Nation Towers Mall, Corniche.
Food ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Price ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Ambience ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Service ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
With just some small improvements this will be a solid four-star place.
Not sure where to have lunch today, my son came up with the idea of Cafe Diego. To me it's one of those places I keep thinking I must try but keep forgetting it exists - the lack of customers always keeps me in doubt whether it will be worth it.
It is still in its soft-opening phase so hopefully these comments get seen and two things happen - Best Biters give it a go, and they make some improvements where necessary.
We arrived at about 11:30 and were the only customers - we immediately noticed the nice decor, and desserts in glass displays on the counter. There is also a cool VW Van parked to the side. Overall it's a great looking place!
At first there was cool Spanish music playing which created a nice ambiance but at some stage it stopped and was not put back on - this killed the spirit inside so a heads-up to them. There are various screens playing classic Maradona football clips - you can't help but to watch some of it and damn, he was legendary.
The Menu is a soft-opening one but quite comprehensive nonetheless - waitress was polite and helpful and food was served quickly and the table cleared without the normal delays one regularly experiences.
To wet our throats we opted to go with Latte, Cappuccino, Strawberry Mocktail and a Dulce de Leche milkshake which my daughter professed to being the best milkshake she has ever had. 😳 To fill the gap we went with a Tapas platter and Seafood Paella - we were assured this would be more than sufficient for four.
A complimentary basket of breads (olive bread and plain panini type) with garlic-butter and olive oil was served - the bread was warm and very delicious! I love it when restaurants serve complimentary bread!
The coffees arrived with amazing truffle chocolates - half a star deducted though for the coffee being no more than warm. Sacrilegious. 🙁
On to the star of the show - Tapas Platter - let's say upfront that we regretted having ordered the paella because there was no way we could finish the tapas - plenty sufficient and really tasty! There was a selection of vegetable chips (I think it was zucchini), octopus tempura, breaded shrimp with a pumpkin sauce, boiled shrimp with caviar, beef cheeks with mushroom and mashed potato, chicken lollipops, spicy potatoes and lamb shawarma wraps - all had a little twist in that they had some sort of sauce but I can't remember what they all were, but were delicious. Half a star deducted for the lamb having fatty pieces - can't handle fat on my meat.
Following came the seafood Paella which was also really good but a tad under-seasoned - definitely had to add salt to taste - the final half-star deducted.
Because at this stage we were at risk of needing a crane to lift us and help us out, we opted not to have dessert - no one needs that kind of embarrassment on a Friday! Alas(!), with the bill came a small plate with complimentary bite-size desserts - chocolate cake covered in milk chocolate, and shortbread cookies with dulce de leche filling. I believe they were baked by angels.
As far as pricing goes, because we shared, it worked out quite reasonable - the items on the mains are at slightly above average prices otherwise - example, on the hamburger great leveller price comparo statistical scale, their burger is 85 bucks.
We most definitely will be going back as the quality of the food is above average - I honestly think what the place needs is more customers and they will find their groove. We could hear the chef talking in the kitchen in Spanish so things seem legit.