How Do Lovelies?
The other week we were out shopping, well when I say shopping it was really just walking around the mall in circles!! Whilst occupying ourselves by trying not to step on the cracks we spotted a bit of a kerfuffle occurring. What is going on we wondered? it must be something amazingly exciting. Of course, we went to have a nosey and discovered what all the fuss was about. In one of the open spaces in the mall there stood a brand spanking new Versace Versus Café!! The place was packed to the brim and not only that, there was a queue to get in, with a red rope and beefy bouncer and everything. Well, I am not daft enough to want to queue up to get in there, but one did make a mental note to go back there and give it a sample some other time.
Wanting of something to do on a weekday evening we decided to partake in the hype or rather see if the place lived up to it. So it was off to visit for a wee beverage and a morsel of cake perhaps. When we arrived it was a whole lot less crazy than our previous encounter, though the red rope was still there and the beefy bouncer appeared to now be moonlighting as a waiter. There were a lot of tables available and soon we where ensconced at one. Horror of horrors! With my beady eye I noticed some crumbs, no doubt left over from the previous occupiers feastings. Picking up a napkin I cleaned down the table, drawing slight agitation from husband, who hates this habit of mine of clearing and cleaning tables. I shot back that I was rather non-plussed at having been seated at such a table in the first place when there were so many others empty. I should probably add at this point that some people find me rather annoying to dine with. I have a great attention to detail, having worked in the service industry for many years. It seems etched in my bones to notice the things others miss. I’m fine tuned to spot the unpolished cutlery, the cold plate, the dirty glass etc. Consequently I am very hard to impress. I’m not saying I expect everything to be on par with fine dining, just that if I am paying good money for something I want that something to be good!!
Anyway, moving on. A rather pleasant waiter arrives with a menu for us. They are not serving much here at the café. I expected this as it doesn’t have a kitchen to speak of, so there is just a variety of Panini, cakes and drinks on offer. The menu is rather interesting as it lists every single ingredient in each drink, so you can know that a café latte consists of so many ml of milk, espresso and a teaspoon of sugar! There were also some more interesting sounding coffees that included the addition of honey and chocolate. Disappointingly, despite this fountain of information about drinks, the cakes had not been treated so grandly, without a description it’s a bit of a pot luck. I asked the waiter where they bought their cakes from? He did not know and he was also a little vague on what was in them. Giving up this method of detection, I went over to the cake counter just to have a good old look at them to see which ones looked the most delicious and tempting. I don’t know about you but I’m not sure this is a fail safe method for choosing cakes? Often the most ornate and marvelous looking ones taste like synthetic sludge.
Returning to our now crumb free table, we placed our order for one red velvet cake, a café latte and a café viennois. Maybe I am spoilt because I have had the pleasure of eating many red velvet cakes in my time. My absolute favourite thus far being Magnolia Bakery’s in New York. This one just wasn’t a patch on any of them. It was far too dry and the icing incredibly sweet, it was still eaten up swiftly if disappointedly by us both though. The coffee performed much better, it was nice and mild and one of the best I have had so far, since trying to take it without sugar. Husband enjoyed his viennois, though commented it was not as good as Laduree or Paul’s.
Having paid up and moved to depart we lamented that it was a shame we hadn’t had a better experience here. We may well give it another go in the future. People seem to enjoy it here, at the weekend it’s packed out. Perhaps it’s a case of Versace Café, we must try it? Often these types of places are a matter of style over substance. I couldn’t really say this place was either. Although any place to sit in the open and enjoy the bustle of the mall is ok in my book.
Perhaps one of you will fair better. Versace Versus Café is at Panorama Mall, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Incidentally you will also find Trader Vics, Joseph and Joes Café at Panorama, so it’s worth a visit.
What do you think of these fashion designer cafes? Any good experiences to share?
Peace and Love
Ginger and Cream XOXO