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Coming up with excellent food and smooth, attentive service in one venue can be applauded. When it is consistent across 40 outlets in 10 cities you know that you are onto a winner. Our recent visit to the newly opened branch in Guezira Plaza ticked all the boxes of what we can consider one of the best restaurants in Sheikh Zayed.

Type of cuisine: The well-thought-out menu takes the best from various cuisines around the world. From breakfast and brunch, to soups, salads, starters, burgers and substantial main dishes, it caters to every taste, including a bunch of attractive healthy options. Add on sushi, pizza, pasta and scrumptious signature desserts with Michelin star- worthy presentation and an amazing coffee selection, what more could you want!

Signature dishes: Although every dish can be counted on to please, Casper & Gambini’s is famed for its Smoked Salmon on Home-Baked Pumpernickel, Grilled Salmon on Black Squid Ink Pasta, the C&G Club sandwich, the Teriyaki Chicken Burger, and a decadent Chocolate Cake.

Dishes sampled: Our first thoughts went to the thirst-quenching mojito-style coolers, one a lemon-kiwi combination and the other ginger based. They were perfect for beating the heat of a late summer day. Our lunch kicked off with a platter of Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel. Cream cheese, capers, salad, a squeeze of lemon and rose pink swirls of salmon on a soft and unexpectedly light slice of aromatic bread – all so fresh and appetizing that it went down in a flash.

The Salmon on Black Squid Ink Pasta intrigued us, so we shared that next. The pasta was packed with flavor, the sauce offered up a sticky, sweetness with overtones of the sea, and provided a perfect base for the large portion of grilled salmon. Sharing being the best way of indulging our senses to the max, we went on to one of the signature dishes, a Chicken Roulade with the creamiest mashed potatoes we have encountered for quite a while. Served with a rich demiglace sauce on the side, it was comfort food at its best. The chicken was moist and tender, the flavors of the stuffing well balanced, and the presentation was a visual treat.

There was no way we were going to forgo dessert, and the Molten Chocolate Tart and Raspberry Twist again met C&G’s impeccable standards. My dining companion loved the unctuous texture of the Raspberry Twist, with its shards of white chocolate and crunchy base set off by the slightly sharp flavor of fresh raspberries, while I was won over by the Chocolate Tart with its sinfully gooey center. The delicate pastry base was so light and melt-in-the-mouth, it could compete against the top pâtisseries of Europe, bravo chef!

Other menu options that appealed: The pasta and risotto selection are great, and the signature burgers would be tempting as well.

Beverage options: A superb range, from the ‘must try’ coolers to both hot and cold coffee options, teas and juices.

Décor: Fresh neutral tones, with a variety of comfortable seating options, both indoor and outdoor.

Ambience: Relaxing, with ambient lounge music playing at a discreet level. The staff is attentive without being obtrusive, making it a great place to catch up with friends and chat.

Clientele mix: Popular with people working in adjacent offices and companies, plus shoppers and members of the local community. We noticed a few people enjoying a working lunch break as well.

Price range: Moderate overall, with higher-end items being a little pricier. But, given the exceptional attention to detail in the presentation and the quality of the ingredients, it is good value for money.

Take-away is available, and also delivery to adjacent offices. Sheikh Zayed delivery is arranged from the branch in Mall of Arabia.

Opening hours: 10:00 am – 11:45 pm.

Address: Guezira Plaza, Sheikh Zayed

Website: http://www.casperandgambinis.com/

Facebook page: CasperandGambinisWorldwide

Instagram: Casperand GambinisEg

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