First opened in mid-September 2020, WKND Dubai is already a bona fide must-visit hotspot with those in the know (including your friends at The Huntr, of course). Discover how and why WKND lives up to the hype here now…
Conceptualised by James Soo Yong Kim and Abdullah Al Mazrouei, WKND Dubai is first and foremost a specialty coffee concept. Using its own Supra Coffee beans (roasted in Abu Dhabi), this Al Safa hotspot is a must-visit for any coffee connoisseur. The spaceship-like central island is devoted purely to coffee and features the slick barista bar flanked by chairs and a low-table set up complete with custom V60 brewing gear, plus there’s also an adjacent wall complete with 20 automated slow-drips – which were all designed and custom-made by James and Abdullah. The coffee menu features the usual specialty favourites and The Huntr enjoyed several faultless coffees including cortado (25AED), flat white (25AED) and V60 (28AED) (brewed at the table with an insightful delivery by the passionate barista Gerard, no less).
Secondly, it’s all about coffee’s perfect pairing – dessert. But since The Huntr visited WKND in the morning we skipped the sweet stuff and dove straight into the breakfast menu (which, like all sections of the menu – is available from open until close every day). The WKND Benedict (62AED) is a hearty mix of braised brisket, corn hollandaise, and avocado crema inside a croissant and topped with a perfect poached egg. The Cauliflower & Eggs (58AED) is rather remarkable – not only does it look like art, but its surprising combination of ingredients (caramelized cauliflower, almond, silver anchovies, poached eggs, and Hokkaido loaf) will also delight adventurous foodies looking to try something different. The Croque Madam (55AED) is beautifully-presented and features the unique addition of strawberry jam and the popular Breakfast Pizza (65AED) is a must-try for those who love smoked salmon benedicts and have a good appetite. Last but not least, the artfully arranged light option – the Acai Bowl (49AED) comes with peanut butter, mixed berries, chia seeds, figs, and kiwi.
The menu has been meticulously designed by James (himself an ex chef at the likes of Michelin Star restaurants Caviar Russe, Blanca and Danja in NYC) and features an array of international dishes with flashes of Asian inspirations here and there. It is divided into sections: appetizers (small dishes, snacks, and sharing plates), breakfast, pasta dishes, Napoli pizzas, lunch & dinner plates (burgers, steaks, rice, sandwiches, and co), salads, sweets and Bingsu (a Korean shaved ice dessert). There are quite a few vegetarian-friendly dishes (including a delicious-sounding Impossible Burger) but vegan options are limited.
Interiors-wise, James also acted as the architect for the project with Abdullah providing essential support as his creative partner. And we must congratulate them – because the ambience at WKND is inspiring and striking. If Virgil Abloh and Kanye West opened a specialty coffee bar and bistro, it might look a lot like this. Stark and creative, considered, and curated. The glass cube ‘Studio’ at the back (complete with Virgil Abloh’s “Keep Off” rug for Ikea) offers a semi-private experience if you can snag it and will be transformed monthly to offer new artistic installations, seating and dining experiences. There are also various table arrangements for small and large groups throughout the open-plan space – including a long wooden bench arrangement directly in front of ‘The Studio’.
Alongside its noteworthy coffee, the alcohol-free WKND drinks menu also offers a selection of mocktails – we tried and loved the Refreshing (32AED), which was exactly that and features a mix of passion fruit and yuzu citron and the Cherry Blossom (32AED) – a fruity combo of raspberry, pomegranate, and strawberry.
Whilst it’s not too hard to find amazing specialty coffee and amazing gourmet food in Dubai, it is quite rare to find them wrapped up in such a delightful package, together.
So, what are you waiting for? Race you there…
Insider tips: WKND is busy weekdays from 2 pm and weekends from open until close. Free parking is available underground and there’s also paid RTA parking available out front. If you want to visit during a quiet time we suggest heading to WKND at opening time (currently 9 am) on a weekday as The Huntr did. Toilets available on-site, plus charging stations and free wifi – making this a great spot to study or get work done during its off-peak timings (9 am-2 pm weekdays). WKND Dubai is open 9 am until 11 pm Saturday-Wednesday and 9 am until midnight on Thursdays and Fridays.