A nice addition to the neighbourhood : Counter Culture Cafe, Dubai Marriott Harbour

We watched as this new cafe slowly appeared behind the Marriott : Counter Culture Cafe, hmm. It’s a 5 minutes walk from home, yet over the last two months since it has launched there was never any talk about it from friends, nor did it ever appear on my Entertainer App or any other deal offers so we just never bothered to check it out. There’s just so many other food places to explore.  Plus – it’s part of a hotel chain – it must be expensive – right? 

So when an invite landed in my inbox, I thought – hmm, maybe it’s time we got out of our place and pay this place a visit, and hopefully it’s something I can recommend to friends about, otherwise I’m going to struggle to write anything nice about it (or write anything at all..) 😉

Thank goodness it was good. Phew. First off, for those who don’t know where we’re based –

Where is it?

It’s on the ground floor of Dubai Marriott Harbour and Suites in the marina, i.e the building we call R2D2 hee hee, next to Infinity Tower (twisty building) – or now called Cayan Tower.

What do they serve?

A scan through their menu, it sorta reminds me a bit of Fume in Pier 7. The motto goes – ‘Great food, great life’, with simple salads and pastas under 40 AED, mains they call ‘While you chat and browse’ with burgers and roast chicken at mid 50’s AED, and the higher ends of sirloin steak, lamb shank at 72 AED, the most expensive meal of grilled seafood at only 89 AED. That’s a pretty good price range, isn’t it? 

They also have a separate breakfast menu which we just might come back to try out next time.

What did we have, and thoughts?


What seems like freshly baked olive bread, similar to what you get if you dine at The Observatory it seems, from our many lunch and dinners at the 52nd floor in the same hotel.


Not the most spectacular looking salad I’ll admit, looks like something I tossed up myself at home he he, but it was a simple tasty combination with iceberg lettuce with tomatoes, mango, watermelon and strawberry pieces 😉 35 AED.


I had the braised lamb shank with root vegetables – juicy, tender, delicious. No complaints. 72 AED.


G went greedy and opted for the seafood platter which came with lobster (which he said, is much better than the lobster he had at the Saffron brunch over the weekend with the boys!). With the platter came shrimps and grilled sea bream as well, with vegetables.


We finished the evening with pavlova to share. It being our ‘national dessert’, I would not call what they had served a pavlova, it’s more so a meringue with berries on the sides. Pavlova’s come with marshmallow interiors 😉 Still a nice simple dessert though.

It being so close to home, would we return?

Definitely. The food is simple, the price is very reasonable (even without vouchers!). I’m curious to try out their pastas, wonder what it’s like ay – priced at 32aed for carbonara and 38aed for bolognaise, it just might be one of our ‘lazy to cook, let’s walk out to eat’ places. I mean really,it’s half the price of Biella and Carluccio’s, maybe similar to that of Zucca!

Are they licensed?

Yes! Beers and wine prices are pretty standard to that of Marriott though, you get Peroni, Heinekens, Tigers and Corona’s at 40 AED, and wines start at 45 AED.


We went on a Sunday night so it was very quiet, I wouldn’t dare comment on weekends. It looks as it states – a ‘cafe’, not so much a bar/restaurant.

Cafe? So they serve cakes too? 

Yep! 🙂 Now if you live in this area that’s a huge plus. We sometimes splurge and pick up an expensive piece from Market Platters at the base of Tiger building. Or hop over to Spinney’s. With Counter Culture Cafe even closer, we just might head there next time – with a whole Blackforest Cake at 70 AED and New York Cheesecake at 135AED – that’s reasonable for me! We tried their Red Velvet, and though it’s still not comparable to that of Cheesecake Factory’s, it was still good 😉

So there you go. Give it a try, especially if you live in this area 😉 And if you go, say hi to Julie for us 🙂

Disclaimer : We were guests of Counter Culture Cafe, i.e invited. It’s up to you to decide the honesty of what I’ve written 😉 

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Dubai resident. Stays most of the time in the marina as she can't be bothered going anywhere else after work and in the weekends. Originally from the land of the orang utans, spent the latter half of her life in the land down under. Always on the look out for deals, loves organising get-togethers, and occasionally steals some time for a sip of wine or four at ladies nights.

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