Breakfast at Bateel

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Weekends are for lounging, eating and relaxing. Sometimes, we throw in a few chores and not-so-pleasant trips to the doctors’ but my husband and I live for the weekends. Everyone knows this. We particularly love to dress up and go out to a coffee shop or fancy little bakery for breakfast; so naturally, this post is about our rendezvous to Cafe Bateel.

The history of this particular Cafe is pretty interesting. I actually spent a few minutes googling it to find out more. I’ve always known that it is a luxury date-shop. I’m talking fresh, prefectly ripened, stuffed dates that taste like delicious Swiss truffles. I think it may have begun as a shop that solely focussed on selling a selection of dates but has now evolved in to this chain of cafes and artisanal boutiques that has expanded from date shop to a proper restaurant and chocolatier. Literally, insane.

These dates are harvested in the heritage village of Al Ghat, which is located in the province of Riyadh. The varieties of gourmet dates include Rhutab (which are the ripe juicy dates). So dates ripen through three stages: Balah, which is the yellow fruit that is crunchy and tastes somewhat bitter. From what I remember as a child, we typically used to eat those by dipping them in a small bowl of tahini (sesame paste). As the fruit begins to ripen it turns in to Rhutab, which is hands down, the most delicious dried fruit I know. They taste like honey. At this point, if the fruit remains on the tree, the sun will begin the drying process. The dates turn in to Tamr (dried dates). Most of the moisture has been removed and you’re left with a more solid texture (these are the dates we typically see in the markets). Long story short, the selection of dates sold in Bateel boutiques cover over 20 types which don’t even include the stuffed dates.

Our delicious breakfast spread: I had the Middle Eastern foul (fava beans with chickpeas, onions and no oil) served with pita bread and veggies. With a cup of black coffee of course.

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I think the greatest moment of all has got to be the point at which my husband was served this: He asked for coffee and cream. They brought him coffee and literally, cream. He actually spooned it up and dumped it in and I think he liked it too. Guess cream and coffee is not really big here in the Middle East (he should stick to milk and coffee next time).

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Finally, I had the chance to sample a few of the dates, my favorites: almond stuffed and pistachio stuffed. But in all honesty, they have fillings that sound amazing – caramel, pecan, peanuts.

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So yes, that’s where we went and this is what I wore: Light pink crop top with a high-waisted sheer cream skirt (purchased this beaut in Korea) and of course light nude bow flats. Will definitely be doing this again…

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