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Dubai’s best new hipster hangout revealed

Words by Rob Chilton

A superb setting in the Al Quoz arts district, an indie crowd and great coffee

Cassette is Dubai's most exciting cafe opening for a long time. Here are eight reasons why it's worth a visit.

1. The Coffee

Cassette uses the finest beans from much-loved Dubai roasting company Seven Fortunes. There are four special lattes available, nine hot coffees, and four cold including one called a ‘Shakerato,’ which we’re trying next time.

2. The Accessories

Napkins that look like graph paper you wrote on at school, plastic-handled cutlery from Vice Versa, CrushGrind salt and pepper pots from Denmark and crockery from Belgian designer Anita La Grelle add up to a stylish look.

Cool art

3. The Playlist

Erykah Badu, The Fugees, The XX, Glass Animals, Maribou State are just some of the artists you’ll hear at this impossibly cool Al Quoz cafe and restaurant. Turn your phone off and let those vinyl tunes work their magic.

Hipster playlist

Acai bowl

4. The Location

Opposite The Courtyard Playhouse in Al Quoz, Cassette is around the corner from Tom & Serg, opposite Gym Nation and across the road from arts hub Alserkal Avenue. In other words, it’s pretty much in the bullseye of Dubai hipsterville.

5. The Lighting

Cafes aren’t supposed to be sexy but Cassette has some serious charm. The lighting is low and creates a calm atmosphere in which to meet, eat and work. During our visit we spotted five laptops and numerous creative types.

6. The Manager

Alexs Chernev is the Bulgarian boss at Cassette and he explains, “We want to create a community of people who are looking for good food, cool music, some nice plants and good vibes.” As a philosophy, it’s hard to beat.

7. The Food

The salmon is gently smoked in-house and didn’t overpower the other ingredients in the excellent orange, beet and goat’s cheese cream salad (below, AED 58). The tasty broccoli quiche meanwhile (AED 35) was densely packed with filling. Feeling sluggish? Knock back the Kamikaze shooter (AED 16) and let the turmeric, ginger and lemon do its thing. Oh, and the almond croissant (AED 18) was insanely good.

Salmon salad

8. The Chat

The people-watching potential here is great, but the people-listening might be even better. During a stroll around the packed tables we overheard the following conversation snippets from our neighbours: “aerial yoga”, “Phuket detox cleanse boot camp”, “such a cool design agency”, and “I’m cutting back to one coffee per week and today’s the day.”

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