, that the whole family will enjoy. It is also worth mentioning that the prices are very reasonable for what you get and the portions are large. The welcome addition of the shop and fresh bakery only heightens the experience and helps to re-emphasise the concept of ‘just good food’ which Jim’s Kitchen Table it actively promoting. What enhanced the enjoyment of our meal was our waiter Kirvin, who was kind, attentive & really went out of his way to ensure that we had a pleasant dining experience – he really is an asset to the Jim’s Kitchen Table team.
Despite being a relatively quiet venue it is a great spot to visit due to the extensive menu choices that will cater for even the most fussy eater. It is great to see how much variety is on offer especially for those with specific dietary requirements such as vegetarian and gluten free – for example asparagus and quesadilla lasagne, or slow cooked beef ribs.
Jim’s is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We will certainly be visiting again for breakfast if only to try the French toast stack, that is once we have finished off the sough-dough bread that we couldn’t help but take home from our memorable visit…
Location: Siemens Building, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm daily.
All views within this blog are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, unless otherwise stated.